Parenting characteristics in relation to children's social skills

Bahia Harari, Pace University

Abstract

Social skills development is an important area of research in psychology. The development of social skills has been related to positive life outcomes, while interpersonal difficulties have been related to negative life consequences. In the past two decades, researchers have begun to examine parenting roles, characteristics and behaviors as they relate to the development of social skills in children. ^ These studies have been based on theories of family socialization such as social learning theory and attachment theory. The Parent Development Theory (PDT) is a recent theory that focuses on the developmental nature of the parenting role. The PDT identifies six parenting characteristics that make up the parenting role; namely, Bonding, Discipline, Education, General Welfare and Protection, Responsivity and Sensitivity. The Parenting Behaviors Questionnaire (PBQ) is a parent report measure based on the PDT, which asks parents to rate the importance of various parenting behaviors regarding their child. ^ Research until this point has mainly focused on examining the relationship between parenting characteristics and children's social skills with regard to young children. However, the relationship between parenting characteristics and social skills in adolescent-aged children has not yet been firmly established. ^ The purpose of this study is twofold. First, this study relates the parenting behaviors measured by the PBQ to social skills in children. Second, this study examines the relationship between parenting characteristics and children's social skills in adolescent-aged children. ^ The results of this study indicate that five of the six parenting characteristics measured by the PBQ are significantly correlated with social skills, as measured by the Social Skills Rating System (SSRS), in children. Specifically, Bonding, Discipline, Education, Responsivity and Sensitivity are significantly correlated with social skills in children. In addition, parents who rate Education and General Welfare and Protection as high in importance have children with significantly higher Social Skills scores than children whose parents rate those parenting characteristics lower in importance. Parents who rate Discipline, General Welfare, Responsivity and Sensitivity as high in importance have children with significantly lower Problem Behaviors scores than children whose parents rate those parenting characteristics lower in importance. Furthermore, parents who rate Discipline higher in importance than Sensitivity and Responsivity, have children with significantly higher levels of problem behaviors than do parents who rate Sensitivity and Responsivity higher in importance than Discipline. ^ The results of this study support the importance of the six parenting characteristics in the PDT, and indicate that the parenting behaviors and characteristics measured by the PBQ are related to social skills in children. Additionally, this study supports the idea that there is not only a relationship between parenting characteristics and children's social skills, but there is also a relationship between parenting characteristics and adolescent-aged children's social skills. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Behavioral|Psychology, Developmental

Recommended Citation

Bahia Harari, "Parenting characteristics in relation to children's social skills" (January 1, 2005). ETD Collection for Pace University. Paper AAI3192923.
http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/dissertations/AAI3192923

Share

COinS

Remote User: Click Here to Login (must have Pace University remote login ID and password. Once logged in, click on the View More link above)