Dictator dads and moms are more likely to have delinquent children

This is the first study to look at whether parenting styles influence adolescents’ beliefs about the legitimacy of parent authority and if those perceptions affect delinquent behaviour.

Research by the University of New Hampshire suggests that children of parents who impose their decisions on their children are more likely to be disrespectful than those who are authoritative but listen to their children. The children of those who don’t give much leeway to their kids are also more likely to be delinquent. They also do not view their parents as legitimate authority figures.


When parents are viewed as legitimate authority figures, children trust them. They also feel obligated to listen to what their parents say. Such children also have a greater chancing of sticking to the rules even in the parent’s absence.

Researchers compared authoritative [parents who demand and control but are also warm and receptive towards the child’s needs], authoritarian [parents who demand and control but aren’t receptive to the child’s needs] and permissive styles [parents who do not demand or control] of parenting. They found that authoritative parenting works the best as the children are often content, self-reliant and self-controlled.

Source: http://www.unh.edu/news/cj_nr/2012/feb/lw10delinquent.cfm


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