Generational Changes in Parenting Styles and the Effect of Culture

Sophia Zervides, Ann Knowles

Abstract


This study investigated generational changes in parenting styles and the effect of culture by means of a cross cultural comparison of Greek-Australians and Anglo-Australians. The community based sample of parents comprised 34 Anglo-Australians (M=45.74 years, SD=7.28) and 31 Greek-Australians (M=42.65 years, SD=4.85) who completed a series of self report questionnaires about their own parenting style and that of their parents. The Greek-Australians reported that their parents utilised an authoritarian child rearing style in the upbringing of their children significantly more than did their Anglo-Australian counterparts. However both second generation Greek-Australian parents and their Anglo-Australian counterparts reported that they were significantly more authoritative parents than were the previous generation of parents. Results also indicated that males from both generations were likely to display a more authoritarian parenting style than females; and that females from both generations were likely to display a more authoritative parenting style than males. However males from either generation did not have a more permissive style of parenting than females. A generational change in parenting styles towards a more lenient and democratic style may have occurred, but rather than being culturally based, results suggested that this reflected an overall societal trend towards an authoritative child rearing style.

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Keywords

parenting style; generational change; culture



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ISSN 1832-7931
Swinburne University of Technology