The relation of parenting style to adolescent school performance

Child Dev. 1987 Oct;58(5):1244-57. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.1987.tb01455.x.


This article develops and tests a reformation of Baumrind's typology of authoritarian, permissive, and authoritative parenting styles in the context of adolescent school performance. Using a large and diverse sample of San Francisco Bay Area high school students (N = 7,836), we found that both authoritarian and permissive parenting styles were negatively associated with grades, and authoritative parenting was positively associated with grades. Parenting styles generally showed the expected relation to grades across gender, age, parental education, ethnic, and family structure categories. Authoritarian parenting tended to have a stronger association with grades than did the other 2 parenting styles, except among Hispanic males. The full typology best predicted grades among white students. Pure authoritative families (high on authoritative but not high on the other 2 indices) had the highest mean grades, while inconsistent families that combine authoritarian parenting with other parenting styles had the lowest grades.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Achievement*
  • Adolescent
  • Authoritarianism*
  • Child Rearing*
  • Family Characteristics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parent-Child Relations*