Practitioners must appreciate the complexities of parenting and the parent-child interaction. The child’s behavioral concerns cannot be treated in isolation, and both parenting and child outcomes depend on three main factors: (1) parental characteristics, (2) child characteristics, and (3) the social and cultural contexts in which the child and parent interact (Belsky, 1984). All aspects of this triad must be considered by the practitioner. Developmentally appropriate parenting is highly dependent upon the parents’ sensitive responsiveness to the child’s needs. This responsiveness will shape the child’s perception of the environment in terms of trust and optimism (vis à vis Erikson’s theoretical approach outlined previously: 1963; 1964). It will also provide the child with a perception as to what role he plays in interactions with adults, and also a sense of security and a feeling of positive self-regard. There is a fine line dividing sensitive responsiveness and overindulgence, the latter being problematic and often associated with the permissive parenting style.


Parenting Style Authoritative Parent Sensitive Responsiveness High School Athletic Permissive Parenting Style 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Glen P. Aylward
    • 1
  1. 1.Southern Illinois University School of MedicineSpringfieldUSA

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