Óscar F. García
University of Valencia, Spain

The family's contribution to children's psychosocial development: the correlates of parenting styles.

Participants: Marta Alcaide, Sonia Villarejo, Rafael García Ros, Fang Zhou Chen

Parental socialisation is a classical topic that is mainly studied through the so-called two-dimensional (affection and severity) theoretical model of four parental styles (authoritative, authoritarian, indulgent and neglectful). Emerging research in recent years questions whether the authoritative style (affection and severity) is always the ideal style for the successful socialisation of children in all cultural contexts. This symposium includes four papers analysing the relationship of parental socialisation styles to observed differences in children's psychosocial development. Children's psychosocial development is analysed through well-being and distress, drug use, academic performance and self-concept in order to identify the optimal parental style. The symposium also addresses parental socialisation and its relationship to psychosocial development beyond adolescence, as well as the study of the four families (i.e., indulgent, authoritative, authoritarian or neglectful) in an Eastern society such as China. The different guests review the association between the four parenting styles with differences in adjustment and psychosocial development across multiple indicators, at different points in the life cycle (adolescence and adulthood) and in different cultural contexts (Europe and Asia). The results show that children from affectionate but not harsh (lenient) families show equal or even better psychosocial development than their peers from affectionate but harsh (authoritative) families. In line with emerging research, the results of the present symposium seriously question whether the harsh and affectionate (authoritative) style is universally beneficial in all cultural contexts. Implications for families, school and society are also discussed.

Óscar F. García is a developmental psychologist in the Department of Developmental and Educational Psychology at the University of Valencia, Spain. He holds a PhD in psychology. Previously, he has been a visiting researcher in the Department of Psychology at Nottingham Trent University (UK). His research and publications focus on the study of development across the life cycle, including family socialisation, self-esteem, academic motivation in school, adolescence and adulthood, peer relationships and school adjustment, and measurement techniques (self-esteem and parental socialisation). He is examining the cross-cultural validity of the parental socialisation model of four typologies. The project is funded by different public organisations (the European Social Fund, the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities of the Spanish Government, and the Regional Government of Valencia).



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