Psychology Research Paper; Parenting Styles: A Closer Look at a Well-Known Concept by Sofie Kuppens and Eva Ceulemans

Published: 2021/11/26
Number of words: 988


The study’s hypothesis is not clearly stated or extensively discussed in the article. The researchers have instead provided a review of past studies in parenting styles and identified gaps in existing research. This study seeks to explain the three dimensions of parenting, within different parenting styles. These are; behavioral control, psychological control, and support control. However, the study indicates that most researchers fail to investigate the psychological control dimension. The research highlights its three main aims; exploration of psychological control dimension, identification of how differing parent practices form joint parenting style, and examination of the effect of joint parenting styles on children’s behavior.


The participants in the study included 600 families with elementary enrolled children. The Flemish children selected fell between the age group of 8 and 10 years. Both parents of 556 children participated in the study, while the 44 remaining children were represented by either the father (4) or the mother (44) (Kuppens & Ceulemans, 2019). Different schools were randomly selected within the Flemish Region. The teacher’s delivered questionnaires to the participating parents, who were directed to complete the questions individually.

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First and foremost, the participants signed a contract of consent before the study commenced per the APA guidelines (Young, 2017). Secondly, the authors asserted that both of them had the same aims and concerns in the research. Lastly, every procedure conducted in the research process aligned with the KU Leuven standards of ethics. Besides, the study’s activities also followed the ethical concerns of the Helsinki 1964 declaration and amendments.


The data collected from the sample was examined or analyzed by conducting a cluster analysis. The items were scored on a Likert measure or scale; 1 signifying never true and 5 signifying always true (Kuppens & Ceulemans, 2019). Parental behavior control included items on harsh punishment, rules, and discipline. These indicated; 0.79 for mothers and 0.82 for fathers. Parental support control included items on the involvement of parents, solving problems, and positive reinforcement. These showed; 0.85 for mothers and 0.88 for fathers. Parental psychological control items were; nullifying feelings, withdrawing love, restricting verbal expressions, and personal aggression. These indicated; 0.70 for mothers and 0.71 for fathers.


The evidence from the analyzed data revealed a natural occurrence of joint parenting styles. The analysis of parental behavior and support control dimensions disclosed four congruent parenting styles. These are; uninvolved, positive authoritative, authoritative, and authoritarian. Later analysis of all three dimensions, including psychological control, resulted in similar parenting styles. The study, thus, concluded that the positive authoritative parenting style attracts a more favorable child behavior outcome than the authoritarian and intrusive parenting styles. This result relates to the study’s main aim, which is to explore the psychological control dimension of parenting, joint parenting style, and its effect on child behavior.


The authors reflect that current studies in the area of parenting styles and their effects on children’s behavior have contributed highly in the field. The data collected supports previous research since they did not find a new parenting style from the psychological control dimension. However, they reflect that the results of the study have increased the general understanding of the parenting dimensions and the associated outcome of the child’s behavior. The authors also reflect that the research is limited in scope, method, and approaches. It only covers the data from the parent’s perspective without considering the children’s opinions. Therefore, they recommend that future research take into account the children’s opinions for a conclusive report.


I find the article quite informative and insightful. The concept of parenting styles has attracted various controversies in recent years. For example, Checa and Abundis-Gutierrez indicate that the authoritarian style produces disciplined and successful children (Checa & Abundis-Gutierrez, 2018). On the other hand, some will prefer authoritative parent practices (Barkley, 2020). I believe that the study has empirically clarified the disputing notions in parenting styles. The evidence tabulated in the research will help many parents to regulate, modify, or even change the way they bring out their children.

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Area of Growth

My biggest complaint about the study is the insufficient exploration of other variables. Children tend to have deferring opinions on which parenting style their parents use (Livingstone & Byrne, 2018). As a result, the study should have included their perspective as well. Another area that the study failed to address was the diversity of the sample. The data analyzed was obtained from families with a common characteristic, that is, Flemish households. Therefore, the study should analyze data collected from families of different origins to see whether racial background, region, or ethnicity influences the outcome.


If I replicate the study, I will draw similar aims or goals indicated in the study. These will include; exploring the psychological control parenting dimension, joint parenting style, and its resultant effect on children’s behavior. I will start by choosing 600 families with elementary going children to participate in the study. Afterward, I will notify the selected schools to administer questionaries to the participating parents, after they sign consent forms. True to my aim, I will instruct the parents to provide individual answers, which will help me know how their separate styles form joint parenting styles. I will then analyze the data collected and hopefully establish insightful results.


Barkley, R. A. (2020). Taking charge of ADHD: The complete, authoritative guide for parents. Guilford Press.

Checa, P., & Abundis-Gutierrez, A. (2018). Parenting styles, academic achievement, and the influence of culture. Psychology and Psychotherapy: Research Study1(4), 1-3.

Kuppens, S., & Ceulemans, E. (2019). Parenting styles: A closer look at a well-known concept. Journal of child and family studies28(1), 168-181.

Livingstone, S., & Byrne, J. (2018). Parenting in the Digital Age. DIGITAL PARENTING19.

Young, G. (2017). Revising the APA ethics code. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.

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