4 Parenting Styles

One theory of parenting states that there are four different approaches to parenting. These include authoritarian parenting, authoritative parenting, and permissive parenting. Neglectful parenting was added as a fourth parenting style.

Authoritarian parents attempt to influence their child’s behaviors based upon an established set of standards.

Children with authoritarian parents may have greater rates of aggression and delinquent type behaviors.

Permissive parents tend to be somewhat warm in their interactions with their children. They allow lots of autonomy and independence for their children and attempt to have little to no control over what their child does.

Children with a permissive parent may be more likely than children with an authoritative or authoritarian parent to experience anxiety or depression or to have maladaptive behaviors and trouble with social skills, self-confidence, and problem solving abilities.

Authoritative parents are somewhere in between the style of an authoritarian parent and a permissive parent.

The Ideal Parenting Style: Authoritative

When a child has an authoritative parent as opposed to an authoritarian or permissive parent, they are more likely to experience positive outcomes in their life.

Children with an authoritative parent have been social and psychological skills including things like being more resilient in the face of challenges, being more optimistic, being self-reliant, having the ability to navigate social situations more easily, and having better self-esteem. They also tend to perform better academically.

Neglectful parenting is when parents are not meeting the needs of their child.

When a child has a neglectful parent, they are likely to experience poor outcomes in a variety of ways including poor self-regulation abilities, difficulties in social situations, difficulty with self-management, academic challenges, delinquent type behaviors, anxiety, depression, and somatic complaints.


Kuppens, S., & Ceulemans, E. (2019). Parenting Styles: A Closer Look at a Well-Known Concept. Journal of child and family studies, 28(1), 168181. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-018-1242-x