African American Parenting Styles

African American Parenting Styles

Topic: Examining the relationship between parenting styles in African American and juvenile delinquency

Amato, P. R., & Fowler F. (2002). Parenting practices, child adjustment, and family diversity. Journal of Marriage and the Family, (3), 703-715. Retrieved from

Amato and Fowler (2002) set out to investigate whether there is a connection between the practices that parents use to bring up their children and child outcomes. The researchers sampled 3,400 families that had children aged 5-18 years. Data was first collected from parents (between 1987-88) and later from their children (between 1992-94). The sample population included participants from multiple ethnicities. Amato and Fowler (2002) observed that supportive parenting practices were connected with better children adjustment, higher self-esteem, better school performance, and fewer behavioral practices while harsh parenting practices were associated with the reverse. They stated that the results could be generalized across ethnicity, race, family income, and family structure. The researchers collected data for a more extended period, and detailed analysis was conducted and presented in the article; hence its results can be considered to be rigorous. The study will provide evidence to support the assertion that harsher parenting styles used by some African American families have negative consequences like low self-esteem and behavioral problems which predict juvenile delinquency.

Ferreira R. J., Lauve-Moon, K., & Cannon, C. (2017). Male batterer parenting attitudes; investigating differences between African American and Caucasian men. Research on Social Work Practice, (5), 572-583 Retrieved from

The study by Ferreira, Lauve-Moon, and Cannon (2017) sought to investigate whether there were differences between intimate partner violence (IPV) and parenting attitudes between White men and African American men. The researchers observed that African American men had harsher to children compared to White men. Another observation was that there was significant difference in the perpetration of IPV and parenting attitudes between both groups. Thirdly, the data collected revealed that having more children stresses parents and that results in the battering of children. The results of the study are quite insightful as they show that the employment of tough love by African American parents is not always due to preparing their children for hardships but due to other factors like stress. This article is useful to my research as it provides new evidence as to why children from African American families are likely to experience harsher parenting style compared to children from White families.

Hoeve, M., Blokland, A., Dubas, J. S., Loeber, R., Gerris, J. R. M., & Laan, P. H. van der. (2008). Trajectories of delinquency and parenting styles Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 36(2), 223–235.

Hoeve et al. (2008) studied the relationship that exists between different parenting styles and delinquency. Participants were drawn from White and African Americans families. The parenting styles that were considered were authoritative style, authoritarian style, and neglectful style. During analysis, there was a keen focus on the results of African Americans. African American parents were found to be more authoritative compared to White parents. The parenting style that had the worst outcome was neglectful style. Children of neglectful parents were likely to engage in delinquent behavior. Authoritarian and authoritative behavior had good consequences. The results contradict the view that the authoritative parenting style leads children to engage in delinquent behavior. The article will be used to provide evidence to the view that the authoritative parenting style results in less juvenile delinquency. The findings of the study will be compared to opposing findings of other studies.  The study found that African-Americans have cultural backgrounds that demands parents to be authoritative to shape behaviour of their children.

Mowen, T. J., & Schroeder, R. D. (2018). Maternal Parenting Style and Delinquency by Race and the Moderating Effect of Structural Disadvantage. Youth & Society, 50(2), 139. Retrieved from

Mowen and Schroeder (2018) conducted the study to investigate whether there was a connection between maternal parenting style and juvenile delinquency by races. Black, White, Latino, and Asian families took part in the study, and their results were compared. The researchers considered the influence of structural disadvantage on the link. Mowen and Schroeder (2018) observed that the utilization of an authoritative parenting style by black mothers was associated with higher levels of juvenile delinquency. Other factors like delinquent friends and a disadvantaged neighborhood also contributed to juvenile delinquency in all races. The results of the study contradicted some contemporary studies that suggest that an authoritative parenting style helps avoid juvenile delinquency. The comparison between the races provided evidence for the use of authoritative parenting styles by many Black families. They were also keen to show that it is not parenting style alone that contribute to delinquency, but the are other factors that contribute to the same either independently or in conjunction with parenting styles. The study will provide support to my claim that the authoritarian parenting style adopted by many African American families contributes to juvenile delinquency, incarceration of parent and foster care for victims of assault.

Oravecz, L. M., Koblinsky, S. A., & Randolph, S. M. (2008). Community Violence, Interpartner Conflict, Parenting, and Social Support as Predictors of the Social Competence of African American Preschool Children. Journal of Black Psychology, 34(2), 192. Retrieved from

Oravecz, Koblinsky, and Randolph (2008) sought to investigate the impact that factors like community violence, parenting, social support, and inter-partner violence had on the behavior and social competence of African American children. One thing that the researchers observed is that positive parenting predicted higher levels of cooperation and self-control in African American children and fewer internalizing and externalizing of problems. Further, positive parenting refers to actions that enhance child self-esteem while focusing on correcting behaviors. Children who experience good parenting were also observed as having higher self-esteem and were more responsible compared to those that experienced negative parenting.  Negative parenting refers to the actions of parents that creates difficulties in a child relationship with the parent. Other factors that predicted bad outcomes in children were inter-partner conflict, community violence, and lack of social support. The study underlines the importance of positive parenting in helping prevent juvenile delinquency. Oravecz et al. (2008) solely focused on the African American community which is also the sole focus of my study. The paper will be used to support the view that positive parenting is crucial in boosting the self-esteem of children and in helping prevent behavioral problems.

Piko, B. F., & Balázs, M. Á. (2012). Authoritative parenting style and adolescent smoking and drinking. Addictive Behaviors, 37(3), 353-356. Retrieved from

The research aimed to study whether there was a connection between an authoritative parenting approach and smoking and drinking among adolescents. Participants were drawn from Black, White, and Latino families. The researchers observe that the results are generalizable to the entire population. Having an inclusive sample helps in supporting generalizability. Piko and Balázs (2012) observed that authoritative parenting helped prevent adolescent substance abuse. Negative interactions in families predicted the abuse of drugs. Another observation that Piko and Balázs (2012) made was that boys required parental control to prevent substance abuse while girls required responsiveness from their parents. The studying of different ethnicities aided in making important comparisons. It supports the authoritative parenting style. The article will be used to make a case for the authoritative parenting style.

Querido, J. G., Warner, T. D., & Eyberg, S. M. (2002). Parenting Styles and Child Behavior in African American Families of Preschool Children. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 31(2), 272. Retrieved from


Querido, Warner, and Eyberg (2002) conducted the study to examine whether parenting styles in African American families are associated with behavioral issues in preschool children. The researchers collected data from a total of 108 African American maternal caregivers whose children were aged between 3-6 years. They observed that there was an association between juvenile delinquency and factors like authoritative and authoritarian parenting styles and permissive parenting style. The results of the study by Querido et al. (2002) contradicted the view that the authoritative model of parenting results in behavioral problems. Children who were brought up using an authoritative parenting style had few behavioral issues. One weakness of the study is that data from 108 participants is not enough to support the generalization of the study’s results. Another weakness is that data was collected from caregivers only instead of also their children. Although the study has some serious shortcomings, it corroborates the results of other studies. The article will be used to provide a case against the view that the authoritative parenting style results in behavioral problems.

Roche, K. M., Ensminger, M. E., & Cherlin, A. J. (2007). Variations in parenting and adolescent outcomes among African American and Latino families living in low-income, urban areas. Journal of Family Issues, (7), 882. Retrieved from

Roche, Ensminger, and Cherlin, (2007) sought to study whether there was an association between the parenting styles of African American and Latino families that are in the low-income category and adolescent outcome. Roche et al. (2007) collected data from 800 Latino and African American children aged between 10-14 years. One observation that the researchers made was that children whose parents are permissive and disengaged are likely to develop behavioral problems and engage in delinquent behavior. Another observation was that the children whose parents used the punitive parenting style (authoritative) were less likely to develop behavioral problems or engage in delinquent behavior. Punitive parents were able to protect their children from negative influence from their neighborhood. The results contradict the view that punitive parenting style has negative outcomes for children. The article will be used to make a positive case for the African-American parenting style.

Turner, E. A., Chandler, M., & Heffer, R. W. (2009). The Influence of Parenting Styles, Achievement Motivation, and Self-Efficacy on Academic Performance in College Students. Journal of College Student Development, 50(3), 337. Retrieved from

The article discusses the results of a study that was conducted to investigate whether parenting styles are connected to students’ motivation to achieve, self-efficiency, and performance at school.  Data were collected from a sample that consisted of people from different ethnicities. Turner, Chandler, and Heffer (2009) agree that parenting styles are connected to youth behavioral problems, psychopathology, and academic performance. The study recruited 264 participants. The researchers observed that the authoritative parenting style positively affected students’ intrinsic motivation, school performance, and self-efficacy. The study, thus, provided evidence in support of the authoritative parenting style. Although the study was not conducted to investigate the impact of parenting style on juvenile delinquency, its results are crucial as they contradict the view that the authoritative parenting style results in adverse outcomes. Collection of data from different ethnicities helps in enhancing the generalizability of the study’s results. The study will help solve the question regarding the relationship between the parenting styles that many African American families have adopted and juvenile delinquency.