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Cultural & Parental Affects On Child Development

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Cultural and Parental Affects on Child Development

How parent styles and culture can affect child development is an interesting question. Really the question isn't how it can affect development but how will it affect child development. No matter where or how a child is raised it will be affected by both parent styles and culture, even if it's a lack of them.

Parents parent in many different styles. It would be close to impossible to cover all the different styles that people use or state but for the sake of this entry I'll use Diana Baumrind's styles (Baumrind, D. as stated by Darling, N. 1999). These are indulgent, authoritarian, authoritative, and uninvolved.

Indulgent parents tend to more responsive than demanding. They tend to warm and responsive but basically leave their children do whatever they want and place no or little responsibility on the child. These children often grow up to have behavioral problems and tend to do more poorly in school. It was stated in the article by Nancy Darling ( that these children will, however, have higher esteem, better social skills and lower levels of depression. But I would have to disagree with some this. They may have higher self esteem because the child thinks the world revolves around himself/herself but due to this fact I doubt they have the social skills to really fit in. And when reality set in or doesn't work for the child difficulties can only follow.

Authoritarian parents are demanding and directing but not very responsive. These parents set rules and expectations and expect the child to live by them. The children of authoritarian parents often do alright in school both academically and behaviorally but have poorer social skills, lower self esteem and higher levels of depression. In these families punishment is usually harsh and punitive. Children often times grow up not be sure of their own decisions because their parents always provide the guidance.

Authoritative parents are both assertive and responsive. These parents put forth clear standards but are not intrusive or restrictive. These children often have higher self esteem, lower levels of depression and better social skills. These parents are more likely to praise their child for doing something right and providing meaning when punishment is handed out.

Uninvolved parenting is the only style that doesn't really work at any level. These parents are usually unresponsive and non-demanding. Children from uninvolved parents usually perform poorly both academically and behavioral, have low self esteem, poor social skills and high levels of depression. In some case the child is abused or neglected.

These four basic styles help create the children we have today but this is only one factor. Culture also plays a big part in how a child develops. It is stated in some research ( Introduction) that culture provides skills on what we learn. We have unique biological abilities that allow us to learn but how we learn is often determined by the culture we are raised in. A good example is speech. Almost all of us have the inborn ability to learn to speak and at birth, or even before, we are all at the same ability. We learn to speak by what we hear. If a person is raised in a Hispanic speaking family it would be likely that that child would learn how to speak Spanish, even if the child was of a totally different descent. There are many skills that a child learns throughout its life that are influenced by culture.



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