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The influence of family structure and parenting styles on family members and their behavior in society - Essay Example

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The influence of family structure and parenting styles on family members and their behavior in society

Children may belong to more than one residential group, for instance. Even if they do not, close family members (most often the father) who continue to play an important role in their children's life may not reside in the same household. Instead of viewing parent as forming a unit, we look at them as two individuals whose conjugal and parental life courses meet for a period of time, during which a child is conceived. The child's family life course is then dependant on whether or not parents continue to follow the same path, or whether they decide to go their separate ways - an event that occurs for some children even before their birth. Family structure implies solidity and permanence, and leads implicitly to the idea that children spend their lives in a given family type: intact, lone-parent or stepfamily. As a result, a large body of research has looked at the impact on children of "growing up" in a lone-parent or stepfamily, without taking into account that relatively few children do in fact spend their entire childhood in one of these family types. The family structure perspective groups all families of the same type " type" into a single category ignoring the events leading up to the formation of the family. More and earlier parental separation means that close and significant family members do not necessarily live in the same household; the analysis of children's family experience, therefore, has to extend beyond the residential group.
Parenting is a complex activity that includes many specific behaviors that mark individually and together to influence child outcomes. The construct of parenting style is used to capture normal variations in parents' attempts to control and socialize their children. Parents may differ in how they try to control or socialize their children and the extend in which they do so, it is assumed the primary role of all parents is to influence, teach, and control their children. Parenting style captures two important elements of parenting : Parental responsiveness and parental demandingness. Parental responsiveness refers to the extent to which parents intentionally faster individuality, self-regulation, and self-assertion by being attuned, supportive and acquiescent to children's special needs and demands. Parental demandingness refers to the claims parents make on children to become integrated into the family whole by their maturity demands, supervision, disciplinary efforts and willingness to confront the child who disobeys. Categorizing parents according to whether they are high or low on parental demandingness and responsiveness creates a typology of parenting styles; reflecting different naturally accruing patterns of parental values, practices and behaviors.
1. Indulgent parents are more responsive than demanding. They are non-traditional and lenient, do not require mature behavior, allow considerable self-regulation and avoid confrontation.
2. Authoritarian parent are highly demanding and directive, but not responsive. They are obedience and status oriented, and expect their orders to be obeyed without explanation.
3. Authoritative parents are both demanding and responsive. They monitor and impart clear standards for their children's conduct. They want ...Show more


Family is considered to be the first and the most important child development and socialization bound. Children's family experience needs to be viewed as a "process" that evolves in response to decisions made by parents about their own conjugal and parental life…
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The influence of family structure and parenting styles on family members and their behavior in society essay example
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