Across the globe, parents from different backgrounds and cultures often struggle with child-rearing issues from when their children are young through their adolescence stage. In America, and especially being a multicultural nation, various parenting styles that do with discipline are employed across the board. African American families, in particular, are brought to scrutiny in this department and usually the task of dealing with adolescent related behaviors becomes complicated with several external systems that are part of their daily life. The quality of functionality in a family normally determines the kind of person one becomes and so this essay is going to address parenting styles among African families and how these styles influence the behavior of their children.
A study was done by the University of Carolina on the basis of trying to identify the different types of African American families and their functionality that is determined by a wide range of parenting styles. Adolescents (111) were used as study subjects and were evaluated on family functioning. This assessment was done using the cluster analytic methods, and upon its completion, three types of families were determined. The first is the cohesive –authoritative parenting style family where parental education is above average and that adolescents in this set-up had high self-esteem. Close to this is the conflictive-authoritarian parental type of family where parental education was found to be average, and that high levels of controlling and rigid discipline were the norm with a high placement on achievement. Then there is the defensive-neglectful parenting style family which is mainly led by single mothers, and this kind of families have a chaotic family process where adolescents suffer from low self-esteem. The typology behind this study was able to provide an insight into the various African-American families and how they affect adolescents (Mandara & Murray, 2002).
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An article by Tamiya king begins by acknowledging the fact that black parents apply different styles in raising their children when compared to white parents. The article aims at discrediting the authoritarian nature with which black parents seem to use on their children. The article claims that harsh reality (discrimination and many others) that black children stand to face in their future may be a catalyst to why these parents apply high discipline and authority on their children. The article further distinguishes the freelance nature of white kids and the somewhat muted and polite nature of their black counterparts for it is how they are taught to behave in public. Tamiya goes ahead to cite a study, whose results in an observational study suggest that male children in black families are parented more harshly which to some extent sends the message that aggressive and violent behavior is acceptable in the society. At the end of the article, Tamiya suggests an accommodative measure that black parents can use on their children (King, 2015).
The two articles give us an insight into parenting among African-American families albeit on the different structural basis. The empirical study through a study of several adolescents is able to grade the different kinds of families among African-Americans. A striking resemblance between families in this article and Tamiya’s view of African-American families is the disciplinary and authoritarian nature of parenting. Classing the different families does not take away the fact that authoritarianism is the norm among these families although in varying degrees. Also, the two articles agree that this kind of parenting is influenced by several physical attributes. Tamiya points out that racial discrimination in the society is but a major influence while the empirical study subjects this type of parenting to things like economic implications and poverty.
These two articles contrast first on the way they have been written by the different authors. The empirical study is written for research purposes, and so it only gives facts as they have been determined while the other article is written with the aim of appealing to its reader. The author seeks the reaction of the reader unlike in the first article. Tamiya suggests that the high level of discipline among African-Americans may lead children to associate violence with the norm which differs from the empirical study’s view of violence as a collateral happening of single parenthood. The two studies differ on the causal factors of violence among African-American children even though they both agree on violence being a result of parenting. Two articles also share contrasts in the sense that the empirical study appreciates the problem and only gives reasons for this nature of parenting but does not offer remedies like Tamiya does in her article.
In a nutshell, the issue of parenting like we have found out actually affects how one relates to the society at large. Coming from a purely white family, it is easy to see a big difference between how white children are parented and how black kids are. White parents take time off to spend with their children, and in so doing they get to learn their interests and administer chores around the home. Such efforts help white children in being more responsible and less susceptible to a life of crime. Encouraging a positive interaction between the child and the parent would also promote a positive attitude towards life and increase the chances of a child growing up into an industrious member of the society. Basing on the two articles, parents in African-American families can implement such methods in order to ease the fear that they have about their children’s fate in the real world.
King, T. (2015). Parenting In the Black Community: Why Raising Children Is Different for Us - Atlanta Black Star . Atlanta Black Star . Retrieved from http://atlantablackstar.com/2015/07/14/psychology-parenting-exploring-new-ideas-black-motherhood-fatherhood/
Mandara, J. & Murray, C. (2002). Development of an empirical typology of African American family functioning. Journal of Family Psychology , 16 (3), 318-337. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037//0893-3220.127.116.118