Parenting Styles And Interpersonal Skills Education Essay

This study involves parenting styles and interpersonal skills of their children. As parenting has become and still a popular topic that many psychologist are exploring into. Many studies conducted shows the outcome of parenting styles (Authoritative, authoritarian, and permissive) advocated by Baumrind relates to the level of self-esteem, self-confidence and many more. It is important that studies relates to interpersonal skills be conducted to see whether there’s any correlation between parenting styles and the former.

1.2 statement of the problem

A matter to ponder with is why interpersonal skills? It is that important? The answer is yes. Many of us need it regardless of gender and age. As long as we are living in a society where interaction is needed, then it is important that we don’t just have it but we are good with it. unfortunately, many of us especially young adults don’t seems to be excelling in this aspect but rather they are more concern with I.Q in obtaining as many A’s as possible. Fresh graduates after leaving their university life might have a culture shock when they enter the corporate world. The people whom they meet are different from those in college. They are more matured and they mean business when it comes to job performance. Besides than knowledge skills, having strong interpersonal skills are vital in working along with others as a team in getting the job done and building good relationship with fellow colleagues. Since it is that important, there’s a need to understand why some of us possess it while some don’t? With that, parenting styles could be the cause of it.

1.3 Research Questions

1) What is the level of student’s interpersonal skills and what type of parenting styles are commonly perceived by students?

2) Is there any relationship between perceived parenting style (authoritative, authoritarian, and permissive) and student’s interpersonal skills?

1.4 Objective of study

The purpose of conducting this study is to find out the relationship between perceived parenting styles and student’s interpersonal skills.

1.5 Significance of the study

The study conducted will benefit both parents and their children. Whether it is authoritative, authoritarian and permissive parenting styles, it might affect the behavioral outcome (interpersonal skills) of their children. By knowing the outcome of the research, it could serve as a reference or guide by parents on deciding which style that they should adopt in bringing up their children. As for their children, they would know as to why they possess such interpersonal skills- parenting styles of their parents. By knowing the cause, they may find the solution probably through the therapist..

1.6 Theoretical Framework

Parenting styles

1.6.1 Authoritarian parents

“Authoritarian parents are controlling, punitive, rigid, and cold. They value unquestioning obedience from their children. In addition, they do not tolerate any disagreement.” (Feldman 2009)

1.6.2 Permissive parents

Permissive parents require little of their children as they don’t see themselves as holding much responsibility on the outcome of their children’s behavior. They only place little control on their children. (Feldman 2009).

1.6.3 Authoritative parents

Authoritative parents are firm, sets clear and consistent limit, at the same time provide explanation to their children on ways that they should behave. They would also encourage their children to be independent and explain to them on why they are receiving certain type of punishment. (Feldman 2009)

Interpersonal Intelligence

According to Karen Stephens (2003), Interpersonal intelligence relates to how a person understands and communicate with others. It is a skill that is vital for almost everyone. Those who have empathy and compassion are identified as people with interpersonal skills. They are a ‘people person’. They dislike facing machines and computers all day long; instead they enjoy working with others.

Chapter 2 – Literature Review

Parenting styles is widely discussed around the world. Many researchers examine the relationships between parenting styles with other factors to see the effect on how one’s parents’ attitude would shape a child. Some argues that parenting styles differ from one another as the multi-cultural context sets into the picture. However, Nguyen and Cheung (2009) suggest that both authoritarian and authoritative parenting styles exist in almost all cultures around the world. The popular parenting styles used world wide in conducting research on parent-child issues is developed by Diana Baumrind (1971). There are 3 types of parenting styles namely, authoritarian, authoritative, and permissive. Later, the fourth style was added by Maccoby and Martin (1983) which termed it as neglectful. (Rodriguez, Donovick, and Crowly, 2009). In this research studies, the fourth parenting styles which is neglectful will not be used.

Parents who exert authoritarian control towards their children tend to control whatever their children do. They would prefer to punish rather than reasoning with their children. A child who has disagreement with parents in this category might be in trouble with the given attitude. This is because their parents want strict obedience from them and will never tolerate any opposing views. The contrary view happens to parents with permissive styles. They exert very little control upon their children’s activities and actions. This is because they do not hold the view that parents need to be responsible entirely on their children’s behavior and attitude. Therefore, they will allow their children to have more freedom. Lastly, authoritative parents unlike authoritarian do not need unquestionable obedience from their children. They have limits that are consistent and will explain to their children on ways to behave. Even if they would want to exert punishment upon their children, they will explain on the reason they are doing it so that their children knows why are they being punish. In addition, authoritative parents usually will provide guidance to their children on being independence. This could also translate to being responsible to the action that they’ve taken. (Feldman, 2009). According to Rodriguez, Donovick and Crowly (2009), it is said that the use of all these parenting styles in majority of cultures received supports from researches.

Children’s adjustment in the classroom is also affected by the way their parents respond to them. In other words, the effect of parenting styles on their children’s adjustment in the classroom. (Kauffman et al; 2000). Here, adjustment in the classroom could signify the skills on interacting with others which is part of interpersonal intelligence. It could be seen that there are a lot of researches in the past regarding parenting styles focuses on childhood, there are also few studies that the scope of adolescence (Milevsky,Schlechter, Neeter &Keehn, 2006). It was found that adolescents’ that was groom under authoritative parenting style possesses positive well being (Gonzalez, Holbein, and Quilter, 2002).

Researchers suggest that parent-child conversation on moral issues that lead the child to adapt the moral values uphold by their parents (Liable, 2004; Thomson, 2006). Such discussion might create a broader social perspective and a good attitude to attend to the needs of others (Dunn, Cutting & Demetriou, 2000). A continual engagement in dialogue between parents and children might results in close interpersonal relationship. This would foster “sympathy, empathy, and interpersonal prosocial behavior” (Carlo, et al, 2007). Such studies suggest that children living with authoritative parents who has attitude of reasoning and discussing matters over might have a better interpersonal skills than authoritarian and permissive parents.

Chapter 3

3.0 Methodology

3.1 Research Design

There are 2 sets of questionnaire will be given to the test taker of this research. They are instruments that measures perceived parenting styles and interpersonal skills. The first instrument pertaining to perceived parenting styles contain 30 items, with 13 items for authoritative parenting, 8 items for permissive parenting, and 9 items for authoritarian parenting styles as perceived by SEGi university college students. Next, instrument that measures interpersonal skills contain 11 items. The total items that will be answered by the test-taker are 41 questions.

3.2 Inclusion and exclusion of the data

The age and gender will be included in the data while race, religion and cultural background will be excluded of the data.

3.3 Sample

All samples will be taken from SEGi University College, Kota Damansara. The method used will be convenience sample. Targeted participants for the research will be between 18-26 years old.

3.4 Measurement

In this research, Likert Scale will be used as the tool of calculation. As there is 7 or 5 likert scale, the latter will be applied to both ‘parenting styles” and “Interpersonal skills” instrument. The example of 5 point Likert scale :-

Strongly disagree


Neither agree nor disagree


Strongly agree

Participants who will answer the questionnaires will provide their answers from the scale of 1-5 in each question, varying from Strongly Disagree (1) to Strongly Agree (5). The highest points were given to those of positive attributes while lowest points were given to those of negative.

3.5 Procedure

The researcher will approach students studying in SEGi University College, Kota Damansara and inform them about the objective of the research. Next, students will be asked if they are interested to participate in the research by completing a set of questionnaire. At the same time, they will be informed about the total questionnaires that are required to be completed and the time that they would need to spare for the entire process of the research.

Should they agree to participate in the studies, the researcher will then proceed in giving them the ‘Letter to Participant’ and ‘Inform consent form’. The student turned-participant will be brief thoroughly on the content of both documents. Then, participants are required to sign the ‘Inform Consent Form’ and they will be given the questionnaire after the form is submitted to the researcher. The amount of time allocated is 15 minutes.

3.6 Statistical analysis

Researcher will be using SPSS as the tool for data analysis. Pearson product moment correlation coefficient and descriptive statistics will be used to describe the level of interpersonal skills and the types of perceived parenting styles among college students.

Chapter 4 – Results and Discussion

This section includes results and discussion of the research paper. The findings based on what was surveyed and the analysis will be shown through the table and with further elaboration. One important aspect of the findings focuses on the relationship between perceived parenting styles and interpersonal skills of SEGi student.


The survey involved 47 participants in SEGi University College. They were chosen conveniently from across faculties include nursing, American degree program, business-administration, pharmacy, and engineering. There are no specifications made as to the fixation of the number of female and male such as 50-50 ratio. As could be seen from the table, there were 21 male and 26 female taken part in the survey. In other words, there were more female than male who participated in the survey that measures the relationship between perceived parenting style and interpersonal skills of SEGi University College Student.

Table 1

Relationship between Perceived Parenting Style and Interpersonal Skills

Parenting style

Interpersonal Skills


Pearson Correlation


Sig. (2-tailed)





Pearson Correlation


Sig. (2-tailed)





Pearson Correlation


Sig. (2-tailed)




Table 1 shows that there were significant relationship between perceived authoritative parenting styles and interpersonal skills of SEGi university college students (r=.56, p< .01). The above results would portray that students who perceived that they are raised by parents who practices authoritative parenting styles would possesses a higher level of interpersonal skills. This is to say that they are able to work along with others well and probably will not have much hindrance in interacting with people within their environment.

The literature review cited is supported by these findings. It was found out that a child who has parents who practices authoritative parenting styles possess better skills in interacting and communicating with others. Looking back at the definition of interpersonal skills, getting along with others and the ability to work as a team accurately describes it. Why is it that they being raised under parents who practice such parenting styles will have better interpersonal skills? What did their parents did and how they response to their children’s need along the nurturing process? As we understand, parents who practices authoritative parenting styles are strict and at the same time warm towards their child. Whenever they want to scold or punish their children, they will explain thoroughly the reason behind it. At times, they might not punish but uses dialogue or soft approaches.

Such reaction over the years made the child less rebellious. The feeling of injustices and unreasonable circumstances faced by that child will be less as compared to others who experiences parents who are either ignorant or non-compromise. A child who’s less rebellious may not be stubborn enough where they would not give in to other’s opinion. They will listen to the point of view of others regardless of whether it will be accepted or otherwise. They might not have the stubbornness to fight or defend to prove their idea is the best. This will enable them to work along well with others wherever they go.

Authoritarian and permissive parenting styles did not show any significant results with the level of interpersonal skills of SEGi’s students. Children under authoritarian parents will be more rebellious and would tend to fight more to ensure that their rights and voices are heard. They might not give in easily when their opinion is rejected by others nor will they be easy to accept the point of view of others. Why is that? These people have been suppressed by their parents over the years. The freedom of being heard and speaking out is forbid by their parents.

When such situation happens, there could be lots of ‘injustices’ that befall them. Their will and want has been control so tightly that they have no say unless their parents have the same mind as they do on a particular incident. Under such circumstances, they re-program their mind that in order to be heard and to speak out, one need not give in so easily. It is vitally important to defend till the end and win no matter what happens. Having said that, it doesn’t mean that these people do not know that they might be in the wrong at times but the feeling of being rejected might angers and disappoint them as it flashback to their childhood. Therefore, such people may not be able to work easily with others. They will find difficulties to communicate and understand others. In other words, they may not possess a high interpersonal skill as compared to those under authoritative parenting styles.

Based on the findings obtained, it could suggest that children who were groomed under an authoritative parent have more freedom of speech, expressing their views, and may not experience unfair incidents as compared to others. They felt that they were understood by others and their basic needs of love and sense of belonging are well-taken care of. In return, they would treat others the same way as they were treated by their parents. They possess empathy, an ability to care for others by understanding their world. With that, they are able to communicate and work along with others well. That is to say, they possess a remarkably high interpersonal skill.

Chapter 5 – Conclusion

In conclusion, the research clearly shows that there’s a relationship between perceived parenting style and Interpersonal skills among SEGi university college student. This could be seen where the significance between authoritative parenting styles and interpersonal skills is at .00. It suggests that students who perceived their parents as being authoritative possess higher interpersonal skills. As for authoritarian and permissive parenting styles, it did not show any significant results. This would suggest that the relationship between these 2 parenting styles and interpersonal skills is weak. In addition, it would portray that students who perceived their parents as being authoritarian or permissive did not have an acceptable level of communicating and interacting with others. They might not be able to work along with others as well as those with authoritative parents.

Such research findings are important because it would serve as a guide for parents on ways to deal with their children. Knowing and accepting the fact that their children might have a high interpersonal skill if they were groomed with an authoritative parent, then they might strive to be one. Besides, this research paper could serve as an eye opening especially for Malaysian parents who is generally known to emphasize on academic achievement rather than personal growth. They are able to see the importance of interpersonal skills as how it relates to their children’s daily interaction with others and success does not only come from academic achievement.

The possible limitation that could be seen will be the ability to understand the questionnaire. The entire questionnaire was structured in the English language. Some students might not be able to grasp the meaning truthfully and unfortunately they did not ask the researcher for clarification, afraid of being looked down upon. Moreover, it’s not a culture of Malaysian students to be daring to make enquiries. With that, some questions answered might not reflect their real self as they might not understand the sentences truthfully. Secondly, most students are rushing for time where some of them have classes back to back. Therefore, they might just complete the questionnaire with the time that they had rather than understanding the entire questions given. Lastly, some students might answer the questionnaire as to what the general public perceived. They might want to portray that their parents are good and had taken care of their basic needs and feelings well. Therefore, they might answer might depict only the positive side of their parents rather than the real experiences that they faced.

For future research, it will be good to explore the possible relationship between intrapersonal intelligence and perceived parenting styles. In addition, researcher might want to examine as to whether authoritative parenting style might lead to their children in developing narcissistic personality disorder. Living under a condition where their needs of love and sense of belonging are fulfilled most of the time, they might develop a strong self-defense and that might lead them into developing that personality disorder.

Chapter 6- References

Carlo, G., McGinley, M., Hayes, R., Batenhorst, C., & Wilkinson, J. (2007). Parenting Styles or Practices? Parenting, Sympathy, and Prosocial Behaviors Among Adolescents. The Journal of Genetic Psychology, 168 (2), 147-176.

Dunn, J., Cutting, A., & Demetriou, H. (2000). Moral sensibility, understanding others,

and children’s friendship interactions in the preschool period. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 18, 159-177

Feldman, R. S., (2009). Development Across the Life Span. Social and Personality in the Preschool Years,8, 264-265.

Gonzalez, A., Holbein,M., & Quilter, S. (2002). High school students’ goal orientations and their relationship to perceived parenting styles. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 27, 450-471

Kauffman, D., Gaston, E., Santa Lucia, R., Salcedo, O., Rendina-Gobioff, G., & Gadd, R. (2000). The relationship between parenting style and children’s adjustment: The parents’ perspective. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 9, 231-245.

Laible, D. J., Carlo, G., & Roesch, S. C. (2004). Pathways to self-esteem: The role of

parent and peer attachment, empathy, and social behaviors. Journal of Adolescence,

27, 703-716.

Milevsky, A., Schlechter, M., Netter, S., & Keehn, D. (2007). Maternal and Paternal Parenting Styles in Adolescents: Associations with Self-Esteem, Depression and Life-Satisfaction. Journal of child-Family studies, 16, 39-47.

Nguyen, P. V., & Cheung, M. (2009). Parenting styles as perceived by Vietnamese American Adolescents. Journal of Child Adolescent social work, 26, 505-518.

Rodriguez, M. M. D., Donovick, M. R., & Crowly, S. L., (2009). Parenting Styles in a cultural context: Observation of “protective parenting” in first generation Latinos. Family process, 48, 2.

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