Parents tend to underestimate the influence that they have on their children, according to a 2007 study that the Joseph Rowntree Foundation conducted. In 2011, the UK’s Department for Education found that children who are exposed to bad parenting are two times more likely to misbehave. Inconsistent disciplinary approaches, poor supervision and physical punishment are poor parenting attributes that can negatively affect children, regardless of their ethnicity and socioeconomic status.
When a child demonstrates antisocial behavior, she doesn’t consider how her actions may harm others. According to the UK’s Department for Education, severe forms of antisocial behavior can lead to drug and alcohol abuse, poor health, mental health problems, unemployment and adult crime. Parenting styles that could lead to this type of behavior include inconsistent and harsh parenting, as well as parental drug abuse, maternal depression and domestic violence. Adults who are permissive, coercive, negative and have critical attitudes are more likely to have children with antisocial tendencies.
In the report “Negative Parenting Style Contributes to Child Aggression” for Psych Central, Rick Nauert, Ph.D., reports that researchers at the University of Minnesota found that the explosive kindergarteners studied had poor relationships with their mothers from an early age. The researchers concluded that bad parenting during infancy contributed to childhood aggression. The mothers studied handled their children “roughly,” expressed negative feelings towards their kids and had escalating conflicts with them. The researchers concluded that negative parenting caused the children studied to demonstrate “higher levels of anger,” which made the mothers more hostile. What was not studied was the relationship between the mother and the father, and how that might have influenced the mother’s feelings or behavior.
By Flora Richards-Gustafson