Le 28 avril 2022
Parenting Styles and Child Adjustment in Vulnerable Family Contexts
Abstract: Based on sensitivity and demand dimensions, parenting styles are childrearing patterns that contribute to the family climate with an impact on the child's adjustment and well-being. The parenting styles model was widely studied in the past decades globally considering the authoritative style as a facilitator for child development, however contextual differences also exist, namely in collectivist cultures or in higher psychosocial vulnerability backgrounds. We present a summary of several studies developed in Portugal, and other Portuguese speaking countries, regarding the determinants of parenting and the impact of parenting styles on child adjustment in different family contexts. The results found highlight the association of an authoritarian parenting style with family variables, such as lower marital adjustment or negative co-parenting in separated parents. Moreover, it is a predictor of poorer child adjustment, with lower emotional regulation and academic achievement and higher levels of internalized and externalized problems, with differences between boys and girls. In multi-challenged families, in conditions of social exclusion, even if there is a parental perception of authoritativeness, the authoritarian style appears well above the population average, highlighting the importance of conducting mixed-methods studies for higher results validity in vulnerable family contexts.
Keywords: Parenting styles, child adjustment; multi-challenged families; divorce; cultural contexts