Parenting Methods Shown to Impact Outcomes for Kids

A new study from Japan shows that children who receive positive attention and care from their parents have high incomes, high happiness levels, academic success, and a strong sense of morality.

Researchers, led by Dr. Kazuo Nishimura, a project professor at the Kobe University Center for Social Systems Innovation, and Dr. Tadashi Yagi, a professor at the Doshisha University Faculty of Economics, conducted an online survey in January 2016 to discover the effects of parenting methods in Japan.

They received answers from 5,000 women and men to questions and statements about their relationships with their parents during childhood, including statements such as “My parents trusted me” and “I felt like my family had no interest in me.”

Using this data, they identified four key factors: (Dis)interest, trust, rules, and independence, as well as “time spent together” and “experiences of being scolded.”

Based on their findings, the researchers then divided parenting methods into six categories:

  1. Supportive: High or average levels of independence, high levels of trust, high levels of interest shown in child, large amount of time spent together;
  2. Strict: Low levels of independence, medium-to-high levels of trust, strict or fairly strict, medium-to-high levels of interest shown in child, large amount of rules;
  3. Indulgent: High or average levels of trust, not strict at all, time spent together is average or longer than average;
  4. Easygoing: Low levels of interest shown in child, not strict at all, small amount of time spent together, few rules;
  5. Harsh: Low levels of interest shown in child, low levels of independence, low levels of trust, strict;
  6. Average: Average levels for all key factors.

The findings demonstrated that people who had experienced “supportive” child-rearing where parents paid them a lot of positive attention reported high salaries, academic success, and high levels of happiness.

On the other hand, participants subjected to a “strict” upbringing where parents paid them high levels of attention combined with strict discipline reported high salaries and academic achievement, but lower happiness levels and increased stress.

The study’s findings were presented as a discussion paper at the Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI), a Japanese policy think tank.

Source: Kobe University
PHOTO: The left graph shows parenting methods (supportive, strict, indulgent) and their effects on children’s success. The right shows parenting methods (easygoing, harsh, average) and their effects on children’s success. Credit:Kobe University.