Advertisement

Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 23–29 | Cite as

Parental Inconsistency: A Third Cross-Cultural Research on Parenting and Psychological Adjustment of Children

  • Marwan Dwairy
Original Paper

Abstract

Inconsistency in parenting is a factor that may influence children’s mental health. A questionnaire, measuring three parental inconsistencies (temporal, situational, and father-mother inconsistency) was administered to adolescents in nine countries to assess its association with adolescents’ psychological disorders. The results show that parental inconsistency varies across cultures. Temporal inconsistency is not correlated with the other two inconsistencies. Temporal and father–mother inconsistencies, but not the situational inconsistency, were associated with adolescents’ psychological disorders. The associations between parental inconsistency and psychological disorders differed across cultures.

Keywords

Inconsistency Ambivalence Predictability Parenting Culture Mental health 

Notes

Acknowledgments

I want to thank my colleague Mustafa Achoui who administered the scales and encoded the data in Saudi Arabia, Algeria, and Kuwait, and Anna Filus (Poland), Neharika Vohra (India), Martina Casullo (Argentina), Parissa Rezvan Nia (France), Huda Nijm (Jordan), and Lana Shhadi (Bedouins in Israel) for their help in translating and administering the questionnaires and encoding the data of their countries.

References

  1. Baumrind, D. (1991). The influence of parenting style on adolescent competence and substance use. Journal of Early Adolescence, 11, 56–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bigner, J. J. (1994). Individual and family development: A life-span interdisciplinary approach. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  3. Chao, R. K. (2001). Extending research on the consequences of parenting style for Chinese Americans and European Americans. Child Development, 72, 1832–1843.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Dadds, M. R. (1995). Families, children, and the development of dysfunction. New York: Sage.Google Scholar
  5. Dwairy, M. (2007). Parental inconsistency versus parental authoritarianism: Association with symptoms of psychological disorders, Journal of Youth and Adolescence, doi:  10.1007/s10964-007-9169-3.
  6. Dwairy, M., Achoui, M., Abouserie, R., & Farah A. (2006). Parenting styles, individuation, and mental health of Arab adolescents: A third cross-regional research study. Forthcoming issues of Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology 37, 262-272.Google Scholar
  7. Fingerman, K. L., Chen, P., Hay, E., Cichy, K. E., & Lefkowitz, E. S. (2006). Ambivalent reactions in the parent and offspring relationship. Journal of Gerontology Sciences, 61B, 152–160.Google Scholar
  8. Forward, S. (1989). Toxic parents: Overcoming their hurtful legacy and reclaiming your life. New York: Bantam Books.Google Scholar
  9. Freud, S. (1900). The interpretation of dreams. London: Hogarth Press.Google Scholar
  10. Freud, S. (1914/1953). Some reflections on schoolboy psychology. In J. Strachey (Ed.), The standard edition of the complete psychological works of Sigmund Freud (Vol. 13, pp. 211–238). London: Hogarth Press.Google Scholar
  11. Freud, S. (1964). An outline of psychoanalysis. In J. Strachey (Ed.), The standard edition of the complete psychological works of Sigmund Freud (Vol. 23). London: Hogarth Press.Google Scholar
  12. Gardner, F. E. (1989). Inconsistent parenting: Is there evidence for a link with children’s conduct problems? Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 17, 223–233.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Hersov, L. (1960). Persistent non-attendance at school. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 1, 130–136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Jewell, J. D., Krohn, E. J., Scott, V. G., Carlton, M., & Meinz, E. (2008). The differential impact of mothers’ and fathers’ discipline on preschool children’s home and classroom behaviour. North American Journal of Psychology, 10, 173–188.Google Scholar
  15. Kloth, J. T. (2005). PAS or parental alienation syndrome defined in domestic violence terms (Master’s thesis, Southern Christian University, Masters Department for Marriage and Family Therapy and Professional Counselling).Google Scholar
  16. Leung, K., Lau, S., & Lam, W. L. (1998). Parenting styles and achievement: A cross-cultural study. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 44, 157–172.Google Scholar
  17. Maccoby, E. E., & Martin, J. A. (1983). Socialization in the context of the family: Parent-child interaction. In E. M. Hetherington (Ed.), Mussen manual of child psychology (4th ed., Vol. 4, pp. 1–102). New York: Wiley and Sons.Google Scholar
  18. Mahler, M., Bergman, A., & Pine, F. (1975). The psychological birth of the infant: Symbiosis and individuation. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  19. McSweeney, F. (2000). Teaching consistency: The sunday box. True Parenting Newsletter, http://www.spannj.org/BridgeArchives/teaching_consistency.htm.
  20. Patterson, G. R. (1982). A social learning approach: Coercive family process. Eugene, OR: Castalia.Google Scholar
  21. Randolph, S. M. (1995). African American children in single-mother families. In B. J. Dickerson (Ed.), African American single mothers: Understanding their lives and families. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  22. Rogers, C. R. (1951). Client-centered therapy. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.Google Scholar
  23. Rogers, C. R. (1961). On becoming a person. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.Google Scholar
  24. Rohner, R. P. (1999). Acceptance and rejection. In D. Levinson, J. Ponzetti, & P. Jorgensen (Eds.), Encyclopedia of human emotions (Vol. 1, pp. 6–14). New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  25. Rohner, R. P. (2005). Glossary of significant concepts in parental acceptance-rejection theory. http://Babylon.com.
  26. Rohner, R. P., & Pettengill, S. M. (1985). Perceived parental acceptance-rejection and parental control among Korian adolescents. Child Development, 56, 524–528.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Ross, L. T., & Gill, J. L. (2002). Family unpredictability, anxiety and eating disorders among college women. Psychological Reports, 91, 289–298.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Wahler, R. G., & Dumas, J. E. (1986). Maintenance factors in coercive mother-child interactions: The compliance and predictability hypotheses. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 19, 13–22.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Whitfield, C. L. (1987). Healing the child within: Discovery and recovery for adult children of dysfunctional families. Deerfield Beach: Health Communications.Google Scholar
  30. Winnicott, D. (1953). Transitional objects and transitional phenomena. The International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 34, 89–97.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nazareth ElitIsrael

Personalised recommendations