Four Parenting Styles Defined in New Study

Researchers at the University of Virginia have identified four distinct styles of parenting in a new study that explores differences in "family culture" that pervade communities and even families. According to The Huffington Post, the four categories are:

  • The Faithful (20 percent) whose parenting style is morality and/or religion-based.
  • Engaged Progressives (21 percent) who teach tolerance as a central value
  • The Detached (19 percent) who want their children to be independent and practical in their thinking and learning
  • American Dreamers (27 percent) who have aspirations that their children be more successful in life than they have been

Parenting, this new research argues, is not a system you choose, but an outgrowth of who you are; you don't select it as much as you let it find you. What is "good" parenting depends on the life you've lived and the values you hold.

Understanding this would go a long way toward ending, or, at least quieting, the parenting wars.

The Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia has been examining the roots of parenting style in "family culture," and today's report sorts American families into four distinct groups. No two agree on what kind of world awaits their children, nor what morals, values and ideals will be needed to navigate it.

"They speak different languages, they have different sets of beliefs and suspicions," said Carl Desportes Bowman, Director of Survey Research for the Institute, when unveiling the results at a meeting in Washington, D.C. this morning.

Image: Family, via Shutterstock


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