Empirical Status Of The Impact Of Parental Discipline Methods On The Child's Internalization Of Values: A Critical Evaluation.

2883 words - 12 pages

What is being proposed throughout the literature on parental styles and internalization is that specific discipline techniques used by parents have a different impact on the child's internalization, which basically means, "taking over the values and attitudes of society as one's own so that socially acceptable behavior is motivated not by anticipation of external consequences but by intrinsic or internal factors" (Grusec and Goodnow, 1994, p. 4). In the following analysis, there will be an attempt to research on different parental styles and their affect on the internalization of children.Going through the discussion one will understand that the investigation is being done from the viewpoint of a reflective child, one who attributes to the choices of parental disciplines and improves internalization.Before going deeper into the discussion, there is the need to divide parents into three broader categories in order to have a general idea of their use of disciplines. The categories, according to Baumrind (1971) are: authoritarian, authoritative, and permissive. The first one includes parents who want their children strictly obeying them and constantly discouraging them. Authoritative parents do require to set demands and expect proper behavior but also are open to discussion and may be willing to change behavior if required. A permissive parent is the one that will set few demands and will make attempts to use very little discipline. One may clearly understand that the most successful interaction is the one between an authoritative parent and his child.However, besides the three categories that describe best the different parental styles, parents in general use different techniques that they think will lead to the internalization of values and morality by their children.First of all, power assertion (physical punishment, material deprivation, and displays of anger, commands, disapproval, shame, humiliation) is one that is frequently used as a discipline technique. However, Hoffman (1970, 1982), suggested that power assertion appears harmful to the compliance of the child for it brings on anger and hostility inside the child which leads to refusal for complying with the parent's demands. Power assertion, he continued, "provides a model of aggression that leads to antisocial or immoral conduct". In another study, Hoffman and Saltzstein (1967), found that "the use of power assertion correlates insignificantly and or negative with each of the various indicators representing moral development". In addition to this, Hoffman (1970a, 1970b), proposed that parents who rely only on power assertive approaches are less likely to show success on leading their children to resist to temptation, to feel guilt over antisocial behavior, to rectify after deviation, to show altruism, and express high levels of moral reasoning, these being indexes of the internalization of moral values.In contrast to the above, encouragement of active participation in decision making is...

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