Volume 9 Issue 3 (2020)

Maternal and Paternal Authority Styles and Developmental Outcomes: An Investigation of University Students in Turkey and the United States

pp. 153-168  |  Published Online: October 2020  |  DOI: 10.22521/edupij.2020.93.3

Hamide Gozu, Joan Newman, and Kimberly Colvin


Using data from undergraduates in both Turkey and the United States, we examined cultural differences in the perceived parenting authority styles and the links between perceived parenting authority styles, academic achievement, and self-esteem. We also examined the separate contributions of fathers and mothers in each country. A total of 423 undergraduates (196 from Turkey and 227 from the US) completed the Buri Parent Authority Questionnaire to report on the parenting styles of their parents. They also reported on their own college GPA and completed the Rosenberg self-esteem measure. Some adjustment of the parenting scales was needed in order to achieve cross-cultural measurement invariance. Our study revealed that there were differences of parental style both between and within the two countries. Fathers were reported to be more authoritarian than mothers, and mothers to be more authoritative. Higher levels of authoritarian parenting by fathers was found in the American data. Some parental authority measures were associated with the students’ self-esteem, and all of these involved paternal authority. Paternal authoritarian parenting was negatively associated with the students’ self-esteem in the Turkish data, with paternal authoritative parenting positively associated with the self-esteem of the American students only. The study’s findings suggest that researchers should not ignore differences in parental authority style between mothers and fathers, nor differences between different countries. In particular, the role of fathers should not be overlooked.

Keywords: Parenting styles, cross-cultural, academic achievement, self-esteem, mother-father difference


Baumrind, D. (1971). Current patterns of parental authority. Developmental Psychology Monographs, 4(1, pt. 2), 1-103. https://psycnet.apa.org/doi/10.1037/h0030372

Bentler, P. M. (1992). On the fit of models to covariance’s and methodology to the Bulletin. Psychological Bulletin, 112(3), 400-404. https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.112.3.400

Beşpınar, F. U. (2013). Gender and family. In M. Turgut & S. Feyzioğlu (Eds.), Research on family structure in Turkey, findings and recommendations (pp. 232-281). İstanbul: Çizge Tanıtım ve Kırtasiye Ltd Şti, T. R. Ministry of Family and Social Policies, Research and Social Policies Series 08.

Beyer, S. (1995). Maternal employment and children’s academic achievement: Parenting styles as mediating variable. Developmental Review, 15(2), 212-253. https://doi.org/10.1006/drev.1995.1009

Buri, J. R. (1991). The Parental Authority Questionnaire. Journal of Personality Assessment, 57(1), 110-119. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327752jpa5701_13

Buri, J. R., Louiselle, P. A., Misukanis, T. M., & Mueller, R. A. (1988). Effects of parental authoritarianism and authoritativeness on self-esteem. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 14(2), 271-282. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0146167288142006

Chao, R. K. (2001). Extending research on the consequences of parenting style for Chinese Americans and European Americans. Child Development, 72(6), 1832-1843. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8624.00381

Checa, P., Abundis-Gutierez, A., Perez-Duenas, C., & Fernandez-Parra, A. (2019). Influence of maternal and paternal parenting style and behavior problems on academic outcomes in primary school. Frontiers in Psychology, 10, Article 3389. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00378

Chen, F.F. (2008). What happens if we compare chopsticks with forks? the impact of making inappropriate comparisons in cross-cultural research. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 5, 1005–1018. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0013193

Çuhadaroğlu, F. (1986). Adölesanlarda Benlik Saygısı[Self-Esteem in Adolescents], Hacettepe University, Medical School, Department of Psychiatry, Yayımlanmamış Uzmanlık Tezi [Unpublished Master’s thesis], Ankara.

Elphinstone, B., Siwek, Z., & Oleszkowicz, A. (2015). Assessment of the parental authority questionnaire-short in Australian and Polish samples. European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 12(4), 482-495. https://doi.org/10.1080/17405629.2015.1047338

Fagan, J., Day, R., Lamb, M E., & Cabrera, N. J. (2014). Should researchers conceptualize differently the dimensions of parenting for fathers and mothers? Journal of Family Theory & Review, 6(4), 390-405. https://doi.org/10.1111/jftr.12044

Ferial, Z., Abeer, S., & Uchechukwu, O. (2019). Influence of parenting style on the visually impaired adolescents and their self-esteem - analysis based on a Saudi population. Biomedical Journal of Scientific & Technical Research, 19(5), 14607-14613. http://dx.doi.org/10.26717/BJSTR.2019.19.003363

Frost, G. S. (2009). Victorian childhoods. Praeger.

Furnham, A., & Cheng, H. (2000). Perceived parental behaviour, self-esteem and happiness. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 35, 463-470 https://doi.org/10.1007/s001270050265

Grusec, J. E., & Goodnow, J. J. (1994). Impact of parental discipline methods on the child’s internalization of values: A reconceptualization of current points of view. Developmental Psychology, 30(1), 4-19. https://psycnet.apa.org/doi/10.1037/0012-1649.30.1.4

Guastella, D. D., Guastella, S. J., & Brigss, J. M. (2014). Parenting style and generativity measured in college students and their parents. SAGE Open, 4(1), 1-9. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F2158244013518053

Kline, R. B. (2005). Methodology in the social sciences. Principles and practice of structural equation modeling (2nd ed.). Guilford.

Lansford, J. E., Bornstein, M. H., Deater-Deckard, K., Dodge, K., A., Al-Hassan, S. M., Bacchini, D., Bombi, A. S., Chang, L., Chen, B.-B., Di Giunta, L., Malone, P. S., Oburu, P., Pastorelli, C., Skinner, A. T., Sorbring, E., Steinberg, L., Tapanya, S., Alampay, L. P., Uribe Tirado, L. M., & Zelli, A. (2016). How international research on parenting advances the understanding of child development. Child Development Perspectives, 10(3), 202-207. https://doi.org/10.1111/cdep.12186

Li, Y., Costanza, P. R., & Putallaz, M. (2010). Maternal socialization goals, parenting styles, and social-emotional adjustment among Chinese and European American young adults: Testing a mediation model. The Journal of Genetic Psychology, 171(4), 330-362. https://doi.org/10.1080/00221325.2010.505969

Luk, J. W., King, K. M., McCarty, C. A., Vander Stoep, A., & McCauley, E. (2016). Measurement invariance testing of a three-factor model of parental warmth, psychological control, and knowledge across European and Asian/Pacific Islander American youth. Asian American Journal of Psychology, 7(2), 97–107. https://doi.org/10.1037/aap0000040

MacCallum, R. C., Browne, M. W., & Sugawara, H. M. (1996). Power analysis and determination of sample size for covariance structure modeling. Psychological Methods, 1(2), 130-149. https://doi.org/10.1037/1082-989X.1.2.130

McKinney, C., Milone, M. C., & Renk, K. (2011). Parenting and late adolescent emotional adjustment: Mediating effects of discipline and gender. Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 42, 463-481. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10578-011-0229-2

McKinney, C., & Renk, K. (2008). Differential parenting between fathers and mothers: Implications for late adolescents. Journal of Family Issues, 29(6), 806-827. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0192513X07311222

Metindoğan, A. (2015). Fathering in Turkey. In J. L. Roopnarine (Ed.), Fathers across cultures (pp. 327-349). Praeger.

Möller, E. L., Nikolić, M., Majdandžić, M., & Bögels, S. M. (2016). Associations between maternal and paternal parenting behaviors, anxiety and its precursors in early childhood: A meta-analysis. Clinical Psychology Review, 45, 17-33. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2016.03.002

Oyserman, D., Coon, H. M., & Kemmelmeier, M. (2002). Rethinking individualism and collectivism: Evaluations of theoretical assumptions and meta-analyses. Psychological Bulletin, 128(1), 3-72. https://psycnet.apa.org/doi/10.1037/0033-2909.128.1.3

Perez-Gramaje, A. F., Garcia, O. F., Reyes, M., Serra, E., & Garcia, F. (2019). Parenting styles and aggressive adolescents: Relationships with self-esteem and personal maladjustment. The European Journal of Psychology Applied to Legal Context, 12(1), 1-10. https://doi.org/10.5093/ejpalc2020a1

Preisner, K., Neuberger, F., Bertogg, A., & Schaub, J. M. (2020). Closing the happiness gap: The decline of gendered parenthood norms and the increase in parental life satisfaction. Gender & Society, 34(1), 31-55, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0891243219869365

Putnick, D. L., & Bornstein, M. H. (2016). Measurement invariance conventions and reporting: The state of the art and future directions for psychological research. Developmental Review, 41, 71-90. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dr.2016.06.004

Rosenberg, M. (1965). Society and the adolescent self-image. Princeton University.

Sorkhabi, N. (2005). Applicability of Baumrind’s parent typology to collective cultures: Analysis of cultural explanations of parent socialization effects. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 29(6), 552-563. https://doi.org/10.1080/01650250500172640

Spera, C. (2005). A review of the relationship among parenting practices, parenting styles, and adolescent school achievement. Educational Psychology Review, 17, 125-146. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10648-005-3950-1

Steinberg, L., Blatt-Eisengart, I., & Cauffman, E. (2006). Patterns of competence and adjustment among adolescents from authoritative, authoritarian, indulgent, and neglectful homes: A replication in a sample of serious juvenile offenders. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 16(1), 47-58. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1532-7795.2006.00119.x

Triandis, H. C. (1995). Individualism and collectivism. Westview.

Tunç, A., & Tezer, E. (2006). The relationship between parenting style and self-esteem. Turkish Psychological Counseling and Guidance Journal, 3(25), 37-44. https://dergipark.org.tr/en/pub/tpdrd/issue/21445/229640#article_cite

Waterman, E. A., & Lefkowitz, E. S. (2017). Are mothers’ and fathers’ parenting characteristics associated with emerging adults’ academic engagement? Journal of Family Issues, 38(9), 1239-1261. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0192513X16637101

Wintre, M. G., & Yaffe, M. (2000). First-year students’ adjustment to university life as a function of relationships with parents. Journal of Adolescent Research, 15(1), 9-37. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0743558400151002

World Bank. (2017). Labor force. The World Bank. http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SL.TLF.TOTL.FE.ZS

Xu, L. (2019). Scale development and factor analysis. In V. C. X. Wang (Ed.), Scholarly publishing and research methods across disciplines (pp. 159-183). IGI-Global.


EDUPIJ is indexed in ERIC now.

We are delighted to announce that Educational Process: International Journal has been included in ERIC - Education Resources Information Center (Coverage: Volume 8, 2019 & forward).


EDUPIJ is included in The Philosopher’s Index (Coverage: Volume 5, 2016 & forward).

The Philosopher’s Index is the premiere bibliographic database covering worldwide research in all subject areas of philosophy.

Thank you so much to the editorial board members, authors and reviewers for their contribution to Educational Process: International Journal.