Parents Impact on Child Development

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Developmental psychologists have long been interested in how parents impact child development. However, finding actual cause-and-effect links between specific actions of parents and later behavior of children is very difficult. Some children raised in dramatically different environments can later grow up to have remarkably similar personalities. Conversely, children who share a home and are raised in the same environment can grow up to have astonishingly different personalities than one another. Despite these challenges, researchers have uncovered convincing links between parenting styles and the effects these styles have on children. During the early 1960s, psychologist Diana Baumrind conducted a study on more than 100 preschool-age children (Baumrind, 1967). Using naturalistic observation, parental interviews and other research methods, she identified four important dimensions of parenting: Disciplinary strategies, Warmth and nurturance, Communication styles and Expectations of maturity and control. Based on these dimensions, Baumrind suggested that the majority of parents display one of three different parenting styles (Maccoby & Martin, 1983) which I myself tried to analyze by observing parent-child relationship at a park. I was at The Prospect Park last week and was observing some parents and their children’s behavior and was really surprised to see a situation, of a 5-6 years old boy and his mother, which I am going to explain in details in this paper. After observing the mother’s behavior, I figured out that she exhibited Authoritarian Parenting style because she had very strict rules and expectations, was very demanding and unresponsive. She was not expressing much warmth or nurturing and also had strict rules and expectation. The interaction was actually one way, only from the mother side. Research indicates that parents and caregivers who are
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