During the orientation process of the available literature, we were able to identify three interventions, these being:
Authoritative parenting is characterised by having high levels of control and maturity demands, combined with high levels of nurturance. These parents rely more on positive than negative sanctions to gain their child’s compliance and encourage their child to express himself/herself when the child disagrees (Handbook, p. 452).
Authoritarian parents display high levels of control along with low levels of clarity and nurturance. These parents rely on power-assertive forms of discipline. They are less likely than authoritative parents to provide reasons when attempting to alter their child’s behaviour and discourage expressions of the child’s disagreement (Handbook, p. 452).
Permissive parenting is characterised by parents who display low levels of control and maturity demands, combined with higher levels of nurturance. They are less likely than authoritative parents to enforce rules or structure for their child’s activities (Handbook, p. 452).
For the purpose of this PICO question, we compare authoritative parenting with the two other forms of parenting, because authoritative parenting shows a high level of demandingness and nurturance, while the other two parenting styles either have a low level of demandingness or nurturance (Handbook, p. 452).
For children, is authoritative parenting more effective than other forms of parenting, for their well-being?
The databases used are: HeinOnline, Westlaw, Wiley Online Library, JSTOR and Taylor & Francis, Peace Palace Library.
For this PICO question, keywords used in the search strategy are: parenting, upbringing, raising, arrangements, children, development, upgrowing, well-being, divorce.
Quality of evidence and research gap
These sources are largely based on an RCT and several observational studies. According to the HiiL Methodology: Assessment of Evidence and Recommendations, the strength of this evidence is classified as ‘low’ to ‘moderate’.
For the child’s interest, authoritative parenting by both parents with warmth, support, effective monitoring, control, discipline, positive discussion and responsiveness to children’s needs is essential (Handbook, p. 204). Studies indicate the following:
Parenting characteristics such as supportiveness and warmth continue to play an important role in influencing a student’s academic performance (Turner et al., p. 343).
In determining whether the authoritative parenting style is more effective than the authoritarian and permissive parenting styles, the desirable and undesirable outcomes of both interventions must be considered.
The literature suggests that, regarding academic achievement, the authoritative parenting style is in the interest of the child while the authoritarian and permissive parenting styles are not.
The balance of outcomes is in favour of an authoritarian parenting style.
Taking into account the balance of outcomes, the high effect on children’s well-being and the strength of the evidence, we make the following strong recommendation: For children, authoritative parenting is more effective than other forms of parenting for their well-being.
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