Parenting styles have been described as the collection of parents’ behaviors which create an atmosphere of parent-child interaction across situation (Mize and Petit, 1997). Darling and Steinberg (1993) defined parenting style as “a constellation of attitudes toward the child that are communicated to the child and that, taken together, create an emotional climate in which the parents’ behaviors have expressed.” Despite these challenges, researchers have uncovered convincing links between parenting styles and the effects these styles have on children. There are different styles of parenting: authoritative, authoritarian and permissive.
Parents who use an authoritarian style are often very demanding, rigid, and punitive. They expect absolute obedience from their children and often use forceful measures to control their behavior. Verbal give-and-take is rare because the child is expected to accept parental authority without question "You'll do it because I said so".
Authoritarian parents typically show their children little warmth and support. The parents may be experiencing stress due to low income, parental conflict, or substance abuse. In addition, psychological factors such as depression increase the likelihood of punitive patenting styles. Children from these homes are often irritable, belligerent, and hyperactive (Bluestone and Tamis-LeMonda, 1999; Gaertner et al., 2007; Meteyer and Perry-Jenkins, 2009).
Another study suggests that authoritarian patenting styles can lead to children becoming overweight: Strict mothers who commanded their children to "Clean your plate or else!" were five times more likely than now flexible patents top have children who were overweight by the time the children entered the first grade (Rhee et al., 2006).
Authoritarian parents are sometimes very close with their children. They let the child do as they please as long as it’s acceptable for the parent. Growing up with authoritarian are the luck children because they get to talk with their parents openly and let the parents have an understanding about any situations. Now unlike permissive parents, authoritarian parents disciple the children when they get out of line or when the child steps out of place. A total of 872 children, 11.1% overweight and 82.8% white, were included in the analysis. Children of authoritarian mothers had an increased risk of being overweight, compared with children of authoritative mothers Children of permissive and neglectful mothers were twice as likely to be overweight, compared with children of authoritative mothers. Of the covariates, only income/needs ratio was significant and did not alter the relationship between parenting style and overweight risk.
Patents who use the authoritative style are demanding. They impose rules and standards of behavior, but they are also responsive and supportive. These patents encourage autonomy and self-reliance and tend to use positive reinforcement rather than harsh punishment.