March24, 2023

Abstract Volume: 6 Issue: 2 ISSN:

Importance of Parenting in Adolescence

Nibedita Mohanty *1

Corresponding Author: Nibedita Mohanty, .

Copy Right: © 2023 Nibedita Mohanty, This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Received Date: January 17, 2023

Published Date: February 01, 2023



Adolescence is the period of transition from childhood to adulthood, during which a series of changes are experienced. Teen emotional experience is an important part and essential factor affecting adolescent mental health development and also continued to adulthood. During this period, parents have a great impact on their adolescent’s growth and development. In recent years, research findings have been made our understanding clear regarding the importance of parenting behaviour in the period of adolescent and mental health problem associated with the period of adolescent. This has also been cleared by different empirical work that parental behaviour along with style of parenting during adolescence continues to affect behaviours into adulthood. Now it is being observed that adolescents are experiencing several mental health problems because of growing academic pressure and increasing demands of parents. The prevalence of such psychosocial issues in the current society is on the rise, threatening the welfare of the family and the society at large. This paper reviews the period of adolescent, parental behaviours, parental styles and adolescent outcomes. This review provides an assessment of the literature on parenting and adolescent outcomes from the past decade and includes advancements in parenting research.

Importance of Parenting in Adolescence


Adolescence represents a crucial period for developing mental health and a unique sense of self and identity. During this period, adolescents may go through and engage in mood disruptions, risky behaviours and conflicts with parents. Family constitutes the basic ecology where children’s behaviour is manifested, learned, encouraged and suppressed. Parental and other family factors influenced fluctuating mental health as they attain adolescence. Specifically, the role of parents in the period of adolescent in the family environments have a significant role in preparing the children adulthood through rules and discipline.  The period of adolescence can be difficult for both parents and offspring; therefore, understanding the importance of parenting is particularly essential in the period of adolescence. The influence of parenting during adolescence continues to affect behaviors into adulthood. As one of the closest persons in the adolescents’ lives, parents’ behaviour and the style of parenting may influence personality, mental health and self-esteem. The development of the adolescents’ coping mechanism, cognitive development, temperament and social skills can also be shaped by parenting style. Parents play an important role in influencing how adolescents interact with the complex factors that shape their development. As children mature into adolescence, the parenting relationship evolves and parents require new developmentally appropriate skills and strategies to meet their children’s need. This review provides an overview of the literature on parenting and adolescent outcomes from the past decade and includes advancements and new directions in parenting research.


The stage of adolescence is a transition phase in a person’s life span, characterized by progression from childhood towards adulthood (Sawyer et al., 2018), During the period, confusions regarding adolescent’s roles and responsibilities both from the parental and his/her perspectives lead to an identity crisis, which is very typical of this stage, and which accounts for problems encountered in personality development (Kerpelman & Pittman, 2018). At this stage, children look forward to and rely upon their parents for resolving their confusions, which, if not properly addressed by parents, creates a conflicting relationship and a sense of mistrust whereby the adolescents suffer from a sense of insecurity and tend to avoid discussion with parents regarding the issues and problems they face. It is described as period of storm and stress and often conflicting relationships with parents that negatively affect the mental health of growing children in a significant way (Sawyer et al., 2018). Thus, parenting is of critical importance and refers to the intricacies of raising a child, not exclusively based on a biological relationship. On the other hand, parenting is supposed to promote holistic development of a child including physical, emotional, social and intellectual development from infancy to adulthood.


Among various personal and environmental factors, research evidences consider parenting as the most important factor, which not only impacts the mental health but also the personality and psychological characteristics of adolescents. It is, therefore, imperative to explore empirically as well as theoretically, the concept of parenting style and its impact on the overall development of the adolescents. Parenting is gradually getting recognized as an ability that must be polished via practice and instruction due to increased evidences emerging from research.  It is true that most parents strive to be the "ideal" mother or father but experience difficulty without a strictly delineated thumb rule for ideal parenting, especially throughout the adolescent years. (Lansford et al., 2011). Parenting is frequently defined as an exhilarating and fulfilling adventure that provides a sense of fulfilment unrivalled by most other key life achievements. On the other hand, the very same path has been viewed as a possible cause of enormous stress and problems for both the parents and other important people involved. These feelings regarding parenting teenagers have been well defined as a source of "excitement and concern, happiness and problems, discovery and befuddlement, and of breaches with the past while still maintaining links with the future." (Lorence et al., 2019).

Styles of Parenting

Parenting style is defined by characteristics of authority, sensitivity, affection, and discipline and involves a combination of parenting behaviors and attitudes that parents would like to use constantly across situations to regulate their child's behavior. Originally, Baumrind’s (1966) work on style of parenting was based on the dimension of parental control to form three different parenting styles, which included authoritative, authoritarian, and permissive. Parental control is defined as “the claims parents make on children to become integrated into the family as a whole, by their maturity demands, supervision, and disciplinary efforts and willingness to confront the child who disobeys”. High levels of demandingness can be described as structure and control. Parenting behaviors included parental monitoring and parental discipline practices. Building upon Baumrind’s parental style framework, Maccoby and Martin (1983) added parental responsiveness as another dimension of parenting. Parenting behaviors that measure parental responsiveness include parental warmth, parental support, and parental involvement. An expanded parenting typology was developed by Maccoby and Martin categorizing parents as either high or low on each dimension, the new typology included the three styles previously identified by Baumrind as well as an additional style: uninvolved parenting.

Authoritative parenting

Authoritative parents are nurturing, supportive and responsive to their children. They encourage their children, convey the justification behind the rules and use the reasoning power to reinforce the objectives. They listen to their children but not necessarily accept all the demands. Generally authoritative parents are communicative instead of argumentative in nature. This parenting style is most often associated with positive adolescent outcomes and has been found to be most effective and beneficial style of parenting among most families. (Holbein & Quilter 2002; Steinberg & Silk 2002; Fletcher & Jefferies 1999) Adolescents with authoritative parents are less prone to externalizing behaviors, and specifically are less likely to engage in drug use than individuals with uninvolved parents. Children found to be more cheerful, energetic, self-controlled, self-reliant and confident in nature. Recent findings show that positive effects of authoritative parenting are augmented when both parents engage in an authoritative parenting style. Research studies suggest that the authoritative parenting style is associated with the lowest levels of depression and the highest levels of school commitment among adolescents. Also, findings indicated that having at least one authoritative parent fosters better outcomes than family parenting styles that do not include an authoritative parent. (Simons & Conger 2007) In another study, adolescents whose parents are both authoritative or whose mother alone is authoritative, report higher well-being, such as higher self-esteem and life-satisfaction, than participants with no authoritative parent. Similarly, researchers controlled for several mother-related variables and found that having an authoritative father was associated with positive outcomes among adolescents. These research findings suggest that regardless of gender of the parent, the presence of even one authoritative parent is beneficial for adolescent outcomes. (Bronte & Moore, 2006) Fascinatingly, researchers found that authoritative parents manifest higher levels of parental monitoring during their child’s childhood and slight decreases across adolescence and gradually authoritative parents somewhat relinquish their monitoring in response to adolescents’ increasing demands for independent decision-making. (Luyckx, Tildeley & Andreww, 2011).

Authoritarian parenting

Authoritarian parents are highly demanding and very strict in nature. They place high expectations on children with less responsiveness. Authoritarian parents emphasize obedience and conformity and expect that rules must be obeyed without explanation in a less warm environment. (Baumrind & Larzelere, 2010) Authoritarian parents hardly explain to their children why their regulations are in place. These parents are distant from their children and nurture high expectations. They value compliance and prestige and want their commands to be followed without question (Shaw et al., 2019). Besides this, authoritarian parents are less communicative, exhibit low levels of trust and engagement toward their child, discourage open communication, and engage in strict control. More specifically, verbal aggression and psychological control are found to be the most harmful of the authoritarian-distinctive, coercive power-assertive behaviors. (Baumrind & Larzelere, 2010) Adolescents from most authoritarian families have been found to exhibit poor social skills, low levels of self-esteem, and high levels of depression. (Milevsky, Schlechter & Netter, 2007) However, the effects of this parenting style vary based on the communities in which the adolescent lives.

Authoritarian and authoritative parents behave in essentially identical ways toward their children, except that the authoritative parents seem to be more caring and tolerant than disciplining, if their children do not meet their standards. Such parents, according to Baumrind, evaluate and teach specific norms for their children's behavior. They are aggressive but not overbearing or confining. Instead of being harsh, their disciplinary tactics are encouraging. They expect their children to be aggressive and also socially conscious, as well as self-controlled and cooperating." (Lavri? & Naterer, 2020).

Permissive parenting

Permissive parents are not demanding and characterized by high levels of responsiveness for their children. They afraid to set any rules, avoid engaging in behavioral control, set few behavioral expectations for adolescents. and boundaries for their children and on the other side they are very responsive and highly protective to the emotional needs of their child. Permissive parents behave in an affirmative manner toward the adolescent’s impulses, desires, and actions while consulting with the adolescent about family decisions. (Baumrind & Larzelere, 2010). Interestingly, once the child reached adolescence, permissive parent sharply decreases in monitoring and the externalizing aggressive behaviour and other negative social behaviour increase among these children (Luyckx, Tildeley & Andreww, 2011) Mostly adolescents from permissive families report a higher frequency of substance use, school misconduct, and are less engaged and less positively oriented to school compared to individuals from authoritative or authoritarian families. Permissive parenting is also associated with low self-esteem and extrinsic motivational orientation among adolescents. (Ginsberg & Bronstein, 1993) Permissive parents do not place extreme demands upon their children. Such parents rarely reprimand their children because they have lowered expectations of maturity and self-control. Permissive parents, according to Baumrind, are more cooperative than controlling parents. They are non-traditional and liberal, requiring no adult-like behavior, allowing for significant self-control, and avoiding conflict. Permissive parents are more likely to act as friends than just a parent, and are usually open and nurturing towards their children (Tu et al., 2018).

Uninvolved parenting

Finally, uninvolved parenting style has been considered to have the most negative effect on adolescent outcomes when compared to the other three parenting styles. Uninvolved parents often fail to monitor or supervise their child’s behavior and do not support or encourage their child’s self-regulation. (Baumrind & Larzelere, 2010) The uninvolved parenting style is described as low in responsiveness and low in demandingness. In general, these parents often show disengagement from the responsibilities of child rearing and are often seen as being uninvolved regarding the needs of their offspring. Uninvolved parents do not engage in structure or control with their adolescents and often there is a lack of closeness in the parent-child dyad; therefore, adolescents of uninvolved parents often engage in more externalizing behaviors. Limited expectations, poor attentiveness and very little interaction describe an uninvolved parenting style. Even though the children's fundamental necessities are met, these parents are often absent from their children's lives. Moreover, such parents sometimes ignore even their children's most fundamental necessities under extreme conditions (Ahmed, 2020).

Parenting Adolescents

Adolescence is a critical transitional phase for both the teenager and the parents, and comes with its own set of fears and concerns. Parental fears about the upcoming teenage years, related to shifting aspirations and connections, are widespread. Many parents believe that adolescence is the most challenging time of child-raising. For young individuals, adolescence is a vibrant and fun time. Adolescence is the only transitional phase in which a child undergoes such dramatic changes. Adolescents are continually trying to renegotiate their relationships with parents, peers, school, and society through physiological and cognitive transformations. It is about transitioning from a reliant to a self-sufficient relationship with one's parents. Parenting style could play a crucial part in assisting adolescents in dealing with this enormous issue (Lorence et al., 2019). In the current situation, parents believe that they are doing the best parenting to their children, yet frequently blame children for their behavior. However, these are the parents who already had employed harmful child-rearing methods. Parents learn excellent and bad childcare practices through their parents and apply them instinctively or intentionally on their children to bring out the best in them. Parents place very little emphasis on the fact that their children are coming of age in distinct environments. Children now-a-days grow in nuclear families, often without the help of grandparents and with single or even no siblings. They have become the focus of their parent's attention, and they must cope with the stress of meeting their parents' aspirations, which are sometimes unreasonable. Many children, these days, spend most of their time alone and with caretakers. Parents try to compensate for their absence by buying expensive gifts or giving in to their children's desires and preferences right away. Today's children spend time watching television and enjoying violent computer games, rendering them hypersensitive to other people's feelings and, in some cases, excessive exposure to media, resulting in a variety of behavioral and conduct issues leading to shortage of sufficient guidance (Kerr et al., 2012).

For several years, the bond between a child and his or her parents has become a topic of study. These factors have been explored in a variety of scenarios by researchers. The way parents connect to their children is referred to as parenting style. Parent-child exchanges and relations and parenting have been demonstrated to have both beneficial and adverse effects on mental health (Dwairy & Menshar, 2008).

Gupta and Mehtani (2017) found that authoritative parenting leads to various favorable changes in adolescents. Tozandehjani, Tavakolizadeh, and Lagzian (2011) investigated the effect of parenting style on students' self-efficacy and mental wellbeing and discovered that style of parenting impacted students' self-efficacy considerably. Niaraki and Rahimi (2013) investigated the relationship among self-esteem, mental well-being, standard of living, and parenting amongst Iranian high school students and found that style of parenting does not influence social, mental well-being. Furthermore, Dwairy et al. (2006) observed that authoritative parenting was connected with better family relationships and enhanced mental health among Arab teenagers. Authoritarian parenting in an autocratic culture will not affect adolescents' mental health as it does in Liberal Western homes. These findings support the idea that unpredictability in parenting and contradiction in parenting culture and style affect the mental health of teenagers.

Importance of parenting during adolescence

The parent-child relationship, particularly until adolescence, is considered as an important parameter accounting for variations in children’s normal and abnormal development during the formative years of childhood. Parental influence in the personality development of children is widely identified and explained by the researchers (Laursen & Collins, 2009; Seiffge-Krenke, et al., 2010; Thelen & Smith, 1998). Psychologists, educators and other social scientists share a common view that the quality of relationships between the parents, adolescents and significant family members determine the course of child development in a substantial measure. Research elucidates that parent-child relationship during this period is equally important, interdependent, and reciprocal for the children as well as parents. During the period, any change in the quality of relationship may give rise to conflicts, which may be temporary and wane away in due course or may leave a long-lasting impact in the lives of children as well as parents.   Most often adolescents report that parental support usually decreases during middle adolescence and perceive that parent become less powerful and controlling in their behaviour (Branje, 2018)

Parents share a special relationship with their adolescents, as they slowly achieve maturity both physically and mentally (Giannakopoulos et al., 2009). While parents have already come across the stage, but every adolescent journey is unique and different. Therefore, parenting style and associated factors impact adolescent development significantly. The parental monitoring, their trust and facilitation of autonomy in different contexts regulate and develop adolescents’ social and emotional competencies. It has also been shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression among adolescents having learning difficulty (Azman et al., 2021).


This review summarizes the importance of parenting as well as the style of parenting in adolescence. Parenting specifically in the period of adolescence is considered as the most important factor for the holistic development of the child including physical, emotional, social and intellectual development from infancy to adulthood. Adding to this parenting is also being considered as a significant factor in affecting the mental health as well as the personality development of the adolescent. More specifically, the different style of parenting is associated with specific adolescent outcome. Baumrind’s work on style of parenting was based on parental control to form three different parenting style such as authoritative, authoritarian and permissive. Later Maccoby in 1983 added parental responsiveness as another dimension and uninvolved parenting as the fourth category of style of parenting. Authoritative parents are high in both demandingness and responsiveness where as authoritarian parents are high in demandingness and low in responsiveness. Permissive parents are low in demandingness and high in responsiveness and often fail to monitor and supervise their child’s behaviour. The vast majority of research has found the authoritative parenting style to be a consistent predictor of positive adolescent outcomes. Adolescents with authoritative parents are less prone to manifest negative externalizing behaviour and they tend to be more cheerful, energetic, self-control and self-confident. Contrary to this, children with authoritarian parents are poor in social skills, low level of self esteem and high level of depression. On the other hand, it is found that adolescents with permissive parents reports higher frequency of substance abuse, school misconducts, and less positively oriented to school. Finally, limited expectations, poor attentiveness, more negative externalizing behaviour are the result of uninvolved parenting. To strengthen parenting style research findings, future research needs to continue to consider the perspective of not only the adolescent or one parent, but also examine paternal and maternal reports. Most studies in the past decade investigating parenting styles have mainly focused on the parenting style of only one parent. Although parenting research for the most part has focused on mothers, a few studies examining paternal and maternal parenting styles have emerged in the past decade]. This gap in the literature indicates that future consideration needs to be given to collecting and examining data from fathers and mothers of adolescents to avoid the assumption that maternal parenting behaviors are applicable to paternal parenting behaviors.


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