Parenting Styles Essay

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The effects of parenting styles (child-rearing practices) on the development of prosocial behaviour of children in early and middle childhood Abstract: Prosocial behaviour such as empathy, sharing and helping, is vital for healthy and effective relationships throughout life. Parenting styles have been found to significantly influence the amount of prosocial behaviour that a child shows (Dekovic & Jannsen, 1992; Berk, 2000). The relationship between prosocial behaviour and parenting styles was investigated interviewing 4 participants with regards to their parenting styles and the level of prosocial behaviour of their children. The participants were all mothers of two children aged between 4 and 8 years. Two white English-speaking mothers were interviewed, and two coloured Afrikaans-speaking mothers. The results were compared with regards to parenting styles, differing levels of prosocial behavior, and age, and cultural differences. In some respects, the findings supported previous research, revealing that the authoritative style of parenting promotes prosocial behaviour in children. It was found in this study that this was particularly true for empathy. There were no conclusive results for cultural differences or age differences as might be expected according to research findings. "Prosocial behaviour is the outcome of multiple individual and situational factors" (Eisenberg & Fabes, 1998, p. 742) Introduction: Prosocial behaviour is described as a voluntary behaviour in order to benefit someone else (Eisenberg & Fabes, 1998). This prosocial behaviour such as sharing, helping, sympathy and empathy form an important part of the social interactions between individuals and groups and has thus been studied in terms of where these behaviours come from. To illustrate Eisenberg and Fabes' quote (1998, pg 742) that prosocial behaviour is an outcome of a combination of

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