Research Article | Open Access

Perceived Parenting Styles in Pakistani Adolescents: A Validation Study

    Sadia Saleem

    Institute of Clinical Psychology, University of Management and Technology, C-II, Johar Town, Lahore, Pakistan

    Zahid Mahmood

    Institute of Clinical Psychology, University of Management and Technology, C-II, Johar Town, Lahore, Pakistan

    Sana Daud

    Institute of Clinical Psychology, University of Management and Technology, C-II, Johar Town, Lahore, Pakistan

07 Aug, 2015
04 May, 2017
31 Dec, 2017

Parenting styles are said to have profound impact on child’s development. However, these are largely influenced by culture and its philosophy. The present study aimed to develop a valid and reliable scale for measuring perceived parenting styles for Pakistani culture. In Phase-I of the study, phenomenological approach was used to explore parenting styles from 60 adolescents. The recorded verbatim of participants resulted into a list of 66 items which were further validated in Phase-II by 8 school psychologists. The final list of 60 items was converted into a self-report measure (i.e., Parenting Styles Scale for Adolescents) and in Phase-III, a try out study was conducted to determine user friendliness and comprehension of items on a sample of 30 students. Lastly, in Phase-IV, 473 students (49% boys & 51% girls) selected through multistage sampling were given the newly developed measure along with the Attachment Questionnaire for Children (Muris, Mesesters, van Melick, & Zwambag, 2001) to measure construct and concurrent validity. Exploratory Factor Analysis resulted into four factors namely Caring, Affectionate, Controlling, and Punitive Parenting Styles. The scale showed high internal consistency, test-retest reliability, and concurrent validity. Results are discussed in terms of cultural implications and gender differences.

Parents play a vital and a supportive role in social, emotional, psychological, and intellectual growth and development of their children (Knappe, Beesdo-Baum, & Wittchen, 2010). Children do not only inherit genetic characteristics from their parents but also learn personal value system and ways of interaction with other people. Studies (see e. g., Becker, Ginsburg, Domingues, & Tein, 2010) have been carried out to highlight the influence of parenting on various aspects of growth and development of adolescents. The dynamic relationship between a child and his caregiver has also been the central theme of many theories (see e. g. Freud, 1965; Klein, 1926). Some theorists have studied this relationship in terms of attachment styles (Bowlby, 1988) and others as parenting styles (Baumrind, 1978) and still others as parental acceptance and rejection model (Khaleque & Rohner, 2002). Theoretically, the constructs of parenting styles and attachment are found to be interrelated and sometimes used interchangeably. The early bond between a child and his caregiver becomes a template for later relationships with parents as well as others (Bowlby, 1973).

Empirical evidence suggests that children who perceive their parents as responsive, emotionally warm, and caring tend to have secure attachment pattern and an inverse association is found between secure attachment and rejecting parenting (Kerns, Tomich, Aspelmeier, & Contreras, 2000). Moreover, the constructs of parenting and attachment styles were also found to have a bidirectional relationship such as if a child perceive his parenting as rejected, s/he may tend to develop ambivalent attachment pattern with the caregiver and so (Bowlby, 1973; Zeanah & Boris, 2000).

The term parenting style can be defined as the specific behaviors and strategies used by parents to control and socialize their children (Lightfoot, Cole, & Cole, 2009). Baumrind (1966) carried out series of interviews with children and parents to explore parenting styles which were based on different levels of demandingness and responsiveness. Baumrind (1971) also identified three distinct parenting styles namely authoritarian, authoritative, and permissive. Authoritarian parenting refers to rigid, strict, demanding, and controlling parenting practice and less responsiveness, where parents exert control and children are expected to follow the instructions of their parents. Authoritative parents on the other hand, tend to exert control but still open and encourage their children to give reason and right of argument. Permissive parents tend to respond and express without demandingness and lacks in discipline. Later, Maccoby and Martin (1983) updated Baumrind’s work and added another parenting style named Neglectful parenting styles that refers to low demandingness and responsiveness from parents. A number of studies have been carried out on the possible influence of four parenting styles on the growth and development of children and results showed that children with authoritative parenting tend to have more social, emotional, and academic competence as compared to children with authoritarian and indulgent families (e. g., Pomerantz, Grolnick, & Price, 2005; Steinberg, Lamborn, Darling, Mounts, & Dornbusch, 1994).

As the child grows older, s/he needs more freedom and autonomy from his parents and wants to maintain his/her own independence. As a result, at this point of growth and development, parent-child relationships are in greater strain and conflict (Collins & Russell, 1991). A wealth of research literature supports the view that parent-child relationship has a deep rooted impact on the psychosocial functioning of the children and adolescents (e. g., Baumrind, 1967). Adolescents from authoritative and indulgent parenting families scored higher on self-esteem as compared to adolescents from authoritarian and neglectful families (Antonopoulou, Alexopoulos, & Maridaki-Kassotaki, 2012; Martinez, Garcia, & Yubero, 2007; Yang & Zhou, 2008), have higher academic achievement (Nyarko, 2011; Seth & Ghormode, 2013), positive mental health (Uji, Sakamoto, Adachi, & Kitamura, 2014), and high social competence (Lamborn, Mounts, Steimberg, & Dornbusch, 2008).

Another line of research has focused on identifying the negative consequences of dysfunctional parenting on the psychosocial functioning of children. A number of studies have shown that adolescents from authoritarian and permissive parenting styles have low level of self-esteem (Martínez & García, 2008), higher anxiety (Erozkan, 2012), higher aggression (Ostrov & Crick, 2006), disturbed sleep pattern, and depressive symptomatology (Brand, Hatzinger, Beck, & Holsboer-Trachsler, 2009; Lipps et al., 2012). Low emotional warmth, higher parental control, and rejection was found to be associated with higher level of anger, hostility, and anxiety (Muris et al., 2006; Muris, Meesters, Morren, & Moorman, 2004), and tend to experience maltreatment as a child (Rodriguez, 2010). It is also important to note that a great deal of gender differences exist in the perception of parenting styles (McKinney & Renk, 2008). Someya, Uehara, Kadowaki, Tang, and Takahashi (2000) found that boys tend to perceive more parental rejection and authoritarian parenting as compared to girls; while girls, on the other hand, perceive more emotional warmth.

Like many other aspects of human psychology, parenting styles have been influenced by the particular cultural practices. Many studies have been carried out to investigate the possible relationship between parenting and the cultural context in which an individual lives (Claes et al., 2011; Johnson, Radesky, & Zuckerman, 2013) and found that there are culture-specific parenting practices (Berry, Poortinga, Segall, & Dasen, 2002). According to the researchers, the primary cultural difference in collectivistic and an individualistic culture is of dependence vs. independence (Lai, Zhang, & Wang, 2000). Traditional collectivistic cultures promote dependence, conformity, family harmony, group cohesion, and personal humility where parents play a vital role. Individualistic cultures, on the other hand, highlights independence, personal uniqueness, individual growth, and self-sufficiency (Triandis, 2001). Chao (1994) highlighted the semantic meaning of authoritarian parenting as caring, concerned, and being involved in collectivistic culture whereas, controlling and dominating in individualistic culture. In Korean culture, behavioral control has taken as positive parenting characteristics yet, in European-American culture, behavior control is considered as a negative parenting style (Kim, 2005). Consequently, parents from collectivistic cultures tend to cultivate obedience, socially acceptable behaviors, moral values, and group conformity and parents from individualistic cultures focus more on child’s autonomy, self-expression, assertiveness, and self-reliance (Rothbaum, Morelli, Pott, & Liu-Constant, 2000; Wang & Leichtman, 2000). Chao (1994) studied cultural variations in parenting practices and found that in western cultures, authoritarian parenting style is perceived as negative and dysfunctional, considered as parental interference, controlling, and dominating behavior while in collectivistic culture, authoritarian and controlling parenting is equated with positive attributes of concern, care, and involvement (Saleem, Mahmood, & Subhan, 2015).

The concept of parenting practices in Pakistan is also different from the Western cultures. Pakistan is a traditional collectivistic culture dominated by cultural and religious practices. Stewart et al., (1999) have given a comprehensive overview about the parenting in Pakistan. According to them, conformity is valued in Pakistani culture, parents are considered second to God and children are expected to show a great deal of obedience and conformity to their parents. Furthermore, fathers and mothers have different roles to play in a traditional collectivistic culture, mothers are seen to be less controlling and high on warmth while fathers are supposed to be dominating, controlling, and supposed to show less involvement in their children (Rothbaum & Trommsdorff, 2007). Similarly, there is also a clear gender differences in practicing parenting styles where girls are expected to obey their parental control and authority and boys have more independence and freedom (Berndt, Cheung, Lau, Hau, & Lew, 1993). In Pakistan, girls are kept in more overprotective environment by parents and boys are given more opportunities to socialize and be autonomous. Keeping in mind, the great deal of cultural differences, it is important to study parenting practices in the cultural context in which an individual lives.

Previous studies carried out in Pakistan focused on identifying the relationship between different parenting styles and mental health functioning (e. g. Akhter, Hanif, Tariq, & Atta, 2011). The instrument used to measure parenting style was not cultural-specific. In another study, the relationship between parenting styles and socio-emotional adjustment of adolescents was investigated (Kausar & Shafique, 2008). The results showed that girls perceive their parents as authoritative and have better socio-emotional adjustment as compared to boys. Later, Jabeen, Anis-ul-Haque, and Riaz (2013) found that authoritative parenting style have a positive association with emotion regulation and permissive parenting practices have negatively associated with emotional regulation. Both studies have used Parental Authority Questionnaire (Buri, 1991) and authors have failed to consider cultural specific differences in the presentation and measurement of parenting styles and no information is provided about the psychometric properties for example confirmatory factor analysis, in this culture. There are number of studies available showing the limited internal consistency of the conventional measures of parenting style scales (e. g., Chao, 2000). This is may be due to the application of measures that were conceptualized and developed for use with Western samples to the Eastern cultures; however, some of the measures have demonstrated low internal consistency even within Western cultural groups (Chao, 2000). In a recent attempt an indigenous scale was developed to measure parenting styles (Batool & Mumtaz, 2015). The scale based on the parental perception of the parenting styles which they use to raise their children that resulted into six different types of parenting namely, Controlling, Compassionate, Conventional, Supportive, Avoidant, and Aggressive Parenting. Yet, the researches fall short of considering children’s own perspective about how they experience and express unique parenting styles.

Despite the wealth of research on parenting styles across the world and its differential impact on the growth and development of children, still many methodological issues in the measurement of parenting styles remained outstanding and unaddressed including the lack of an operational definition of parenting styles, age and stage of specific manifestation of parenting behaviors, lack of psychometric account, and most importantly cross-cultural applications of the measurement procedures used to assess parenting prototype (Baranowski et al., 2013; Baumrind, 1991; Darling & Steinberg, 1993). Most of the measures of parenting practices are based on implicit perception of children or parents (e. g., Parental Authority Questionnaire; Buri, 1991). The present research on the other hand, will focus on identifying the explicit perception of children for their parenting practices. In other words, in the current research, child’s own perception is given more importance rather than how he was parented. Taking explicit stance into consideration helps in identifying cultural specific experience and expression of parenting styles. Another important methodological issue is to distinguish between child and parents perception of parenting styles. Children may perceives, experience, and express their parenting styles differently as compared to their parents. Smetana (1995) explored that European-American children perceive their parents as more authoritarian and permissive while their parents reported their parenting practices as authoritative. The findings clearly show a discrepancy in the perception of children and their parents in relation with parenting styles.

To sum up the above literature, few important points have emerged, firstly, parents plays a vital and long lasting role in the psychosocial and emotional functioning of an individual. Secondly, among other psychological constructs, the experience and expression of parenting is culture-specific which limit the use of scales which are not developed and validated in a specific-culture. Thirdly, most of the measures have taken parental perspective into account which might give us incomplete information about the parting styles. It is also important to consider that children’s perception as more relevant to their psychosocial functioning. Since it’s a child whose mental health functioning is influenced by his or her perception of how he has been treated by his parents. Fourthly, most of the scales are not in local language and the translation might not adequately present the semantic meanings of the constructs.

Therefore, the current research will focus on exploring the child’s own perception of the parenting styles. The objectives of the currents research were, firstly, to identify the culture-specific expression of parenting styles as perceived by adolescents; and secondly, to develop a valid and reliable self-reported measure for parenting styles for adolescents.


The current study was carried out in series of four phases comprising item generations, expert validation, pilot study for tryout of the indigenous scale and last phase focused on determining the psychometric properties of the newly developed scale.

Phase I: Generating Items
Participants. The first phase was aimed to explore the parenting styles as perceived by adolescents of 4 mainstream schools (2 boys and 2 girls) of Lahore. A total of 60 students (30 boys and 30 girls) 10 from each class 8, 9, 10 with age range of 12-18 years participated in this phase. An open-ended interview schedule was prepared for eliciting parenting styles.

Procedure. Each participant was interviewed individually. Initially, all participants were briefly informed about the aims of the research. All the ethical consideration were taken into account. Participants were asked open-ended questions reflecting their perception about their parents, how parents relate to them and how do they interact with them. Additional questions were also asked for more clarity of parenting styles. The verbatim of the participants was recorded carefully and this phase was resulted into a list of 74 items. After excluding repetition and ambiguous items a list of 64 items was retained for the next phase.

Phase II: Expert Validation
Participants. The final list of 64 items was validated by experts for the relevance of parenting styles in Pakistani cultural context. A panel of 8 experienced clinical psychologists with minimum three years of field experience participated in this phase.

Procedure. Experts were instructed to rate each item of the list to the extent to which it reflects the parenting styles. Experts were asked to rate each item on a 6-point rating scale where 0 denotes to “not at all” and 5 for “very much so”. In this way all those items were retained which got 50% agreement from the experts, a list of 60 items was finalized, converted into a self-report measure and given the name of Parenting Style Scale for Adolescents (PSSA).

Phase III: Pretesting
Participants and procedure. In the pretesting phase, the scale (PSSA) was given to 30 participants (15 boys and 15 girls) with age ranging from 13 to 18 years with the aim to determine the user friendliness, testing the layout of the scale and comprehension of items and instructions of the scale. The participants were selected from two mainstream schools of Lahore including one girl and one boy school. The testing was carried out in small groups; participants reported no difficulty in understanding the items or instructions of the scale. Therefore, all items were retained for further psychometric phase.

Phase IV: Main Study
The items for PSSA were based on the direct experience, expression and manifestation of the adolescents and was further validated by the experts, therefore, the PSSA was found to have high face and content validity. The main study aimed to determine factorial structure, concurrent validity, and internal consistency, test re-test and split half reliability of the scale. The current research was carried out in the mainstream schools of Lahore, which is the second largest city of Pakistan. Mainstream schools are those run by government with same curriculum, educational system and medium of instructions.

Participants. Multistage sampling technique was used to select participants. In the first stage the sample was divided according to gender while later, class was subdivided into three strata including 8th, 9th, and 10th class. At the last stage, systematic sampling technique was used and every 5th child was randomly selected. The research sample comprised of 473 participants including 232 boys (49%) and 241 girls (51%) with the age range of 12-19 (M = 13. 98, SD = 1. 87) years. The class wise distribution of the sample included participants from 8th (33%), 9th (31%), and 10th (36%) respectively.

Measures. Following measures were used in the current study.

Demographic sheet. Demographic sheet included the basic demographic characteristics of the participants such as age, gender, and class.

Parenting Style Scale for Adolescents (PSSA). Indigenously developed PSSA comprising 60 items was used for further psychometric phase. This was a self-report measure in Urdu language (National language of Pakistan) with four response options namely Never (0), Sometimes (1), Often (2), and Very Often (3). Participants had to read each item and respond to the extent in which it applies to them. There was no item with negative statement and does not invlove reverse scoring.

Attachment Questionnaire for Children (AQC). As mentioned earlier, attachment and parenting styles are interlinked, therefore, in order determine the concurrent validity; AQC developed by Muris et al., (2001) was used. AQC consisted of 3 descriptions that relates with 3 different attachment patterns. The adolescents were supposed to choose one option that is the best reflection of their relationship with others. The measure classified children according to one of three attachment styles that are Secure, Avoidant, or Ambivalent.

Ethical considerations. The research protocol was approved from the Ethical Committee of the Department of Clinical Psychology, University of Management and Technology, Lahore for any ethical concerns. Furthermore, all school authorities were given the brief description of the aims and objectives of the current research. Authorities were also informed about the prior arrangement about the informed consent from the parents, unfortunately parents did not respond, therefore, school heads and respective teachers were asked to give informed consent. All school authorities were assured about the confidentiality and the anonymity of the research information that would be obtained from their respective schools. Similarly, all participants were given the right to withdraw from the testing procedure at any time.

Procedure. Initially, brief aims and objectives of the research were sent to 12 randomly selected Government schools of Lahore (6 boys and 6 girls). Eight mainstream schools responded positively. After making all necessary arrangements, participants were instructed in Urdu in a group setting of averaging 25 participants. Participants were given the questionnaire booklet comprising Demographic Sheet, PSSA, and AQC. It took about average 25 minutes to complete the final protocol.

After completing the testing procedure, a debriefing session was carried out for any query or feedback. Initially, 493 participants took part in the research but 473 research questionnaires were retained for final data analysis and 20 forms were excluded from the final analysis on the basis of incomplete information.


This section is focused on identifying the underlying factorial structure, validity, and reliability of the Parenting Style Scale for Adolescence. Exploratory Factor Analysis was run to establish the structure of the newly developed measure.

Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA). In order to identify the dimensionality of newly developed PSSA, EFA was carried out with varimax rotation as a best practice model (Henson & Roberts, 2006). Following criteria was used to determine the number of factors and retention of items; firstly, scree plot was used to determine the number of factors. Secondly, all items with factor loading of > . 30 were retained. Finally, simple and clear factor structure with each factor different from one another with high loading of items on one factor.

The Principal Component Factor Analysis was performed on 473 participants for a total of 60 items. The Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin (KMO) value was found to be . 85 and the Barttlet test of Sphericity was found to be significant (3043. 56, p < . 001) showing sample adequacy to run EFA, therefore, factor analysis is appropriate for this set of data. 51 items were retained after factor analysis with a conceptually clearer and factor structure. Moreover, initial item analysis was also carried out calculating initial commonalities but no item was found with the value 0 less than . 25.

Fig. 1: Scree Plot Showing Extractions on Four Factors of PSSA

The scree plot in Figure 1 is showing four factor structure. The four factor solution was found with least dubious items and cross loadings.

Table 1:
Factor Loadings of 51 Items of Parenting Styles Scale for
Adolescents through Varimax Rotation (N = 473)

Note. Factor loadings > . 30 have been boldfaced, and item with negative loading has reverse
scoring, F I = Caring Parenting; F II = Affectionate Parenting; F III = Controlling Parenting
F IV = Punitive Parenting

Table 1 shows that items with . 30 or above loadings were retained in their respective factors and rest were excluded. A descriptive label was assigned to each factor by keeping in mind the commonalities of the items in respective themes.

Caring parenting. In this first factor, 20 items were loaded, in which the adolescents tend to perceive their parents as supportive, encouraging, and showing respect. Examples include “parents help in decision making”, “take care of my needs”, “fulfill my wishes”, “like to play with me”. This factor included 20 items in the original scale (item numbers 10, 12, 14, 19, 20, 23, 24, 25, 29, 33, 35, 37, 39, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 48, 49).

Affectionate parenting. The second factor comprises 11 items where adolescents perceive their parenting as loving, affectionate, and emotionally responsive. For example “parents show care and love”, “give importance to me”, “console me in difficult times”, “trust me” and so on (Items in the original scale 1, 2, 11, 12, 17, 18, 26, 34, 38, 47, 51).

Controlling parenting. The third factor consists of 13 items where an adolescents perceive their parenting as dominating and controlling. Sample items include “parents shout at me”, “deal harshly with me”, “parents impose decisions”, “put unrealistic restrictions”, “and criticize me” (Items in the original scale 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 13, 16, 21, 22, 30, 36, 46).

Punitive parenting. The fourth factor consist 7 items showing adolescents’ perception of their parenting as punitive, insulting, and physically punishing without reason. Examples include “insulting”, “punishing”, “ignoring” (Items in the original scale 15, 27, 28, 31, 32, 40, 50).

Table 2:
Summary of Inter Factor Correlations, Means, Standard
Deviations and Internal Consistency of Four Factors of
PSSA (N = 473)

df = 472, ***p < . 001

Table 2 shows that a significant positive relation was found between caring and affectionate parenting styles and significant inverse relationship of these two parenting styles with controlling and punitive parenting styles reflecting the high construct validity of the measure. Table 2 also indicates that four factors were found to have satisfactory internal consistency.

Split-half reliability. Odd and Even method was used to determine the split half reliability of the PSSA. Total 51 items were dived into two halves. Results showed satisfactory reliability between two splits was found r = . 86 (p < . 001).

Test-retest reliability. Test-retest reliability of PSSA was established with one week’s interval where 68 (15%) participants of the main study were retested. One week test-retest reliability showed coefficient of . 89 (p < . 001).

Concurrent validity. Since no indigenous scale on parenting styles was available to the researcher’s knowledge, therefore, construct of attachment was utilized for determining the concurrent validity of PSSA on the same sample of 473 adolescents. As mentioned earlier, the parenting styles and attachment styles are interrelated constructs. There are number of studies showing that there is a bidirectional relationship between attachment styles and parenting styles of children and adolescents (Mahasneh, Al-Zoubi, Batayenh, & Jawarneh, 2013; Mofrad, Abdullah, & Samah, 2010). The concurrent validity was established by calculating the mean differences on the four parenting styles of participants of three different categories of attachment including Secure, Avoidant or Ambivalent. Since AQA is a categorical measure therefore, no cut-off score is applicable.

Table 3:
One-way Analysis of Variance for Three Factors of Attachment
and Four Factors of Parenting Styles Scale (N= 473)

Note. Between groups df = 2; within groups df = 471; group total df = 472
*p < . 05

The Table 3 shows that adolescents with three different attachment patterns scored significantly different on Caring, Controlling, and Punitive Parenting Styles. Using Post Hoc analysis, it was revealed that adolescents who perceive their attachment as Secure, score significantly higher on Caring Parenting styles as compared to those with Avoidant or Ambivalent attachment. Similarly, ambivalently attached adolescents scored higher on Controlling Parenting as compared to Secure and Avoidant attachment. Lastly, adolescents with Avoidant attachment perceived their parenting styles as more Punitive than securely attached adolescents.

Table 4:
Gender Differences on Factors of Parenting Style Scale
(N = 473)

Note. CI = Confidence Interval; LL = Lower Limit; UL = Upper Limit

Table 4 indicates that boys and girls are found to be significantly different in their perception of parenting styles. Girls perceive more caring and affectionate parenting as compared to boys. Moreover, boys perceive more controlling and punitive parenting as compared to girls.


Parents are widely acknowledged as a major source of learning social skills and moral values for their children (Knappe et al., 2010). On the other hand, disruption in the perception of parenting has long lasting negative consequences including academic, emotional, personal and social dysfunctional (Becker et al., 2010; Erozkan, 2012). Parenting is supposed to be very complex activity that involves many personal, social, and cultural factors that eventually influence children and adolescents. Researchers have explained parenting in terms of child rearing practices rather than merely biological relationship between a child and his parents (Lightfoot et al., 2009). The parent-child relationship changes over time but it becomes more crucial during adolescence as this period is considered to be a transition from childhood to adulthood from dependence to independence (Yang & Zhou, 2008).

One of the important factors that shape parenting practices is culture. Researchers have given a great deal of attention to the understanding of parenting practices in particular cultural context (Johnson et al., 2013). In individualistic cultures, human behavior is largely shaped by individual’s own needs and goals. Family unit is small and parents raise children with the focus of cultivating independence, autonomy and self-sufficient (Wang & Leichtman, 2000). Whereas, in traditional oriental cultures individual’s behavior is heavily influenced by others’ expectations, demand and group values, moreover, Family is considered as a central point in collectivistic cultures. Family unit is large, members are more interdependent, interconnected and parents tend to cultivate dependence, obedience and conformity in their children (Triandis, 2001). Researchers have also identified that the meaning and differential impact of parenting varies from one culture to another (Kim, 2005)

Keeping in view the importance of early parent-child relationship, the current research focused on identifying the adolescents’ own perception about their parenting in collectivistic cultural context. Parenting styles may be universal, yet, there can be small and subtle differences between parenting styles that may seem similar in various cultures. In this culture, parents hold a very special position of respect and reverence and it is not common to even admit that the parents are perceived as maltreating.

In the current research, the initial phase of item generation was based on phenomenological approach that help to explore the experience, expression, and manifestation of any psychological construct. The results of the current study revealed that two positive styles including Caring and Affectionate parenting and two negative styles including Controlling and Punitive parenting. The sequence of factors is very interesting that in our cultural context perception of warmth and care come first and rejection and control later. The findings of the current research confirm the notion that there are two broad dimensions of parent-child interactions namely acceptance and rejection or it may refer to parental responsiveness and parental demandingness (see, e. g., Rohner, 2004). As Caring and Affectionate dimensions of parenting denotes to the acceptance in parent-child relationship and Controlling and Punitive as rejection.

The first factor represents the caring attitudes of parents’ toward their children where they tend to perceive their parents as supportive, encouraging, and provide opportunities to be autonomous and independent. Parents show concern, monitoring, and supervision to their children. The second factor denotes to the adolescents perception of Affection about their parents. This parenting style denotes to the emotional expression of love, affection, and importance to their children. Adolescents perceive their parents as attachment figure, emotional support, responsiveness, and having a mutual trust. Consequently, adolescents have a strong sense of approval and nurturance. The positive parenting can be seen in other measures as well which measures the same construct denoted to parental emotional warmth (Khaleque & Rohner, 2002; Saleem et al., 2015). As mentioned earlier in the introduction section, that in Pakistan where religiously and culturally, parents are considered very important and central focus of family functioning, it might be the reason that caring parenting styles predominated the factor analysis and explained the maximum variance. It is also important to note that the parental affection and care might be presented in others measures as well but the expression of parental involvement in their children might be different for example, in western scales parental involvement is measured by involving in their children’s homework and other academic and co-circular activities (Stewart et al., 1999). The expression of involvement, care and affection is PSSA is devoted to providing nurturance, providing guidance in decision making, monitoring their social behavior, and getting acceptance and approval from parents. Hence, this validates the notion that psychological constructs may be universal but their experience and expression is cultural-specific.

The third factor denotes to the negative or dysfunctional parenting and highlights the perception of control in parent-child interaction. This factor is just opposite of Caring dimension. The last factor is perhaps more strong denoting to Punitive parenting. Both these factors are consistent with authoritarian parenting style as postulated by Baumrind (1971) and rejection dimension by Rohner (2004). In this style of parenting, there is a strong element of rejection and punishment. The adolescent perceive his parents as opposing, restricting, and critical. At this age and stage, adolescents demand freedom, autonomy, and independence from their parents, therefore, they may become overly sensitive towards restrictions and oppositions from parents (Muris et al., 2006). The concept of controlling parenting may be observed as a universal component of parenting (Stewart et al., 1999), yet this concept may have not the same negative connotation as in the Western literature (Kim, 2005). Since, Pakistan is a collectivistic and religious society where parents have given a great deal of importance, value and priority, they have to play a distinct role of raising and training their children. Therefore, it is somehow a norm that parents have the right to interfere and control in the major live decisions of their children and adolescents. Moreover, it is important to note that in our cultural context, control may reflect as a sign of concern and a part of training (Saleem et al., 2015).

As far as the concurrent validity of the scale is concerned, the findings are in line of literature (Kerns et al., 2000), where significant mean differences were fund on the scores of adolescents with three distinct attachment styles on parenting practices. In other words, securely attached adolescents have a positive perception of their parents as caring, affectionate and supportive and tend to feel emotionally secure and safe (Bowlby, 1988). Similarly, a child who perceives his/her parents as controlling, authoritarian, and punishing tend to avoid the parents, and develop ambivalent and avoidant attachment pattern.

Parents tend to play a vital role in managing, controlling, and shaping behaviors using usually positive reinforcement and punishment. However, how the mode of training is perceived by the children will affect the parent-child relationship (Saleem et al., 2015). Parents are seen as positive and negative depending on the extent to which it encourages care, nurturance and protection by the parents. Parental behavior can be perceived negative or positive depending child’s own expectations and perception. If the parental control and punishment is considered as consistent, predictable, and fair it might be construed as a mode of discipline by their children. Similarly, if parental positive reinforcement, warmth and care is excessive, unpredictable and not contingent on the child’s behavior can be viewed as negative.

The further findings of the current research suggest that girls tend to perceive more care and affection and boys perceive more controlling and punitive parenting. These findings are consistent with the existing literature (Berndt et al., 1993; Saleem et al., 2015). In oriental cultures, parental rearing practices and preferences are somehow different for boys and girls. Since girls in traditional collectivistic cultures are more dependent on their parents, have more opportunities to spend time with their parents. Moreover, the traditional gender role of daughter is the show a great degree of dependence, and conformity to the family norms. Boys, on the other hand are considered as a representative of family name, given more opportunities, autonomy, and freedom to exert their rights. Parents usually give more opportunities to their sons to make choices in their lives. Therefore, they may become more sensitive to restriction and perceive their care and love as interfering and controlling.


Though the current research has many new and interesting findings which highlights the culture-specific manifestation of parenting styles and focused on child’s own perception; yet, there are few limitations of the research. Firstly, the current study is carried out in urbanized population only and in future research a comparison can be made between rural and urban samples while considering parental education and family system. Secondly, only cross-sectional research design has been used in the current study, future research may consider longitudinal or cohort research design where attachment and parent-child involvement over life span can be seen. Thirdly, only concurrent validity has been established of the PSSA, future research might focus on establishing other psychometric properties. Moreover, further research can be carried out to determine the relationship of perceived parenting styles with other psychological constructs that are important for the growth and development of adolescents.


This study is a unique contribution in the understating of parent-child relationship in collectivistic cultural context. Since, parenting involves semantic and emotional connotation, therefore, it is very important to study this phenomena in particular culture context in which it exists. Parenting styles can be universal but it has differential impact on the child’s behavior that varied considerably from one culture to another. The current study resulted into a valid and reliable self-report measure to study parent-child relationship and this scale can further be used in clinical and research practice in the fields of developmental and school psychology.


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How to Cite this paper?

APA-7 Style
Saleem, S., Mahmood, Z., Daud, S. (2017). Perceived Parenting Styles in Pakistani Adolescents: A Validation Study. Pak. J. Psychol. Res, 32(2), 487-509.

ACS Style
Saleem, S.; Mahmood, Z.; Daud, S. Perceived Parenting Styles in Pakistani Adolescents: A Validation Study. Pak. J. Psychol. Res 2017, 32, 487-509.

AMA Style
Saleem S, Mahmood Z, Daud S. Perceived Parenting Styles in Pakistani Adolescents: A Validation Study. Pakistan Journal of Psychological Research. 2017; 32(2): 487-509.

Chicago/Turabian Style
Saleem, Sadia, Zahid Mahmood, and Sana Daud. 2017. "Perceived Parenting Styles in Pakistani Adolescents: A Validation Study" Pakistan Journal of Psychological Research 32, no. 2: 487-509.