Parenting style as a predictor of value consensus between parents and their college-age children



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Texas Tech University


Three dimensions of parenting: (a) control, (b) nurturance, and (c) communication are examined as they relate to value consensus between college students and their parents. A sample of 222 college students completed a series of items that assessed their perceptions of their parents' childrearing practices. The students and their parents completed a series of items related to religious and social values. Value consensus was the operational definition for the construct of internalization of parental norms. Contrary to the predictions made from attribution theory, control was not found to be negatively related to value consensus. Social learning theory's prediction about a positive relationship between control and value consensus was not supported. However, as predicted based upon social learning, nurturance and communication did have positive relationships with value consensus. Father nurturance was positively related to social value consensus in father-son dyads and to social value, religious individualism, and devotionalism consensus in father-daughter dyads. Father communication was positively related to creedal assent consensus in father-daughter dyads. Mother nurturance was positively related to social value and religious relativism consensus for mother-son dyads. Mother communication was positively associated with social value and devotionalism consensus for mother-son dyads. There was also partial support for the social learning theory prediction that high levels of control, nurturance, and communication in combination would be related to higher value consensus than when perceived parenting styles were characterized by any other combinations of these parenting behaviors. This hypothesis was supported in relation to creedal assent and religious relativism for father-son dyads and in relation to religious individualism and devotionalism in mother-son dyads.