What Are the Four Types of Parenting Styles?

Reviewed on 6/10/2021

There are four different types of parenting styles, which include authoritative, authoritarian, permissive, and uninvolved. Authoritative parents are nurturing and will listen, but will have clear boundaries. Authoritarian parents are primarily concerned with discipline and rigid rules. Permissive parents are not firm with boundaries, while uninvolved parents do not provide necessary parenting responsibilities.
There are four different types of parenting styles, which include authoritative, authoritarian, permissive, and uninvolved. Authoritative parents are nurturing and will listen, but will have clear boundaries. Authoritarian parents are primarily concerned with discipline and rigid rules. Permissive parents are not firm with boundaries, while uninvolved parents do not provide necessary parenting responsibilities.

Diana Baumrind, a clinical and developmental psychologist, named three distinct parenting styles that could impact a child’s development. Later, Maccoby and Martin added a fourth style. 

The four types of parenting styles are as follows: 

  • Authoritative
    • Considered the most optimal parenting style in Western cultures 
    • Parents who parent in this style:
      • Are nurturing, responsive, and supportive, but at the same time set firm limits for their children
      • Explain rules, have discussions, and use reasoning
      • Are supportive but not overbearing and allow children to make their own mistakes
      • Will listen to and acknowledge their child's viewpoint but don't always accept it
    • Children raised in this style:
      • Tend to be friendly, happy, energetic, self-reliant, self-controlled, capable, curious, cooperative, achievement-oriented, and successful
      • Tend to develop greater self-confidence when parents have high, but reasonable and consistent, expectations for behavior and clearly communicate those expectations
  • Authoritarian (disciplinarian, or “rigid ruler”)
    • Parents who parent in this style:
      • Offer low levels of support
      • Have high demands
      • Expect obedience 
      • Do not provide explanations for orders
      • Provide well-ordered and structured environments with clearly stated rules
    • Children raised in this style:
      • Are more likely to be obedient and proficient
      • Are not as happy, have lower social competence and self-esteem
  • Permissive (or indulgent)
    • Parents who parent in this style:
      • Are warm and supportive, but lax in demands
      • Do not set firm limits
      • Do not monitor children’s activities closely 
      • Do not require appropriately mature behavior of their children
      • Do not expect their children to follow boundaries or rules
      • Avoid confrontation
    • Children raised in this style:
      • Tend to be impulsive, rebellious, aimless, domineering, and aggressive 
      • Are low in self-reliance, self-control, and achievement
      • Are more likely to have problems with authority
  • Uninvolved (neglectful or indifferent)
    • Parents who parent in this style:
      • Are unresponsive, unavailable, and rejecting 
      • Do not provide most, if any, necessary parenting responsibilities
    • Children raised in this style:
      • Tend to have low self-esteem and self-confidence
      • Often seek other, sometimes inappropriate, role models to substitute for the neglectful parent
      • Lack self-control
      • Less competent than their peers

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Reviewed on 6/10/2021
References
https://www.apa.org/act/resources/fact-sheets/parenting-styles

https://iastate.pressbooks.pub/parentingfamilydiversity/chapter/chapter-1-2/