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Parental Inconsistency Versus Parental Authoritarianism: Associations with Symptoms of Psychological Disorders

NCJ Number
Journal of Youth and Adolescence Volume: 37 Issue: 5 Dated: May 2008 Pages: 616-626
Marwan Adeeb Dwairy
Date Published
May 2008
11 pages
This study examined authoritarian parenting in a collective/authoritarian (Arab) culture.
The results showed that while no measures of authoritarian parenting were associated with psychological disorders all the measures of parental inconsistency were so associated. The results give empirical support to theories that indicate that parental inconsistency is an important factor in psychopathology. This study developed a scale that measures authoritarian parenting in conjunction with three parental inconsistencies: temporal, situational, and father-mother. The results supported the inconsistency hypothesis: inconsistency measures were associated with psychological disorder symptoms, while, regardless of the level of connectedness in the family, none of the authoritarian measures of the Dwairy’s Parental Authoritarian and Inconsistency Scale (DPAIS) or the Buri’s Authoritarian Scale were associated with psychological disorders. The association between inconsistency and psychological disorder symptoms were more prevalent among those adolescents who were more connected to their parents than among those who were less so. This may indicate that inconsistency is a crucial issue in cultures of a more collective character where people, including parents, are expected to respond consistently according to cultural norms and rules with little room being left for personal choice for circumstantial consideration. No interaction between the effect of inconsistency and authoritarian parenting was found, suggesting that inconsistency has its independent association with psychological disorder symptoms, with and without the authoritarian parenting. Data were collected from a sample of 72 female and 1 of 6 male 11th grade Arab students, aged 16 to 17 years old, from 2 Arab schools in North Israel. Tables, references


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