A study on the Relationship between Perceived Authoritative Parenting Style and Aggression in adolescents’ girls
Haritha, S., Nivetha, S and Nanthini, K.R.
This study investigated the perceived authoritative parenting styles that would be most influential in predicting low level of aggression in adolescents. A total of 150 students (aged 18 -19 years) from various arts stream were randomly selected to measure their aggression level and their perceived parenting styles using Aggression Questionnaire, Buss ;Perry and Scale of Parenting styles , Gafoor ; kurukkan (2014). Using SPSS, the results showed that there is a significant negative relationship between perceived authoritative parenting style and aggression and also it found that there is a no significant difference was seen between the various arts stream girls and their aggression level. A perceived authoritative parenting style was associated with less aggressive behavior. High levels of affect and high levels of control, which define an authoritative style, were associated with the expression of low aggressive behaviour. In addition, further research studies are suggested to be carried for both genders.
Keywords: Perceived Parenting Style, Aggression, Adolescents
Family and parenting style shapes the individual to large extent. It is the primary socialization agent where children grow up in their early stage and it has a great influence in the child’s personality and all the other aspects. Thereby, children actually possess certain behaviours from their parents as a genetic predisposition, vicarious learning, interpersonal interaction with group members especially with their caregiver and parents and sometimes they are forced or expected behave in certain way by their caregiver and parents. This in turn influences how the children interact in other environment, personality make up of an individual, temperament and behaviour. Hence, parent and parenting style has an important role in that primary institution .The parental impact is high from infancy to young adulthood. Parenting style is defined as the way in which the parents treat and handle the child .When the parents use a positive way of handling their children it will have an different influence on their child and negative way of handling will have a different influence in their children . The influences are based on the Individuals subjective experiences and their perception also. The parents may feel that they were providing proper nurturance and having a correct level of responsibility and control over their children based on their own subjective experience and perception but the children may view their parents’ responsibility and control as insufficient. The aggression is an important component which determines the individual’s problematic behaviour. Moreover, all the studies conducted thus far have focused on children. This study investigated the relationship between what perceived parenting style would show the low level of aggression in adolescents.
Adolescents is the stage where an individual transfer from the stage of children to adult and according to Erik Erikson theory this is the stage where an individual go through the process of identity formation . A large number of studies have conducted to demonstrate the importance of parenting style in the transmission of values and behaviours (Carlo et al., Richard de Minzi et al.,). It has been suggested that parenting characteristics are more influential in individual’s behaviour. They greatly impact the individuals’ current and future behaviour. Several studies were also conducted to examine the relationships between parenting styles and problematic behaviour in parent’s perspective. This showed that there were discrepancies between parents and offspring’s in perceiving the parenting styles. It paved way for the several research have to be done on parenting styles in child’s perception and its influence of their behavioural pattern. The fact that the individual’s perception of parental behavior, appears to be more influential in regards to social adjustment (Buschgens, Van Aken, Swinkels, Ormel, Verhulst, & Buitelaar, 2010). Currently, research in the topic of perceived parenting styles and aggression is scarce; the majority of the findings in the literature have focused on child rearing styles from the parent’s perspective (Broderick ; Blewitt, 2009; Hoeve et al., 2011; Kawabata et al., 2011; Simmons et al., 2013). Thus keeping this in a view the current research was done by how an adolescent perceive their parents parenting style and its relationship with their aggression level.
Based on current findings in the literature, the following hypothesis was generated:
1. There is a no significant relationship between perceived authoritative parenting style and aggression.
2. There is a significant difference between the various arts stream girls and their aggression level.
The current study was conducted with the aim to identify perceived authoritative parenting styles and their relationship with aggression in adolescents in Lady Doak College.
Scope of the study
• The study helped us to find out the different style of parenting perceived by the adolescent girls.
• The girls’ aggression level was found through this study; thereby we could able to find a relationship between the aggression of the girls and their perceived parenting style.
• The study also paves pathway further research on these two variables.
Initially, the study incorporated 300 students between the ages of 18 and 19 from first year of six arts majors (50 participating respondents in each majors). The sample was randomly selected, according to the availability and accessibility of the respondents. After narrowing those students whose parents could each be classified in one of the parenting styles, the data from 300 students (150 adolescent girls from each major) were used in the analyses that followed. Distribution according to majors in arts stream were 25 in Tamil, 25 in English, 25 in Commerce , 25 in Economics, 25 in Social Sciences and 25 in History respectively. Those adolescents were purposely selected to constitute the samples who perceived their parents parenting style as authoritative.
Data Collection and Analysis
Perceived Parenting styles. Perceived Parenting style was measured by means of a questionnaire – Scale of Parenting Style (Gafoor & Kurukkan, 2014).The questionnaire contained 38 questions( 19 for responsiveness item and 19 for control item),which were ranked by the participants according to their perception on parenting styles. Each question was scored from five to one. The scale returns six separate scores for each participant, namely mother’s responsiveness, father’s responsiveness, mother’s control, father’s control, parental responsiveness and parental control. The test-retest coefficient of reliability of responsiveness variable in the scale is 0.81 and for control 0.83.The validity coefficient is found to be 0.80 for responsiveness and 0.76 for control subscale.
Aggression. The instrument used to collect data on aggression was the Aggression Questionnaire (Buss& Perry), which comprised of 34 questions where participants rank certain statements along five point continuum from ‘not at all like me” a little like me’, ‘somewhat like me’, ‘very much like me’, ‘completely like me’. The scores are normalised on a scale of 0 to 1, with 1 being the highest level of aggression. The questionnaire returns scores for four dimensions of aggression. Physical aggression (9 items), Verbal aggression (5 items), Anger (8 items), Hostility (8 items), Indirect aggression (4 items).The test-retest reliability of this questionnaire was 0.78.The internal consistency was between 0.70 and 0.80 are considered as good reliability estimates.
In statistical analysis, the frequency indicators was used to describe the data, Pearson’s coefficient correlation and ANOVA statistical test were used to find the relationship and difference among the girls in various arts stream.
4. Results and Discussion
Overall, 300 undergraduate students of 18 to 19 years participated in this study, of whom from various arts stream. Of the participants in the study, the results showed that the frequencies with respect to the authoritative, authoritarian, permissive, negligence parenting styles were 70% (210 respondents), 19% (authoritarian), 8%(permissive), and 3% (negligence) respectively. The highest frequency belonged to the authoritative parenting style, while the lowest frequency belonged to the negligence style. The order of frequency in terms of parenting styles was authoritative, authoritarian, permissive, and negligence, as shown in Table 4.2.1.
Figure 4.1.1: Number of girls among different perceived parenting style
Table 4.2.1: Frequency distribution of girls in different parenting styles
Table 4.2.2. Frequency distribution of girls in various arts stream
Arts Stream Frequency %
Tamil 41 19.5
English 35 16.6
Commerce 29 13.8
Economics 40 19
Social Sciences 35 16.6
History 30 14.2
Total 210 100
Parenting Styles Frequency %
Authoritative 210 70
Authoritarian 58 19.3
Permissive 23 7.6
Negligence 9 3
Total 300 100
The results showed that the frequencies with respect to the girls in various arts stream who perceived parenting style as authoritative were 19.5% (41respondents) from Tamil, 16.6% (35 respondents) English, 13.8% (29 respondents) Commerce, 19% (40 respondents) Economics ,16.6% (35 respondents) Social Sciences, 14.2% (30 respondents)History respectively. The frequency distribution of girls among various streams is shown in Table 4.2.2.
Figure 4.1.2 Percent distribution of girls across various arts stream
To investigate the relationship between the various Arts Stream girls and their Aggression level, the ANOVA test was used. The results revealed that there is no significant relationship was seen between the various arts stream girls and their aggression level (as can be seen in Table 4.2.4). Specifically, the higher the education levels, the less aggressive adolescents were likely to be.
The present study was implemented to examine the relationship between aggression and perceived parenting styles in adolescents in Lady Doak college. Based on the result, there is a significant negative relationship between perceived authoritative parenting style and aggression (as mentioned in Table 4.2.3).
Table 4.2.3. Relationship between perceived parenting style and adolescents’ Aggression
Parenting style Authoritative
N Correlation coefficient
Aggression 150 -0.42
Our interesting finding was the authoritative parenting was hypothesized to predict lower levels of aggression. There was an evidence to support this hypothesis of perceived authoritative parenting style as a predictor of lower levels of aggression. Our results agree with prior investigation that the perception of the authoritative parenting is related to a decrease in aggressiveness. Additionally, similar to the most predominant findings in the literature, authoritative family contexts are related to better psychosocial adjustment in children and adolescents for 3 reasons: first, greatest affect and acceptance causes children’s to show more receptivity to parental influences. Second, an adequate combination of involvement and setting limits on children’s behaviour, characteristics of the authoritative style, facilities the development of self regulation skills, which enable youths to act competently. Finally, encouragement of verbal exchange between parents and children involves children in a process that fosters cognitive and social competence, thereby enhancing their participation outside of family framework (Steinberg, 2001). Therefore, it is suggested that use of strict discipline does influence, and play a crucial role in predicting lower level of aggressive behaviour in adolescents when parents are perceived as authoritative.
Along these lines, several studies conclude that adolescent children’s perception of positive parental influences (affect and quality care), as well as proper supervision, act as protective elements that decrease the likelihood of violent and antisocial behaviours (Arm, Dahinten, Marshall ; Shapka, 2011; Vieno, Nation, Pastore ; Santinello, 2009). Specifically, affective relationships promoted self-revelation in adolescent children, which in turn predicted a decline in the expression of aggressive behavior toward peers (Vieno et al., 2009). Thus, parental care can eliminate adolescent feelings of fear, anger, insecurity, negative emotions that act as risk factors for the appearance of behavioral problems. The possible benefit of authoritative parenting on adolescent children, in terms of less expressed aggressiveness, anger and hostility, has been pointed out in other investigations. In recent studies, Garcia and Gracia (2009, 2010) found that children who defined their parents as indulgent scored the same as those who perceived them to be authoritative and showed better scores that those who labelled their parents as authoritarian or neglectful, on different measurements of psychosocial adjustment.
Current findings displayed a significant relationship between perceived authoritative parenting style and aggression, this relationship was moderated by parental influences. However, because this proposed observation is supported in the present study more research is necessary.
The study further investigates whether there is a significant difference in aggression level among different arts stream students using one way analysis of variance. The analysis of variance shows that the adolescents who perceived their parents parenting style as authoritative shows low and average level aggression even though they are belonging to a different arts stream the group doesn’t have any significant difference in the aggression level language f value 0.82 p value 0.62, business f value 1.67 p value 0.10, social sciences f value 0.95 p value 0.51 as shown in Table 4.2.4.
Table 4.2.4. Relationship between Arts Stream and Aggression levels using ANOVA
Arts Stream Language Business Social Sciences
F P-Value F P-Value F P-Value
Aggression 0.82 0.62 1.67 0.10 0.95 0.51
This shows that the perceived authoritative parenting style has a relationship with the adolescent girls aggression level there were also other resins for this such as the study was conducted among the girls who are doing their undergraduate program in a single sex educational institution whether there is no exposure to opposite gender and there by this may have limited their knowledge towards violence and aggressive behaviour which is more common among the coeducational institutes .Apart from that cultural and demographic factors may also a be reason for all different arts stream girls to have average and low level of aggression because the girls are belonging to a semi urban city where the girls still on the strive of women empowerment and which in turn may not allow the girls to express their aggression , the other reason may be the girls who participated in this research are belonging to first year of under graduation and they have just now entered into college and this college environment is completely new for those adolescents girls who have came out of the school environment recently . These may be other reasons for the group to have no significant difference in level of aggression.
Through the result we have found that these two variables Perceived authoritative Parenting style and Aggression has negatively correlated hence when the adolescents Perceived their parents parenting style which has a high responsibility and high control(Authoritative Parenting style) their aggression level is low .Reasons may be when the parents rear their children with this parenting style they give full freedom and at the same time they make a clear boundaries which are healthy for their children to exhibit themselves within that. This helps the children to express their view and experience the life in a healthy way by getting a proper guidance, support and control from their Parents . . The methodology of the current study can be adopted to replicate a research study with a larger sample for better generalization of the findings.
The present study has been done only on adolescent girls and further research can be adopted to all the group belonging to both gender .And another limitation is that the participants are belonging to arts stream alone has taken part in this research and hence the further research can be carried out for other science and professional major students . Also, the current study was focused only on the perceived authoritative parenting style and aggression level. However, further studies on the relationship between other perceived parenting styles (authoritarian, permissive, negligence) and aggression level are recommended.
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AGGRESSION QUESTIONNAIRE (Buss ; Perry)
INSTRUCTIONS: Using the 5 point scale shown below, indicate how characteristic each of the following statements is describing you. Place your rating in the box to the right of the statement.
1=Not at all like me
2=A little like me
3= Somewhat like me
4=Very much like me
5=completely like me
CIRCLE ONE RESPONSE NUMBER FOR EACH STATEMENT
My friends say that I argue a lot. 1 2 3 4 5
Other people always seem to get the breaks. 1 2 3 4 5
I flare up quickly,but get over it quickly. 1 2 3 4 5
I often find myself disagreeing with people. 1 2 3 4 5
At times,I feel I have gotten a raw deal out of life. 1 2 3 4 5
I can’t help getting into arguments when people disagree with
Me. 1 2 3 4 5
At times i get very angry for no good reason. 1 2 3 4 5
I may hit someone if he or she provokes me. 1 2 3 4 5
I wonder why sometimes I feel so bitter about things. 1 2 3 4 5
I have threatened people I know. 1 2 3 4 5
Someone has pushed me so far that I hit him or her. 1 2 3 4 5
I have trouble controlling my temper. 1 2 3 4 5
If I’m angry enough, I may mess up some ones work. 1 2 3 4 5
I have been mad enough so slam door when leaving someone
behind in the room. 1 2 3 4 5
When people are bossy, I take my time doing what they
want ,just to show them. 1 2 3 4 5
I wonder what people want when they are nice to me. 1 2 3 4 5
I have become so mad that I have broken things. 1 2 3 4 5
I sometimes spread gossip about people I don’t like. 1 2 3 4 5
I am a calm person. 1 2 3 4 5
When people annoy me, I may tell them what I think
of trust me. 1 2 3 4 5
I sometimes feel that people are laughing at me behind
my back. 1 2 3 4 5
I let my anger show when I do not get what I want. 1 2 3 4 5
At times, I can’t control the urge to hit someone. 1 2 3 4 5
I get into fights more than most people. 1 2 3 4 5
If somebody hits me , I hit back. 1 2 3 4 5
I tell my friends openly when I disagree with them. 1 2 3 4 5
If I have to resort to violence to protect my rights, I will. 1 2 3 4 5
I do not trust strangers who are too friendly. 1 2 3 4 5
At times I feel like a bomb ready to explode. 1 2 3 4 5
When someone really irritates me, I might give him or her
the silent treatment. 1 2 3 4 5
I know that friends talk about me behind my back. 1 2 3 4 5
Some of my friends think I am a hothead. 1 2 3 4 5
At times I am so jealous I can’t think of anything else. 1 2 3 4 5
I like to play practical jokes. 1 2 3 4 5
Scale of Parenting Style
Abdul Gafoor K., & Abidha Kurukkan
Name: ………………………………………………………………………………………… Male/Female: …………………………………
School: ………………………………………………………..Subject: …………………………….. Place: …………………………………
Instructions Given below are statements to know how your mother/father deals with you. For each statement 5 option
namely ‘Very right’ (5), ‘Mostly right'(4), ‘Sometimes right, Sometimes wrong'(3), ‘Mostly wrong'(2), ‘Very wrong'(1) are
given. Tick Mark against each statement, on the left side about mother and on the right side about father, on the option that
suites the behaviour of your mother or father in relation to you. Take care to mark your responses against all statements.
Observe the example.
About Mother About Father
5 4 3 2 1 STATEMENT 5 4 3 2 1
? Eg: Enquires about my matters with teachers. ?
1. Does whatever I tell.
2. Spends free time with me.
3. Points out my mistakes in the manner that I understand.
4. Gives money for my needs.
5. Discusses the benefits and detriments of my learning topics.
6. Considers my likes in food.
7. Controls my game when in excess.
8. Shows love to me.
9. Enquires the reason for my failure.
10. Helps me in studying.
11. Confers responsibilities in accordance with my growth.
12. Has faith in me
13. Enquires the reasons for reaching home late
14. Accepts my privacy
15. Takes care of my dressing
16. Fulfils my desires with available means
17. Makes me aware that the responsibility of what I do is mine itself
18. Accepts when I say no to what I dislike
19. Tells how I should behave with their friends
20. Talks to me praising about their friends
21. Tries to frame my likes and dislikes
22. Appreciates when I try to become independent
23. Punishes for my mistakes
24. Shows love when I do any mistake
25. Enquires who my friends are
26. Has given me freedom to select the subject for study
27. Organizes time for my play
28. Gives priorities to my preferences in studies
29. Demands me to be systematic in studies
30. Emphasizes my successes
31. Advices me
32. Celebrates in my successes with me
33. Discourages unhealthy foods
34. Gets anxious when I am late to reach home
35. Inquires how I spend money
36. Buy dresses for me according to the latest trends
37. Enquires how I spend my free time
38. Gives me timely advices