"Why do parents parent the way they do?" is a very important question. The aim of the current research is to study whether and to what extent the way parents have been parented influences the way they parent. Original data were collected from 48 families across three generations. Grandparents, parents and young adults were asked to report on how they had been parented, how they themselves had parented in the case of the grandparents' and parents' generations, or how they were planning to parent in the case of young adults without children. We tested the hypothesis of a "childrearing tradition" across three generations of respondents in a cross-sectional study with a non-clinical sample. Some arguments in favour of continuities have been found, in particular for supportive rather than for controlling parenting. The results hence suggest that reports on parenting behaviour correlate from one generation to the next and even across two non-consecutive generations. The similarities that have been displayed result from the influence of the parenting individuals have received on the way they themselves parent. Our results also suggest that such an influence may be higher for childrearing attitudes such as warmth that have consistently been regarded as desirable, than for those that have been regarded as more controversial in society, such as harsh discipline.
How to Cite:
Roskam, I., 2013. The Transmission of Parenting Behaviour Within the Family: An Empirical Study Across Three Generations. Psychologica Belgica, 53(3), pp.49–64. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/pb-53-3-49