Adolescence is considered to be one of the most challenging developmental stage in human lifespan for both adolescents and their parents.Cumsile, Darling, Flatherty and Martinez in 2009 argued that human developmental stages such as infancy and childhood are differentiated from adolescents in terms of well-built sense to practice sovereignty. The validity of parental authority and supervision might be under question in adolescent’s period. Many of us have familiarity with parenting styles while growing up or either during parenting practices; hence people have suggestions on making it in better ways. There are different perspectives which can be classified according to different parenting styles. Diana Baumrind in 1970’s first presented this idea that parenting styles are there. Lightfoot and Cole in 2009 defined that parenting styles refers to ways and behavior that parents practice to commandand in upbringing of their children. A study was conducted by Baumrind in 1971, which consists of offspring’s and parents interviews and observations, concluded that there are three types of parenting based on degree of demandingness that is parental control, demand for maturity and supervision and second degree is responsiveness that is parental acceptance, warmth, support and involvement. She identified these parenting styles as authoritative, authoritarian and permissive. Black and white style of parenting is known as authoritarian where following the rules without questions are expected and otherwise children will face consequences. Such parents are rigid with their rules, and demands a lot, while they are not supportive to their children and equally non responsive.
The authoritative parenting is the one where following rules is a must; furthermore parents are more flexible and vocal in their reasoning and listen to what their children’s has to suggest more than the authoritarian style of parenting. This style of parenting tends to talk about issues and listen to opinions of children in a friendly atmosphere instead ofimposing punishment. Permissive parents acts more vigilantly and they are less demanding; they usually don’t discipline their children regularly. They are more communicative and nourishing. Parents in such environment rarely choose to discipline their child; however regimen is not direct and may include shame, contempt or either threat of love withdrawal.
Different researchers like Awong, Grusec and Sorenson, 2008discussed that authoritarianparenting style which includes rigid parental demands, with minimumor no assistance and warmth same results have been discussed by Baharudin and Kordi in 2010; Hamon and Scrodt, 2012. They have concluded that these parents usually use exertion, in order to have compliant children, as parent’s goal is to receive conformity of their children. In such family systems commands should not be put under question, even parent doesn’t always provide explanations or logics for their decisions or to the commands that they make. This attitude of parents is going to inhibit children’s effective problem solving skills choosing the best choice, as they are skilled to right away accept the order rather than thinking on them.Buboltz, Griffith-Ross, Marsiglia and Walczyk, (2007) explained that it is a rare chance that such parents accept childrenoriginality and autonomy, instead they strive to create more conformity.
Again Hamon and Schrodt, (2012); and Baharudin and Kordi, (2010) discussed that permissive parenting includes minimal parental demand and high parental. Bayer and Cegala, (1992) reported that these parents may often use discipline but it is not direct or may include feelings of guilt, threats of love withdrawal. Different researchers Buboltz, Griffith-Ross, Marsiglia, and Walczyk in (2007) also contributed in the same notion these parents avoid facing confrontation and accepting their offspring’s behaviors and reaction where they are not letting their children acquire the developmental maturation that they should have. Lack of parental supervision and regulation of rules, such atmosphere may impede a child’s ability to understand that their actions can lead to consequences for other individuals. Rowinski and Wahler in 2010 reported that at times this style of parenting built a relationship that seem more like a friendship, rather than controlling adult child relation.
Markus and Kitayama, (1991) discussed that in collectivistic cultures, children are taken as dependent on parents where parents are the one to guide them and help them grow in most areas of life. In such cultures interdependence, group bonding and control over ones emotional needs are encouraged. Accordingly, similar findings were discussed by Triandis, (2001) that parents in collectivistic cultures tend to be more vigilant controlling and expert more obedience from their children. Chao and Tseng in 2002, discussed that the childhood period of childhood period is somewhat continuous in traditional cultures (e.g. Pakistan) and dependence on elders especially on parents is appreciated and valued.
Number of studies including Mckinney and Renk’s study in 2008 suggested that parenting is connected with mother and children adjustment and fathers adopt different parental practices for their daughters and sons. Concrade and Ho, (2001) explained Fathers mostly use authoritarian parenting style whereas mother authoritative. Son perceived their father as authoritarian and their mothers as permissive whereas daughters perceive father to use authoritative parenting style. Morris et al. (2007) discussed that the empathy is consorted through proceedings which include parental practices, atmospheric conditions of overall family and modeling of these can be influenced by parenting styles, relationships focusing on attachments and marital relationships in a family.
Self-efficacy allows an individual to better adapt in society. There are number of factors for social adaption which help their member to achieve their goals. From all of them the mjor role is of parents. So as mentioned above parenting styles are important in learning and developing self-efficacy among children. So the present research studied this major relationship and studied which parenting style is better than others and will promote self-efficacy among adolescents. It is the self-efficacy that helps an individual to gain confidence in their lives and flourish in the walk of his/her life. Scaramella et al. (2008) conducted a survey on 558 adolescents and their parents were also included in the study to explore the relationship between early parenting practices and risk of strict parenting as well as child’s problematic behavior. The study agreed with the previous research that younger parents tend to practice harsh style.
Pajares, in 2002 elaborated that variety of developmental outcomes are linked to parenting styles. In improving levels of self-efficacy among adolescents, it is important to go throughthe factors which have contributed to the evolution of this constructs. Major influencers in building child’s self-efficacy are parents. Pong et al, (2010) argued that generally authoritative parenting which is described by high warmth, demandingness and responsiveness is associated with positive child’s outcomes. Carlo in 2007 discussed the reasoning and emotional support provided by authoritative parenting leads to high level of moral reasoning and self-efficacy in children. Since, adolescents experience large amount of changes, the indicators which provide the means of adolescents to get over stressful events and challenges in their life become important matters. Bernard, (2004) conducted a study in which he talked about self-efficacy is an important social-cognitive indicator which plays an important role during adolescence period because they effect adolescents’ resilience and their effort in the face of setbacks, and the amount of distress that they go through in their life. In contrast, initial sources of self-efficacy are without any doubt deeply rooted in a person’s family. In every culture, parents are acknowledged as an essential influence for their children’s well-being. Parents who are responsive and accepting tend to build high self-efficacy.
In 1997, Bandura reported that self-efficacy develops experientially and influenced by feedback from important figures. Fondling, responsive and authoritative parents work on to establish high levels of self-efficacy, whereas rejecting, non-responding and uninterested parents may enhancepoor self-efficacy. Diaz in 2005 in differentiation it has revealed that authoritarian style of parenting appears to be flawed in promoting children to develop a range of self-regulatory abilities that is elemental to a strong sense of self.
Therefore, it has been shown that familial impact on self-efficacy has long lasting effect throughout life. Considering the important contribution of mothers to the growth and development of children, it is important to clear how maternal parenting style can contribute to self-efficacy. In the current investigation, the link between parenting styles and adolescents’ self-efficacy will be examined.Second, it is aimed to add research on the contribution of fathers and mothers in in empathy enhancement by looking into both perceived maternal and paternal style of parenting. By doing this, it will also look into the possible effects of perceived father and mother parenting that might be conditional upon the child gender. Belsky (1984) attracts attention towards the role of child’s gender as a predictor of parenting attitude. He further highlighted thatgender of adolescent’s is one of the factor which will assist to elicit as to why parents acts the in ways they do and later effects on their adolescents outcome.
Bowlby, 1969 reported that adolescence has been found a critical period for empathy development. Experiences that children form with their caregivers form the basis for their mental representations and internal working model of how they think of themselves and others. As an outcome children who received tenderness and consistency from their parents would expect to think themselves as being warm and reliable and also in the same context they will develop a working model for other as capable, unfailing and warm. Barnett, King, Howard, and Dino, (1980) identified antecedents for the maintenance of emotional empathy has primarily attentive on family environment the most appropriate seem to be parent child interaction. Barnett again discussed that parental support and child empathy relation has been defined in terms of social learning theory, which says that supportive parents are role models for their offspring’s empathic skills training.
1.1 Conceptualization of Empathy
Duan and Hill in 1996 reported that there is growingsolidarity among theorists that empathy is a multidimensional concept, theorists like Davis, 1983; Eisenberg and Fabesare stressing that empathy contains both cognitive and affective components. Eisenberg and Fabes, 1990 reported effective component is known as empathic concern or sympathy where concern for others is represented based on understanding of their internal state. Affective appraisal of other person’s emotional state could result in motivation to sooth the other person’s stress. The cognitive factor is usually known as perspective taking of other and focuses on thecognitive aspect of others’ internal states and feelings. Both empathy components have been shown to yield common effects. Specifically, both components predicted adolescents interpersonal functioning and which is related to their interpersonal behaviors. Research by Collins and Rusself, (1991) supports that the interaction of the gender of parent and child is important. In this respects, mother showed more emotional closeness with their daughters rather than their sons.
Bowlby, (1980) attachment theorists have argued that supportive parents will stimulate a safe relationship through fulfilling children’s emotional and physical needs. In this manner, warm parents would free children from self-engrossment and will permit enhancing empathy. Specifically, the traditional sex-role differentiation discusses that mothers and father take on different role in a family. Verschueren and Marcoen, 1999 has explained in particular mothers are taken as “ruler of internal affairs” who deal with emotions and growth, fathers are often thought of as “rulers of external affairs” who direct children at exploring the outer world Bem in 1984 has found out that parenting and empathy relation may be depends not only on the gender of parents but also on gender of the child. In this way, gender role socialization theories suggest that child nurturing practices are mostly affected by stereotypes; leading parents to enhance developing outcomes in daughters and sons.
Barnett (1987) presented that the headway of empathy is usually take place in a family surroundings that (a) encourages to express child his experiences and emotions, (b) satisfies the emotional need of child and discourage his immoderate concern for himselfand (c) pledge opportunities for interaction with people and observe who encourage emotional responsiveness and is sensitive. McCrae and Costa, 1988 presented that parents have been considered important which effect children’s different developing personality traits and empathy.
Timpano and his colleagues (2010) reported that authoritative parenting style has a deep relation with children’s behavior and empathy. According to Melnick and Hinshaw, (2000)authoritative features that are practiced by parents like monitoring, affection and safety have strong effect on children emotions. They found in their research that children who have been nurtured by authoritative parents exhibits higher empathy towards positive emotions and negative as well. Another study by Eisenberg, Zhou, Spinrad and Valiente in 2005 looked at children’s externalizing behaviors and effortful control. They argued that parents with empathy elements such as more warmth and are least punitive towards children of 7 to 13 of age had children who indicated more control and had few amount of externalizing problems years later. One can say that the children learn to feel empathy from their parents. In Pakistan socialization practices are different where boys are allowed to settle down for their own emotional responses but girls are preferred to be more homely oriented and expressing their emotions. In summation, theory and research have suggested credible relation betweenparenting style and empathy.
In our society, people seemed to be moving in a direction where they ignored all empathic concerns for others, and people are so busy with their own achievements. Whereas empathy is beyond this insensitivity and egocentricity it seems that roots of all social problems and miseries are cause of lack in empathic understanding, whereas it is important part which provides bonds among spirits and understanding of an individual. Empathy also determines other vicarious responses and it is important to differentiate these various empathy related reactions (Hoffman, 2000).
1.2 Problem Statement
It is understood that adolescents and transition moving to high school and is demanding and challenging transition in their development. This transition has been found to be associated with great deal of stress and other social and personal development. Our society is getting more goal oriented and conflicts are cause due to lack of empathy hence this is important to investigate the relationship with parenting styles. Very little research has been done on empathy in relationship with parenting styles. So this area needs to be assessed, perceived parenting style, general self-efficacy and empathy among adolescents.
This chapter represents the past reviews of national and international researches on the impact of parenting styles on empathy and general self-efficacy of adolescents. An enough amount of research has been done and explored the significance of parenting styles and behaviors with respect to adolescence development with Baumrind’stypes.
Authoritarian parents expect acquiescence from their children, and are in favor of punishment and achieving compliance and are rigid. Parents who are permissive don’t have many rules and stay away from controlling. They give free rein to rather than forcing or giving them guidance for behaviors that are acceptable. On the other hand authoritative parents have set limits but are nurturing and warm and guide more they prefer giving reasoning to their compulsions. Study by Heath, (1995) confirms that the last approach of parenting is most likely to result in children who are socially competent, responsible, self-efficient, achieve more and friendliness.
2.1 Pakistani Perspective
Pakistani cultural context, where adolescents are effected by extended family members with addition to parental control due to collectivistic society. Parents are the initialsource of psychological development of an individual, certain style will result into productive growth of offspring’s which results in social, academic and satisfying psychological outcomes. An adolescent is transition phase from highly depending and controlled period of childhood into a phase which is known by increasing sense of self-exploration and independence. Studyby Lowinger and Knok in 2001, suggest that in east parenting styles are perceived differently, like Chinese have firm belief that in teaching children to be socially and morally responsible for his acts and socialization parents play a crucial role, and there should be harsh parental practices, however western belief is different they emphasize on encouraging and nurturing children’s autonomy, self-esteem and expression of speech and to be vocal about feelings. In Pakistan respecting elders is taken an obligation both culturally and religiously. Parents quit often use harsh measures to criticize children where they are in contradiction with their parent’s expectations and religious morals.
Rudey and Grusec, (2006) find the differences in expectations of parents and demands in collectivistic and individualistic differences exist in understanding of parental practices. For instance, in collectivistic culture authoritarian parenting which is considered to be demanding and controlling does not mean rejecting and less warm. Hence, the actual meaning of any psychological construct should be considered in the light of particular cultural context in which an individual has been nurtured. When we look into collectivistic cultural context, parents become more important they transform basic values and norms of that society have to the next generation. Pakistan being a religious society, where father and mother plays crucial role in upbringing of their children, parenting practices become even more important. Some literature exists on parenting practices on children and adolescents in Pakistani population (e.g. Jabeen, Anis-ul-Haque, &Riaz, 2013). However, little attention has been done to study parental rearing practices especially on empathy.
Arzeen, Hassan and Riaz (2012) examined the differences among perception of parental acceptance and rejection of emotionally empathic and non-empathic adolescents. The sample of two hundred and five students was taken from different schools. Their age ranged from 13 to 17 years old. Government and private schools were recruited for participants. Two groups were established each group consisted of 68 emotionally empathic and other group consisted of 68 non-emotionally empathic individuals, they were identified on the basis of percentile ranking below 33 and above 67th percentile that total sample obtained on the emotional empathy scale. Two questionnaires were used first was emotional empathy scale by Ashraf, (2004) and parental acceptance rejection questionnaire (Haque, 1981). Findings showed that significant difference was there between both group scores on all areas of PARQ for empathic and non-empathic adolescents. Non-empathic adolescents perceived father as more neglecting and rigid as compared to mothers.
Sharafat&Zubair, (2013) examined the effect of parental attachment on emotional empathy of adolescents. It investigated the role of varying demographics like gender with relation to parental attachment and empathy and family system. The sample consisted of 300 adolescents from Government schools with age range 14-17 years. Parental attachment questionnaire and emotional empathy scale was administered. Significant results have been revealed that there is positive correlation between parental attachment and emotional empathy. It was also shown that girls scored higher on parental attachment and empathy.
Jabeen, Anis and Riaz (2013) they studied the maternal and paternal parenting style role for determining emotion regulation in adolescents. Questionnaires were administered namely parental authority Questionnaire and early adolescent’s temperament Questionnaireby Ellis &Rothbart , (2001) for data collection from participants. Size of the sample was one hundred and ninety four adolescents from class 7th, 8th, and 9th. To test the hypothesis multiple regression analysis was used. The findings showed that authoritative pattern of mother and father both had positive effect on emotional precept. Permissive style was negatively associated with emotion regulation. However, results on the mother and father authoritarian were non-significant.
Yusaf (2015) examine the correlation between parenting style and self-efficacy among adolescents. It was a correlational study with sample size of eighty adolescents 40 males and 40 females. It was hypothesized that significant relationship would exist between parenting style and self-efficacy. Furthermore it was mentioned that parenting styles would predict self-efficacy among adolescents. The results showed that authoritarian has negative relationship with self-efficacy. Moreover, permissive and authoritative parenting style has significant positive relation with self-efficacy. The result of the regression revealed that parenting style (authoritarian, permissive and authoritative) showed about 83% variance produced by parenting style in self-efficacy. So parenting style is a significant predictor of self-efficacy. In the same way there is non-significant gender difference was found on self-efficacy.
2.2 Western Perspective
Parents and home environment have been considered as one of the important factors in developing empathy and other relevant traits whichaffect children’s development. Scaffer, Clark, and Jeglic, (2009) their research showed that supportive parents increase empathy development, which is further linked to adolescence positive social behavior.In the same manner supportive parenting is involved in growth of empathy has been supported by numerous studies which acquired positive link between children’s empathic responding and parental support. Eisenberg and Fabes, (1998) found out that observation of children that they have about their adults and caregivers interactions lead to individual difference in empathy responding.
Duriez andMiklikowska (2011)have emphasized the importance of socialization and especially parental support. He conducted a 3-wave longitudinal study of 678 adolescents which will pursue to contribute on the research for socialization of empathy (a) by finding the corresponding contribution of perceived paternal and maternal supportive parenting in adolescents and timely changes in emotional aspects of empathy (b) by looking at the correlative relations among adolescents empathy and perceived parenting. However timely changes in understanding the approaches were predicted by continuous paternal support in both gender, but mother support predicted changes in empathic understanding of only daughters. Further, results were discussed in the light of certain parenting domain and in terms of empathy. Differentresearchers have given opinion that children belonging to authoritative parents will be cooperative with other adults. These children will have reasoning capabilities, self-sacrifice and empathy (Baumrind, 1996). Some researchers like Davis, Luce, and Kraus (1994) have discussed that genetic predisposition plays part in empathy structuring. The link between parental support and ways of parenting has been elaborated in the light of social learning theory; it says that supportive parenting isa role model for their children’s empathic skills (Barnett, 1987).
The differentiation between empathic concern and perspective taking seems important because maternal and paternal parenting relates in a specialized and unique way to the components of empathy. With respect to this, Hatings, Mcshane, Parker, and Ladha, (2007) research immensely denotes that fathers have important role to play in social development of offspring’s. Researchers have discussed that the parental influence may depends on parental gender as well. Specifically, the traditional sex-role differentiation says that that father and mothers take different roles. Whereas mothers are often thought of as “ministers of internal affairs” who deal with emotions and caregiving, gathers are thought of as “ministers of external affairs” who are directing children to explore outer world.
Couple of studies has revealed the correlation between low levels of self-efficacy among children, authoritarian and permissive parenting styles. Barnow, Lucht, and Freyberger, (2005) this study explored that in comparison with children who received support and kindness from their parents and those who are controlled by their elder ones may display low self-efficacy. One can comment that level of self-efficacy may lessen but cultural aspect also plays a vital role. Lord et al, (1994) found out that there is a link between parenting styles and adolescents which helps in building self-efficacy, self-esteem, confidence and positive image of self which in turns can result in negative or positive outcomes. Past researchesby Boon 2007; and Ingoldsby et al. 2004 concluded that adolescents having higher values and beliefs of self-efficacy are nurtured by authoritative parents, while in children who thought of their parents as non-authoritative have lower self-efficacy.
Ingoldsby,Schvaneveldt, Supple, and Kevin. (2004) studied the association between perceived parenting actions such as positive reasoning, independence, check and balance on achievement environment and self-efficacy among sample of Ecuadorian and Chilean adolescents. Step by step multiple regression analyses showed that parents reasoning significantly predicted achievement chances for Ecuadorian youngsters. Task recognition and self-efficacy was positively predicted by the supervision perception of mother and father on behaviors. On the opposite, perceiving parents to be more reprimanding negatively predicted self-efficacy. In the same manner, parents punishing and permissiveness is negatively associated with self-efficacy of Ecuadorian youth.
Studies have revealed that growth and development of the child can be directed in accordance with the culture and parenting style does have an influence. Parenting styles have perceived important, there is a research gap that still exist in associating parenting styles with psychological constructs like test anxiety and self-efficacy. Kingsley, Victor, and Geoffrey (2016) conducted a study in which they assessed the association among parenting styles, self-efficacy and test anxiety of school students from Nigeria. Student from four different schools participated and sample size was 240. Participants were selected through random sampling technique. Results revealed that parents who are permissive are negatively associated with test anxiety, academic self-efficacy and emotional self-efficacy of students p>0.05; authoritarian parenting practice positively associated with social and academic self-efficacy and test anxiety but has negative association with emotional self-efficacy and parents who are authoritative has negative relationship with test anxiety, and positively related with academic self-efficacy and also with emotional and social self-efficacy.
In another studyby Berkein, Louwerse, Verhulst, and Vander, 2012 it was mentioned that children who perceive parental rearing behaviors for fathers and mothers have more internalizing and externalizing problems. Study by Huppert, Abbot, Ploubidis, Richards, and Kuh, (2010) said that parental authoritative style on the other side is associated with the positive outcome of growth and social development of adolescents. Moreover, Anh and Karsh. (2010) explained that an incongruity was also found in the perception of children for their father and mother rearing practices, according to child’s perception; mothers were perceived as warmer and overprotective and fathers perceived as rejecting.
In Pakistan, adolescent’s behavior and attitudes are often influenced by extended family members because of collectivistic system. Respect and obeying is a value which is a morality, both culturally and religiously. Parents in Pakistani culture mostly use strict disciplinary measure to admonish children at events where their behavior and their values are in conflict with parental expectations. Harsh practices may have an impact on empathy and self-efficacy of adolescents. Hence, it is necessary to explore relationship between parenting styles and its effect on empathy and self-efficacy of adolescents. Current research is necessary because awareness will be enhanced among community that how parenting styles are related to adolescents self-efficacy and empathy.Understanding about the relationship of parenting styles, self-efficacy and empathy will assist professionals like family counselors, therapist and psychotherapist to provide an effective support and essential care to the client.
2.4 Aims and Objectives
- This study will determine the relative contribution of each of the parenting styles (authoritarian, authoritative) on empathic behavior and self-efficacy among adolescent.
- It will identify if these relations are abated by gender of adolescents.
- It will examine among both parents whose parenting leads to empathy in girls.
- Girls are more likely to display more empathy than boys.
- Boys are more likely to display higher self-efficacy than girls.
- Authoritative parenting style is positively related with empathy among adolescents.
- Negative relationship exists between authoritarian parenting style and empathy of adolescents.
- Negative relationship is present for father authoritarian parenting style and general self-efficacy among adolescents.
- Positive relationship exists for father authoritative parenting style and general self-efficacy among adolescents.
- For girls mother authoritative pattern of parenting is significant predictor of empathy.
3.1 Research design
Current study is a correlational study in which questionnaires were utilized to extract relevant information from participant. This study was geared towards identifying the association between parenting styles, general self-efficacy and dispositional empathy.
3.2 Operational definitions
3.2.1 Parenting styles
Buri (1991) analyzed the level of parenting style with respect to Baumrind’s parenting style types that she had presented: authoritarian that says high control and low warmth, authoritative is high warmth and high authority and permissive considered as less of authority and lesser affection.
Baumrind (1971) has mentioned two categories of parenting styles one is demandingness which is about the authority that parents have over the child’s activities and actions, second is responsiveness which is the quantity given for affection and nurturance shown by parents to their children’s. Parenting style will be considered in reference to three general categories:
Authoritarian parenting is corrective, restrictive and follow rigid pattern to their rules and regulations, appreciate effort and work, and such parents lack warmth. Consequently, children belonging to such homes acquire socially incompetent behaviors. Whereas, authoritative style is more involved in verbal discussion with their children. Hence, children from such parenting environment are self-confident, responsible and have competence in their actions. Permissive parents are may be broad minded. They exhibit instability in the use of their rules, they are overall uninvolved in the lives of their offspring’s.
Schwarzer and Jerusalem, (1995) defined self-efficacy as the confidenceabout ones strengths, potential abilities to learn and perform task at an efficient level.
Empathy is defined by Spreng, Mckinnon, Mar, & Levine, (2009) as a primarily emotional process.
the current study as part of a course research requirement
Two hundred forty-four students from an urban university participated in
the current study as part of a course research requirement
A homogenous sample of one hundred twenty seven students (63 girls, 64 boys) from a school was acquired by using purposive sampling technique. Participants were selected from a private school. Age of respondents range from 14 to 16 years old. Most of the students were first born and participated in the study as a part of research requirement. Students of grade 9th and 10th were selected. It is a common observation that majorly students in this school belonged to mediocre families.
3.3.1 Inclusion Criteria
- The sample was only taken from one school
- Participants were taken from only 9th and 10th grade
- Participants with adequate mental health were taken.
- Participants with age range 14 to 16 were taken.
3.3.2 Exclusion Criteria
- Participants whose parents aren’t living together were not taken.
- Participants above age range of 16 were not taken
Descriptives of Study Participants
Variables f(%) M(S.D)
Discipline of study
On demographic sheet gender, age, years of education, income, number of siblings, birth order, occupation, parental education and marital status etc. was obtained from the participants.
3.4.1 The Toronto Empathy Questionnaire
It contains 16 items that is each being rated on 5 point likert scale from never to often. It was invented by reassessing past available empathy measures, and extracting what these tools had in common, then derived a factor analysis which later becomes the base of the Toronto Empathy Questionnaire (TEQ). This tool has been positively associated with measured of social decoding and other empathy measures, with measures of autism symptomatology negatively correlated. Coefficients for this tool were found to be satisfactory ranging from .34 to .71. TEQ showed high test retest reliability that is r =.81, p<.001. Scoring of this tool is two sided 8 items are positively worded items and negatively worded items are inversely scored. Positive items are 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 13, 16 and negative items are 2, 4, 7, 10, 11, 12, 14, and 15. To derive total scored are summed up.
3.4.2Parental Authority Questionnaire (PAQ)
Parental authority questionnaire (PAQ) invented by John R. Buri(1991).Main purpose of this questionnaire was to measure Baumrind’s prototypes stated as permissive, authoritarian and authoritative. This scale contains 60 items and has two forms. Both forms consist of 30 items and three subscales that measures mother and father authoritarian, authoritative and permissive styles. This scale doesn’t have any cut off scores hence scores interpretation is in terms of high and low scores on a given subscale. Scale is 5- point likert scale which ranges from 1 = always untrue, to 5 = always true. Minimum scores on a subscale could be 10 and maximum would be 50. Reliability is found to be sound .80 is for mother authoritativeness, .81=mother authoritarianism, .82 for mother permissive style. Thus this scale has a good internal consistency to be used in current study.
3.4.3 General self-efficacy scale
Schwarzer and Jerusalem, (1995) developed an instrument for adolescentsnamed the General Self-Efficacy scale containing 10 statements and responses to the statements ranged from 1= not at all true to 4= very true. Higher the scores a person got on these items higher would be the self-efficacy. Cronbach’s are .76 to .90 respectively. This scale is a uni dimensional scale.
To conduct this research authorization letter was sought from the respective school. Consent was taken from all participantswho wanted to participate in current study. Procedure of confidentiality was explained verbally to everyone. Purpose of the research was clearly explained step by step, and the total estimated amount of time to complete the study. Questions and concerns of the participant were addressed properly. Demographic sheet was established to collect demographic information like age, grade, education, SES etc. Adolescents filled up the questionnaires included parental authority questionnaire, General self-efficacy scale and the Toronto empathy questionnaire. Questionnaires were distributed by the researcher herself at a private school during school hours after getting assent from the coordinator of the school. The students almost completed questionnaires in 50 minutes.
3.6 Ethical Considerations:
- Permission taken from the institution from where the students were recruited.
- Permission from the authors of the scales was taken to use their instruments.
- Participants were briefed about the objectives of the current study.
- Consent was taken from participants to be a part of the research.
- No pressure on an individual to participate in the research.
- The findings were kept anonymous.
- Confidentiality of participants was maintained.
- Researcher bias would be prevented by making sure that there is no subjective interpretation of the responses of participants by the researcher.
- During at any point of study the participants must be given the right to withdraw if feels uncomfortable.
Focus of the present study was to explore the relationship among parenting styles and its effects on general self-efficacy and empathy of adolescents. Gender differences in general self-efficacy and empathy was also examined. Further, relationship of general self-efficacy and empathy with parenting styles were also explored.
The (SPSS) statistical package for social sciences Version 23 was used to determine the results. The quantitative analysis of the study was conducted by applying descriptive statistical analysis. Following the reliability coefficients of the scale in the studydescriptive statistics of all variables in the study were calculated. Linear regression analysis was computed to determine the effect of authoritative parenting style of mother in predicting empathy. Pearson product moment coefficient correlation was calculated to find the relationship between parenting styles, general self-efficacy and empathy among adolescents. Furthermore, to investigate gender differences in empathy and general self-efficacy independent sample t-test was used.
Descriptive of Study Measures
|Sr, No. Scales k M SD α Range
- General Self-Efficacy 10 31 3.74 .60 1-4 1-4
- Parental Authority 30(M) 60 9.91 .68 1-5 1-5
Questionnaire 30(F) 98.16 11.29 .74
- Toronto Empathy 16 70 6.31 .53 0-5 0-5
Cronbach’s of the study tools were assessed and the results showed in the respective table shows that Cronbach alphas of parental authority questionnaire, general self-efficacy scale and Toronto empathy questionnaire were significant at .74, .60 and .53 respectively.
Independent sample t-test for empathy over gender (N=127)
|Variable GirlsBoys 95% CI
M SD M SD t(df) p LL UL Cohen’s d
Empathy 42.41 6.68 39.21 4.85 -3.08(125) .003 -5.24 -1.14 0.49
Note. CI= Confidence Interval, LL= Lower Limit, UL= Upper Limit
Independent sample t-test was run to assess the empathy across gender. Table specifies that there is a significant difference in scores of empathy between boys and girls. The results confirm the hypothesis that girls are more likely to display empathy (M=42.20, SD=6.68) than boys (M=39.20, SD=4.85).
Independent sample t-test for General Self-Efficacyacross gender (N=127)
|Variable GirlsBoys 95% CI
M SD M SD t(df) p LL UL Cohen’s d
GSE 26.69 2.44 28.93 3.40 4.25(125) .000 1.19 3.28 0.95
Note. CI= Confidence Interval, LL=Lower Limit, UL=Upper Limit
Independent sample t-test was calculated to examine the general self-efficacy across gender. Table showed that there is a significant gender difference in scores of general self-efficacy between girls and boys. The results confirm the hypothesis that boys are more likely to display general self-efficacy (M=28.93, SD=3.40) than girls (M=26.69, SD=2.44).
Pearson’s correlation matrix of variables to find relationship among authoritative parenting styles and empathy
- Empathy – .364** .416**
- Father authoritative – – .676**
- Mother authoritative – – –
Pearson’s correlation was computed to assess the relationship among parenting styles, general self-efficacy and empathy among adolescents. The Pearson’s correlation in table indicates that significant positive correlation is present among authoritative parenting style and empathy of adolescents (r(127)= .36, .41, p<0.01). Hence, participants whose parents tend to be more authoritative are associated with higher levels of empathy.
Pearson’s correlation matrix of variables to find relationship among authoritarian parenting styles and empathy
- Empathy –.340** -.244**
- Father Authoritarian – – .577**
- Mother authoritarian – – –
There is a significant negative correlation found among mother authoritarian parenting style and father authoritarian parenting style (r(127)= -.35, -.24, p<0.01 which means that authoritarian parenting style is associated with lower levels of empathy among adolescents.
Pearson’s correlation matrix of variables to find relationship among parenting styles and general self-efficacy
- General self-efficacy – -.238** -.102 .268** .129
- Father authoritarian – – .577** -.048 .023
- Mother Authoritarian – – – .114 .158
- Father authoritative – – – – .676**
- Mother authoritative – – – – –
Pearson’s correlation was computed to assess the relationship among parenting styles, general self-efficacy among adolescents. The Pearson’s correlation in table indicates that significant negative relationship exist between authoritarian parenting style and general self-efficacy of adolescents (r(127)= -.23, p<0.01). Results also indicates that significant relationship is there with father authoritative pattern of parenting (r(127)= .26, p<0.01) with general self-efficacy. No significant relationship was found for permissive. Hence, participants whose parents tend to be more authoritarian are associated with lower levels of self-efficacy and participants whose paternal side is authoritative are associated with higher levels of self-efficacy.
Linear Regression Analysis (Enter Method) with Mother Authoritative Parenting Style as predictor and Empathy in girls as outcome
Variable Bβ 95%CI
Constant 24.44*** [12.66, 36.23]
Mother authoritative pattern .160*** .366 [.172, .810]
Note N= 127, β= Beta, CI= Confidence interval
Linear regression analysis was calculated to identify predictor of empathy related to mother authoritative parenting style. The overall model of linear regression was significant. The overall model was significant F9.46 p< .001 explaining R² 13% of the variance in the dependent variable.
Abar et al; (2009) argued that study on the importance of parenting styles and child relationship has been the interest of many researchers in developmental and clinical psychology similar argument was also discussed by Claes et al, 2011. Eisenberg and his colleagues, (2010) reported that the quality of early experiences between parent and child laid the base for later interpersonal relationships and functioning of an individual in healthy manner. Adolescence is a stage where they are prospecting their own self with the help and guidance from their parents. Cultural values are important factors for the type of parenting styles that parents choose to conduct. In Asian countries such as Pakistan parents put pressure on familial interdependence which most of the time effect the way parents treat their adolescents. The point of the current study was to explore the relationship of parenting styles, general self-efficacy and empathy among adolescents. Further current study examined that there was significant difference among genders in terms of general self-efficacy where boys lead the girl’s students and for empathy girls outperformed boys. The study looked at the differences that gender have between empathy and general self-efficacy. Furthermore it explored that whether maternal authoritative style is reason for girls being more empathic or paternal authoritative style.
The results of current study look to determine that parenting styles effects adolescents empathy and general self-efficacy. Results point in the direction to the strengthening effects of the gender of parents and adolescents for some parenting empathy relations. In the light of past literature reviews it was hypothesized that girls are more likely to display empathy than boys, similar results have shown by Hoffman (1977) who differentiated between studies in which empathy was defined as emotional response and there were few studies in which researchers measured role taking by parents. He has included eleven studies in his research which includes sixteen samples. In all studies females outperformed and especially in this study scores were marginally significant. Previous results By Klein and Hodges, (2001) has showed that women are often empathically unambiguous than men when female gender roles are made obvious for any empathic accuracy task. There is enough evidence and studies which suggest that girls are more empathic than boys. Hence a review based on a group of studies, by Batson, Eklund, Chermok, Hoyt, and Ortiz, (2007) was on a self-report measure of empathy which infers that girls are more empathic than boys. A study by Cohn, (1991) described that males are socialized in a way where they value traits, such arguments, problem solving, independence, and instrumental responding to other’s needs, females are socialized to display warmth, concern, connection, empathy, and sensitivity.
Gender differences have been observed in terms of self-efficacy that showed that boys have higher self-efficacy than girls. Similar results have been reported in a study undertaken in high schools by Kifle, (2004) has shown significant sex differences, favoring male students, in self-efficacy and motivation for achievement similar finding were reported by Mustofa in 2006 and Yalew in 1996. In current research males found to have higher level of self-efficacy as compared to females, these findings support the second hypothesis. The finding of this study is in line with previous reportsbyBobiak and Cardwell (2006) has showed that males are more confident than females and other researchers like Charlton, 2003; Netz and Raviv, 2004 found similar results. Debacker, 2000 and Lent, Lopez in 1991 has revealedthat in high school and college male students are more confident than female, this difference exist even in certain academic subject like mathematics and also in socializing and dealing. Higher self-efficacy is that a person has strong capability of efficiency to perform a task at designated level in many ways. Pajares, (1996) mentioned that people with strong level of self-efficacy can handle difficult tasks like hurdles and maintaining strong commitment. If people with higher self-efficacy face defeat in their life they will ascribe it to lack of effort and their knowledge. On contrary, people with lower level of self-efficacy finds tasks as difficult and try to refrain from it. They have no idea no idea how to sort out their problems using best choices.
Authoritative parenting style is significantly associated with empathy of adolescents. The results shown in this study were in accordance with previous literature where Eisenberg et al. (2001) discussed that responsiveness of mother which is an element of authoritative style significantly predicted empathy which is also assessed as effortful control. As for authoritative parenting that consists of warmth and support where children were provided with a sense of protection that’s how they empathize more with others negative emotions (Davies & Cummings, 1994).Gaertner, Tracy, Spinrad, Eisenberg, and Grevings, (2007) a little while backdiscussed that there has been an increasing interest in father pattern of parenting and the role of fathers in families. In common, fathers are considered as competent and experienced caregivers (Lamb, as cited in Gaertner et al., 2007), and their rationale participation in child upbringing is connected with healthy outcomes in certain domains of life social, emotional, and cognitive functioning from childhood onwards. In the present study father authoritative pattern was found to anticipate empathy in adolescents. Current study findings revealed significant result of authoritative on empathy but non-significant result of authoritarian parenting style on empathy.Hence, third hypotheses was supported is this study that parental authoritative parenting style is positivelyrelated to empathy among adolescents. Findings were consistent with previous research of Eisenberg et al, in 2004 where authoritative parenting of both mothers and fathers have determined empathic understanding among female and males.
Kochanska, Murray, and Harlan (2000), concluded that when parents are responsive and support their children they internalize parental messages and follow parenting commands more. Secure parents who are supportive and have standards and rules they hold to provide models of caring, confident, self-reliant atmosphere and behavior for their children. Such modeling by parents provides skills like empathy, emotional understanding and social sense.
Authoritarian parenting style is negatively related to empathy of adolescents was assisted in the light of past studies. A research conducted by Hoffman was (cited in Eisenberg et al., 2004) showed that parents who are highly authoritarian apply external control on their child’s behavior and emotions which can interfere with the development of abilities in children’s. Chang et al, (2003) discussed that strict and controlling father’s effects empathy and emotions of children. Gottman et al. as cited in (Chang et al., 2003) examinedthat interactions that are negative and non-responding between parents and children damage their abilities to empathize and behave in socially acceptable manner. Couple of researches from the past like research by Valiente, Chalfant, and Reiser in 2007has gathered the impact of both maternal and paternal influence like parents who are confrontational, deeming or become easily frustrated practice approaches that are disorganized for managing their emotions and understanding of others emotions as well.
Non-significant relationship was revealed between permissive style parenting with general self-efficacy, but authoritarian parenting style of father was found to be negatively related to general self-efficacy of adolescents and authoritative style of parenting is found to be positively associated with general self-efficacy. This is in agreement with previous studies of different researchers such as they have concluded similar results among different population. Different studies from west have revealed the significant relationship of general self-efficacy and authoritative parenting style (McClun&Merrell, 1998; Steinberg & Morris, 2001; Marsigilia, Walczyk, Buboltz, & Griffith-Ross, 2007). Buri(1988) hasexamined the association between parenting styles and self-esteem. Two hundred and thirty students filled the questionnaires. Their study revealed that participants who perceive both their parents as authoritarian attain low scores on self-esteem level. On the other side students who have taken their parents as authoritative scored higher on self-esteem. Automatically when self-esteem goes low general self-efficacy goes down as well. Another research has been conducted By Qazi, (2009) has found similar results among locus of control, parenting styles and general self-efficacy of adolescents, positive correlation was found to exist between authoritative parenting style, locus of control and general self-efficacy, whereas authoritarian showed negative association and permissive parenting styles showed no association with self-efficacy. This study results revealed the similar findings and it supports previous litrature. The findings also looked that father authoritarian style of parenting can be considered as negative in determininghigh self-efficacy in adolescents.
In this research, significant inverse relationship was found between general self-efficacy and authoritarian parenting style. This study proposed that for enhancing self-efficacy of children’s, practicing authoritarian style should not be focused but what needs to be focused is authoritative style where parents set rules and at the same time allow their children to have independence and right to choose and be vocal about their suggestions. By doing this parent would make the child to have his own pace and it will develop room for thinking about different opinions.
For girls mother’s authoritative parenting is significant predictor of empathy. These results can be seen in light of gender role orientation theory (Bem, 1984, 1993; Collins et al., 1993). According to this theory, males are socialized in a way that they have superlatic traits, such as competing, independence and problem solving, whereas similar findings were reported by (Cohn, 1991; Eagly and Crowly, 1986 and Hastings et al., 2005) that female are socialized to make strong bond, have concern for others, display compassion and sensitivity. It’s been observed by different researchers Maccoby and Jacklin, 1994; Milevsky, 2007; Larson and Richards, 1994) and all of them have presented similar findings that fathers will socialize rational and cognitive aspects of empathy whereas mothers will socialize with all children but especially their daughters to behave in typical feminine ways because components of empathy are more essential for them, more useful, and more desirable in their (female) offspring.
The fact that mother support is predictor for empathic concern among daughter only and results were also in line with previous findings by (Younis and Smoller, 1994; Zahn-Waxler, 2000) which indicated that child’s gender influence the differential role of fathers and mothers in social development. Further, researchers such as (Hastings, Mcshane, 2007; Hofferth et al., 2007) concluded that mother relations are closer, more emotionally strong and attached therefore more likely to be influential than any other dyadic relationship.
In our society day by day people are rushing towards pursuing their goals and are goal oriented. Somehow our society has proceeded in a direction which lack empathy concern for others and that is the main conflict, many issues will be resolved if people try to form a bond among the spirit of one individual. Plentiful studies have been done in west, however in Pakistan it has been a neglected topic. Thus there has been need to investigate empathy with respect to our culture and how parenting can be related to it. Adolescents who have authoritative pattern of parenting scored higher on empathy. Considering the results it was clearly shown that there is a difference between how boys and girls express their empathy and general self-efficacy. The hypothesis created in the present study was confirmed in the light of previous literature. Whereas self-efficacy is an important phenomenon students in their school and college have different issues and it provides baseline for their future to deal efficiently with work and other problems.
The study findings should be analyzed in terms of its limitations. First possible limitation in the study is the generalizability of findings. The sample is comprised of adolescents from different social classes mostly were reported to be middle class with age ranges from 14 to 16 and all of them were studying in concordant institution. Therefore, vigilance should be there to expandthese findings to other schools. This study couldn’t involve many participants due to insufficient time. Other limitation was that in this study participation from parents was not taken into account.One of the major limitations was that results were determined on self-reports of pupils who recalled their parents attitude and behavior which may have caused biasness in data. Hence, further studies should be conducted with increased sample size and including parents as well.
Management programmes that aimed at rescheduling negative styles that parents adopt should be started by Government. To train parents on positive parenting practices workshops should be organized. Parental training sessions should be conducted to increase awareness of parenting skills for improving parent child interaction. Establishment of counseling centers should be made in different circlesto help parents adapt atmosphere that is socially appropriate and friendly. The important parent child relationship permits further investigation in a traditional, religious and collectivistic culture like Pakistan. Least but not last, there is a need for inventing culturally appropriate and reliable scale for measuring adolescent’s perception of parenting practices and empathy.
The goal of this study was to inspect the relationship of parenting styles, general self-efficacy and empathy among adolescents. Overall, this study provides important findings which will contribute to the furtherance of research. This study is in support of the impact of parenting styles on the growth of empathy during adolescence. Adolescent’s psychological and social life is affected by parenting styles. Its a control which distinguish each parenting style from other because parental control diminish the psychological and emotional development. Previous reviews of studies show that in Pakistan little has been done on empathy with relation to parenting styles. This study examined the differences in empathy and self-efficacy among boys and girls. This study has supported the previous findings and all hypotheses were accepted. Mother and father authoritative parenting style positively associated with empathy and authoritarian pattern did not predicted empathy. Authoritarian parenting style of father is inversely associated with general self-efficacy of adolescents whereas authoritative paternal style yields positive finding with general self-efficacy. No significant results were found for permissive parenting style with self-efficacy.
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