Authoritarian parenting: A race socializing protective factor that deters African American adolescents from delinquency and violence
Purpose. The goal of this research is to examine the influence of authoritarian parenting, a traditional socialization practice among African American parents, on a representative sample of adolescent males at risk for delinquency and violence and contrast this with authoritative parenting a style found efficacious for White adolescents. Authoritarian parenting is hypothesized to differentially deter high risk African American adolescents from delinquency and violence when compared to high risk White adolescents.
Methods. Data from the Rochester Youth Development Study (RYDS), a longitudinal investigation of the development of antisocial behavior in an urban sample of 1000 youths followed from ages 13 to adulthood are used. The original sample includes 69% African American males; 17% Hispanic American males and 14% White males. This study included 134 White males and 464 African American males. Measures include a summated risk index inclusive of adolescents' experiences with negative life events, single parent households, residences in communities with high percentages of poverty and arrest rates, and low parental education. Authoritative parenting measures include dimensions reflecting parental responsiveness and monitoring; authoritarian parenting added restrictive parental control derived from adolescent responses about parental intrusiveness, non-democratic decision making and severity of discipline. Hierarchical linear regression was used to assess the main effect of authoritative parenting and its interaction with cumulative risk in explaining delinquency and violence. In the second step, the main effect of restrictive parental control and its interaction with cumulative risk was added to assess an increase in explanatory power.
Findings. Results indicated that authoritarian parenting is not an efficacious childrearing style for African American or White high risk adolescents. Authoritative parenting, however, was found to be a racially invariant in its effects because it reduced delinquent outcomes in both African American and White adolescents. A significant negative relationship between authoritative parenting and violence was found exclusively in the African American sample. These findings suggest that prevention and intervention strategies ought to include parent training to enhance responsiveness and monitoring and reduce ineffective parenting in communities at risk for delinquency and violence.
0325: Black studies