This essay dedicates to the significant influence of parenting styles on the bullying behavior of children. Various researches demonstrate that specific parental styles promote bullying by children, while optimal parenting may decrease interpersonal aggression and victimization. The paper describes four main styles of parenting, and it highlights their peculiarities and differences from each other. Based on peers’ researches, the impact of every parenting style on the prevalence of aggression and bullying among children is investigated. It was found that the positive authoritative style of parenting has the most insignificant connection with bullying behavior and a healthy home environment may substantially decrease the level of bullying among children.
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Bullying has existed in human culture throughout the centuries, however, its nature is still disputable. Bullying is defined as “a subcategory of interpersonal aggression” that is characterized by an imbalance of power, repetition, and intentionality (Hymel & Swearer, 2015, p. 293). Although multiple factors influence the bullying behavior of children, family relationships play a highly significant role in its development. Various researches demonstrate that specific parental styles promote bullying by children, while optimal parenting may decrease interpersonal aggression and victimization. The investigation of parenting styles is highly essential to understand how they affect the bullying behavior of children to prevent it.
Main Parenting Styles
Parents substantively influence the behavioral patterns of their children through the model of parenting they choose. The parenting style is “a general behavioral construct which sets the emotional context within which parents and children interact” (Shloim, Edelson, Martin, & Hetherington, 2015, p. 2). This interaction is frequently characterized by two dimensions – demandingness (the level of parents’ control) and responsiveness (affection and the acceptance of children’s needs) (Watabe & Hibbard, 2014). Along these dimensions, there are four parenting styles – authoritarian, permissive, neglecting, and authoritative parenting.
The authoritarian style is defined by parents’ high demandingness and low responsiveness. Authoritarian parents are typically overbearing, restrictive, dictatorial, punitive, and highly directive. They do not tolerate children’s inappropriate behavior or selfishness and have extremely high maturity demands (Doinita & Maria, 2015). Authoritarian parents communicate with their children through orders and rules. They make children’s obedience, conformity, and discipline a priority, and they frequently use violence to their children to receive desirable results.
The permissive style is opposite to the authoritarian model; it is characterized by parents’ low demands, a lack of control, and substantively high responsiveness. Permissive parents are frequently tolerant of their children’s misbehavior and have insignificant expectations for their level of maturity (Doinita & Maria, 2015). Although permissive parents are commonly careless and dismissive concerning socialization, their children have a chance to express themselves freely.
The neglecting style of parenting is characterized by low responsiveness and low demandingness. It is shaped by parents’ negligence, they do not establish any rules and do not consider their children’s needs and desires. The authoritative style considers to be the most optional and positive parenting style, it combines a high level of responsiveness with parents’ adequate demands. Authoritative parents aim to become role models for their children, they accept them and respect their needs and desires; however, authoritative parents exercise moderate control and set boundaries.
How Parenting Styles Affect Bullying Behavior
The styles of parenting chosen by mothers and fathers significantly affect the children’s bullying behavior. Authoritarian parenting style may result in the aggressive and rebellious behavior of children (Sarwar, 2016). The children of authoritarian parents have the highest liability to bullying as rules, strict discipline, or violence from parents make them feel weak at home and promote the expression of their power by abusing classmates. Permissive parenting contributes to behavioral problems and bullying behavior to a great extent as children who were raised without rules and boundaries may fail to develop tolerance, compassion, and empathy (Rajendran, Kruszewski, & Halperin, 2015). The children of neglecting parents frequently become victims of bullying as the absence of communication and attention from parents provokes depression and negatively affects children’s self-worth. The authoritative model of parenting has the most insignificant connection with bullying behavior. This approach develops children’s self-confidence, optimism, and self-efficacy, it encourages tolerance and acceptance (Madnani & Pradhan, 2015). Authoritative style is traditionally associated with positive children’s outcomes both in school performance and future life.
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It is impossible to underestimate the role of an appropriate parenting practice in the children’s raising and shaping of their behavior. Parents may substantively influence bullying prevention and the decrease of peer victimization by the improvement of their parenting techniques (Kim & Kim, 2016). A healthy home environment, attention to the children’s needs and desires, and parent-child communication may essentially reduce the prevalence of aggression and bullying among children.
Parenting styles play a highly significant role in the bullying behavior of children. Along the dimensions of demandingness and responsiveness, there are four parenting styles – authoritarian, permissive, neglecting, and authoritative parenting. The authoritarian style is defined by parents’ high demandingness, strictness, violence, and low responsiveness. Permissive parenting is opposite to the authoritarian model, and it implicates high affection without boundaries for children. The neglecting style is shaped by parents’ inattentive attitude, and the authoritative model combines a high level of responsiveness with parents’ adequate demands. Authoritative parenting has the most insignificant connection with bullying behavior, while other styles may indirectly encourage bullying. In general, a healthy home environment may essentially reduce the prevalence of aggression and bullying among children.
Doinita, N. E., & Maria, N. D. (2015). Attachment and parenting styles. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 203, 199 – 204. Web.
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Kim, J., & Kim, E. (2016). Bullied by siblings and peers: The role of rejecting/neglecting parenting and friendship quality among Korean children. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 34(11), 2203-2226. Web.
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Rajendran, K., Kruszewski, E., & Halperin, J. M. (2015). Parenting style influences bullying: A longitudinal study comparing children with and without behavioral problems. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 57(2), 188–195.
Sarwar, S. (2016). Influence of parenting style on children’s behavior. Journal of Education and Educational Development, 3(2), 222-249. Web.
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