Gender Differences in Parenting Styles and Effects on the Parent-Child Relationship




Stephens, Meredith Ashley

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The purpose of this study was to determine if there were any gender differences in parenting styles and if so, measure how they affect the parent-child relationship. Participants were given a survey asking basic demographic questions, questions about which parent/parents they have lived with the most, and questions that related to the gender roles of each parent. Participants were also given the Parental Bonding Inventory that measures maternal care and over protectiveness and paternal care and over protectiveness. There were significant gender differences in the ways that parents interacted with their children. For example most young people have been raised by traditional parents and felt closest to their mothers. Mothers on average spent more time with their children in general than fathers, spent more time taking care of their children, were more likely not to work full time, were seen as more overprotective and more caring, spent the most quality time with their children, and still speak to their children more often today. Another gender difference between fathers and mothers was that fathers were more likely to be overprotective of their daughters than their sons. The results supported traditional gender expectations, with mothers spending more time with their children and children feeling closer to their mothers when growing up.



parenting styles, parent-child relationship, gender differences, gender roles, parenting, gender studies, Honors College


Stephens, M. A. (2009). Gender differences in parenting styles and effects on the parent-child relationship (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, Texas.


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