A Comparison of How Home Life Effects Stress in College Students
An enormous amount of research has been done on parenting styles over the years (e.g., Barton & Kirtley, 2012; Baumrind, 1991; Erden & Uredi, 2008; Kordi & Baharudin, 2010; Terry, 2004). Parents have a great effect on the entire life of a child. Today the American family might include families made up of divorced, single, or step parents and their children. With intact and non-intact families, it is essential to understand the effects on the life of a child in relation to their stress levels, which determines how they have learned to cope with stress and their risk for physical disease as stress increases (Uehara, Sakado, Sato, & Toshiyuki, 1999). Previous research states that parenting styles can affect a variety of factors including self-esteem, academic performance, and mental health. With stress being at its peak during college years, it is important to understand how parenting style and family situations affect future stress (Barton & Kirtley, 2012).
Parenting style is the term psychologists use to describe how parents rear their children through behavior, discipline, and methods used that influence children (Kordi & Baharudin, 2010). Baumrind was an important researcher who extensively studied parenting styles and helped psychologists learn more about them and how they can be so influential to children. Baumrind described parenting styles as a way to “capture normal variations in parent’s attempts to control and socialize their children” (Baumrind, as cited in Erden & Uredi, 2008, p. 25; Baumrind, as cited in Terry, 2004, p. 87). Parenting styles form within the first year or two of a child’s life based on how parents react to children and what has worked best for them with the child (Terry, 2004). Research shows that the overall parenting style is more influential for determining the child’s future conduct than the specific behaviors used (Terry, 2004).
Parental Authority Questionnaire.
Buri developed the Parental Authority Questionnaire in 1991. It is composed of thirty questions with ten relating to each parenting style that Baumrind described: permissive, authoritarian, and authoritative. Participants rated how well they agree or disagree with the statements based on a five-point likert scale with one being “strongly disagree” and five being “strongly agree.”