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Effects of Authoritative, Authoritarian, and Permissive Parenting Styles experienced in childhoood on Levels of Self-Esteem in Later Life.

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Introduction

Effects of Authoritative, Authoritarian, and Permissive Parenting Styles experienced in childhoood on Levels of Self-Esteem in Later Life. ABSTRACT Relationships are fundamentally important to society. Individuals require each other for many different purposes, including self esteem. The aim of this study was to gain further experience in the design of a measure and its practical application. Research suggests that parenting styles experienced in childhood have a major impact on levels of self esteem in later life. Authoritative, authoritarian and permissive parenting styles were identified. 73 statements were generated for these styles. After piloting the study on twelve fellow psychology students (eleven females and one male), the range and standard deviation were calculated. Unacceptable statements were removed. 10 questions for each parenting style remained, these were presented as the final questionnaire. This was used in conjunction with the previously created self-esteem questionnaire. Participants were 11 males and 13 females, aged 16-60years, selected using the opportunity method. A test-retest reliability measure found a correlation of 0.88 for authoritative statements, 0.841 for authoritarian and 0.814 for permissive statements. Modifications would have to be made to reach the 0.9 recommended by Coolican for this reliability test. Data was correlated using a Spearman's Rho, an arrogance/modesty factor was found to be significant (calculated value = -0.012 n = 10 p<0.05 critical value = 0.564). A Mann Whitney compared self esteem scores for the different parenting styyles. The results were non-significant. This is in marked contrast to the research, suggesting that the measures are flawed. Reber in his Dictionary of Psychology (1995: 733) states that social psychology 'concentrates on ... relationships ... to society as a whole'. These fundamental building blocks for society can be categorised into three types: person - person, person - group, and group - group. At a basic level they serve the purpose of : survival, group relationships can help to overcome many dangerous situations, but also simply allowing heat, food and electricity to reach most members of society. ...read more.

Middle

In the last study a problem with the measure was highlighted. The self esteem measure appeared to test more then one factor and as such a low split half correlation of 0.45 was found, this it was decided, was skewing our results. Factor analysis was carried out on the data by creating a matrix that correlated each item against itself and every other item. For each question we counted the number of times a correlation occurred that was greater than 0.5 and -0.5. At the bottom of the column we wrote the number of correlations plus one for the question itself. Next we had a look at the specific questions that correlated, generally these appeared to address an obvious factor. Some of the questions however did not appear to be asking about a similar factor and so were discarded. We identified seven factors, these were assigned appropriate names, these included sociability, confidence, irritability/anxiety, sensitivity, expressiveness (in terms of emotion), arrogance/modesty, and shy/nervous. Some questions however did not correlate with anything and were also discarded (appendix 19).. We went on to correlate (using Spearman's Rho) each of the seven factors against the two remaining parenting styles (appendix 20). The results were checked for significance in the correlation tables. Using each of these eight pairs of correlations (self esteem and the seven factors). We were able to perform a Mann Whitney U on the two sets of self esteem scores taken from the remaining authoritative and authoritarian parenting styles. Allowing us to see if there is a correlation between parenting styles and self esteem (or the seven factors)(appendix 20). RESULTS The results for our PAQ (original test) and our Self-Esteem measure (original test) were collated, this data was scored (appendix 10). On the self esteem measure, questions referring to high self esteem were unchanged, however for those referring to low self esteem the scores were negated, so that a 5 became a 1 and vice versa. ...read more.

Conclusion

These measures could be useful for the selection of recruits to the army. With modifications, the test would be able to discriminate between those with high self esteem, which would be necessary to cope with the rigours of army life. It would more importantly recognise the parenting style specific to each candidate, an authoritarian background would have prepared candidates for the strict rules set down by the army. Whereas a permissive background would leave someone unprepared for the struggles ahead. Consequently, the parenting style experienced in childhood may have an effect upon the number of recruits who complete basic training. In future it would be interesting to test this idea. These measures could also be used by psychologists with child abusers. It may be possible to infer a relationship between self-esteem levels, parenting styles experienced in childhood and the likelihood of an individual abusing children. If self-esteem appears to correlate, the psychologist could use this information to try and reduce the risk. Furthermore, the identification of a particular parenting style experienced in childhood by child abusers, could allow (if this measure was modified so that young children (for instance 8 years of age) could answer it) psychologists to 'step in' at an early age and try to prevent potential child abusers from offending. Attitude measures seek to explain the relationships upon which society is based. In order to process and understand these relationships many people create schemas, these invariably affect the relationships in society. This can account for intergroup prejudices, why one candidate is chosen over another equally qualified person and so on. Before it is possible to combat anti-social behaviour, or merely to understand the relationships that exist in society, it is necessary to study these relationships. Attitude measures alone are unsuccessful at doing this, other methods are required. Qualitative research involving interviews, and observational methods enrich any information we can get from attitude measures. Moreover in their own right they can highlight certain areas, forcing us to ask questions about the nature of society. ...read more.

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