How Parenting Styles and Parenting Practices related into Children’s School Achievement

From the begging of humankind, the role parents implement on their children’s development and educational growth, is fundamental and numerous of researches had studied direct and indirect effects on plenty variants as children temperament, socioeconomical background, ethnicity, education, culture etc. on this field (Checa & Abundis-Guitiérrez, 2017; Trentacosta & Mulligan, 2020). Psychologist intended to find out which parenting approaches are the most efficient, and what are the consequences of these approaches into child-rearing development (Darling & Steinberg, 1993). Learning theorists emphasize on observable parent actions such as the rules framework, principles that a family provide, physical or psychological punishment. While, psychodynamic theorists focus on the quality of emotional interaction in the parent- child relationship (Cavell, 2002).

According to Baumrind (1971), children’s socialization process, is in essence the child-rearing patterns that parents apply. With the intention of better understanding in which extend parents’ patterns affect children socialization; Darling & Steinberg (1993) proposed a holistic model. They stated that parenting consisted by parenting styles, parenting practices and parenting goals. Each dimension of this tripartite model affects differently children development, because parents may apply akin parenting styles but use different parenting practices. For this reason, nowadays-parenting researchers tend to focus more on parenting techniques than on parenting styles (Smetana 2019).

Parenting Practices 

Parenting practices are usually confused with parenting styles. Child development scientists supports that are two different terms and highlighting the necessity of distinguishing them. In essence, parenting practices emphasize on parents’ observable behaviors and actions towards their child. According to Darling & Steinberg (1993), Parenting Practices (PP) refer to particular behaviors that parents use in order to develop their children social skills. For example, parents enact to daily socialization practices (e.g. assisting with children’s homework, participating in teacher-parent meetings etc.) in order to help their children to succeed in school. Regarding school outcomes, these practices distinguished into three constructs: parental involvement; parental goals, aspirations and values; and parental monitoring (Spera, 2005).

Regarding Epstein (1996), there are two types of parental involvement practices, those initiated by parents and those initiated by schools. Parents initiative involvement practices (PIIP) refer to parents’ efforts to get involved directly with school activities and decisions, such as assisting with children homework or attending of school actions. Studies had predicted the positive relations of PIIP with school outcomes (Epstein & Sanders, 2002) and more precisely, adolescents spend much more time on their homework when parents assist them (Muller & Kerbow, 1993). School initiated parental involvement (SIPI) represent school endeavors of providing parents information about the progress of their children or for school procedures, events etc.

Furthermore, researches in this field had found that firm and consistent discipline practices were positively related with involvement practices and inadequate and negligent discipline actions were negatively correlated to coercive practices. (Aguirre, 2014; Cabrera et al., 2012). The term ‘firm’ usually it is linked negatively but the difference lies on how is been expressed. Firm and kind parenting and firm and harsh parents are both expect compliance. However, the essence of being kind and firm refer to responsive and demanding parental practices, that pursuing techniques of encouraging compliance with expectations that strengthen parent-child relation (Larzelere, 2013 p. 89-111).

Parental Monitoring considered as another pattern for parents to get involved in their children education. Supervising, be aware for the school progress; relations with peers and homework involvement are some kind of actions that consist Parental Monitoring (PM) Practices. Researches had related the positive association of monitoring children’s everyday life (e.g. after school activities) with higher academic performance (Spera 2005; Hill & Wang 2015) likewise, Kristjansson & Sigfúsdóttir (2009) mentioned that reasonable monitoring predict to advanced academic achievement.

Parental Style

Parental Styles (PS) is an essential variable that has been linked to school success. PS concept first introduced by Baumrind (1971). Through Parenting Style term, she described the beliefs and values regarding children rearing process, that disclose parents’ emotions for their children, children’s nature and child-rearing practices. Darling and Steinberg (1993) define PS as the expressions of parents’ behaviors that establish an emotional climate during child rearing; essentially, are these parental characteristics that remain stable over time and cultivate the emotional context for unfolding parenting practices. Complemented to this, Kuppens & Ceulemans (2019), adopt a more person-centered approach that engage on patterns within individuals and suggest that PS accounting for assorted parenting practice within the same person at the same time.

Baumrind (1971), based on extensive interviews and observations suggested that there are three type of parenting styles. The authoritative style, which is characterized by warmth, caring and responsive; the permissive style, which expressed indulgent and warm; and the third type is the authoritarian which is being expressed with high levels of parental control and poor responsiveness. Complementary to Baumrind’s theory, Maccoby & Martin (1983) introduced a four-style typology; essentially, they added also the neglectful style.

As stated above, the main characteristics of authoritative parenting style is responsive and warmth, this type of parenting has high maturity demands but provide a lot of support and affection when fostering their children to pursuit and explore their interests. They tend to communicate and explain their expectations and behaviors while they encourage children independence. Authoritative parenting has been related with positive outcomes in children such as resilience, social competence, self-esteem, optimism and academic achievement (Masud, 2015).

Conversely, authoritarian style has been associated consistently with negative developmental outcomes in youths, according to Steinberg (2001), this parental style may cause several behavioral and psychological problems on adolescents, such as anxiety, depersonalization (Wolfradt et al., 2003) and aggression (Hoeve et al. 2011). This style of parenting is neither responsive nor warm to their child, they tend to be strict and intolerant of selfishness, they expect obedience and they don’t hesitate to assert power when they consider that their child misbehave (Baumrind, 1978). Authoritarian parents employ high expectations and maturity demands and they express them through orders and rules without communicating the rationale behind these orders to their children (Maccoby & Martin, 1983). Although, significant findings stem from Hyojung et al. (2012) and Murray A. (2012) studies had predicted to the association of authoritarian parenting style with higher scores in math and reading.

The third parenting style according to Baumrind (1978) is the permissive parent, defined as moderate in responsiveness toward children; while tend to be unconcerned, dismissive and display lax in children tolerance of misbehavior and expectations. Researches over permissive (or indulgent) parenting have shown that their children is more likely to suffer from depression, externalizing problem, school misconduct, lack of self–confidence and poor social competence (Wolfradt et al. 2003; Williams et al. 2009).  Finally, the Neglectful parenting style, which is the most unsearched, is linked negatively to children development. As per Kuppens & Ceulemans (2018), neglectful parenting facet are expressed by low responsiveness and low demandingness. Baumrind (1991) and Hoeve et al. (2011) had shown that neglectful parents rearing children with lack of self-regulation and self-reliance, low social and school competence, high levels of stress and antisocial behavior. 

School achievement  

School achievement is considered to be a significant predictor of students’ future social status and professional career (Sijtsema et al., 2014). According to Helmke & Schrader (2001), School Achievement (SA) could be defined as “cognitive learning outcomes” that are “products of instruction or aimed at by instruction within a school context”. Previous literature had shown that a range of variables is determining school achievement. Such as, parenting style (Shute et al., 2011), parenting practices (Love, 2009; Korucu,2020), family characteristics and aspects for the school context (Karibayeva & Bogar, 2014), students’ personal characteristics such individual differences in temperament (González-Pienda et al.,2002; Checa et al., 2008), socioeconomic backgrounds and ethnic groups (Zahedani et al., 2016). Each of these variants have an important impact on SA development.


Baumrind D. Current patterns of parental authority. Developmental Psychology. 1971;4:1–103. doi: 10.1037/h0030372.

Checa, Puri & Abundis-Guitiérrez, Alicia. (2017). Parenting and Temperament Influence on School Success in 9–13 Year Olds. Frontiers in Psychology. 8. 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00543

Darling N., Steinberg L. Parenting Style as Context: An Integrative Model. Psychol. Bull. 1993;113:487–496. doi: 10.1037/0033-2909.113.3.487.

Epstein, J. L. (1996). Family-school links: How do they affect educational outcomes. Family-School Links: How do they affect educational outcomes, 209-246.

Gonzalez A. & Wolters C. (2006) The Relation Between Perceived Parenting Practices and Achievement Motivation in Mathematics, Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 21:2, 203-217, DOI: 10.1080/02568540609594589

Larzelere R, Cox Jr. RB, Mandara J. Responding to misbehavior in young children: How authoritative parents enhance reasoning with firm control. In: Larzelere RE, Morris AS, Harrist AW, editors. Authoritative parenting: Synthesizing nurturance and discipline for optimal child development. Washington, DC, US: American Psychological Association; 2013. p. 89-111.

Masud, H., Thurasamy, R., & Ahmad, M. S. (2015). Parenting styles and academic achievement of young adolescents: A systematic literature review. Quality & quantity, 49(6), 2411-2433

Sijtsema, J. J., Verboom, C. E., Penninx, B. W. J. H., Verhulst, F. C., & Ormel, J. (2014). Psychopathology and academic performance, social well-being, and social preference at school: The TRAILS study. Child psychiatry & human development, 45(3), 273-284.

Spera, C. (2005). A Review of the Relationship Among Parenting Practices, Parenting Styles, and Adolescent School Achievement. Educational Psychology Review, 17(2), 125–146.

Wolfradt U, Hempel S., Miles J, (2003). Perceived parenting styles, depersonalization, anxiety and coping behaviour in adolescents. Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 34, Issue 3, Pages 521-532, ISSN 0191-8869,

Related articles

Intrinsic and Extrinsic motivation

Although motivation is one of the most important factors on individual’s behavior, little is known in this field and only in the last decades scientists are putting an effort to shed light on this significant element of human construct and performance. In accordance to self-determination theory SDT (Ryan & Deci 2000), there are two types […]