Korean Parents' and Adolescents' Reports of Parenting Styles: A Developmental Study

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kim, hayoung
Rubin, Kenneth H.
The main purpose of this study was to examine differences and relations among Korean mothers', fathers', and adolescent girls' and boys' reports of parenting styles, distinguishing possible differences in early and mid-adolescence. The following five parenting factors were assessed: warmth/affection, aggression/hostility, neglect/rejection, behavioral control, and psychological control. Differences in individuals' adherence to cultural values as well as the relations among cultural values and parenting styles were examined. Results revealed differences within and across parents' and adolescents' reports of parenting styles. For example, mothers were more warm, aggressive/hostile, behaviorally controlling, and psychologically controlling than fathers. Boys also reported more parental behavioral control and neglect/rejection than girls. Developmental comparisons showed that younger adolescents and their parents reported the use of more parental behavioral control than older adolescents and their parents. Comparisons with regard to the relations among parenting styles showed that behavioral control is not always positively associated with warmth among Koreans. More specifically, maternal behavioral control was associated with maternal warmth for boys, but not for girls. In addition, psychological control was not a consistent negative predictor of warmth among Koreans. For example, adolescents' perceptions of maternal psychological control negatively predicted warmth for older, but not younger adolescents. Assessments also revealed that parents adhered more to Asian cultural values than their adolescent children. Cultural values moderated the relations among parental dimensions of warmth and control. For example, fathers with high adherence to Asian cultural values associated expressions of behavioral control with those of warmth. Fathers with low adherence to Asian cultural values, however, associated expressions of behavioral control with both warmth and aggression/hostility. Overall, differences in reports of parenting styles as well as differences in the relations among cultural values and parenting styles for mothers, fathers, and adolescent boys and girls revealed the complexity in the forms and functions of parenting styles among Koreans. Results also revealed the importance of examining developmental differences in parental expressions and adolescents' perceptions of parenting styles.