New York: Punitive parenting techniques used by some parents may lead to the development of low self-esteem and school adjustment difficulties in kids, leaving them vulnerable to depression and problem behaviours, finds new research.
"Our research shows that 'Tiger Mother' type of parenting among Chinese parents, specifically controlling, punitive, and less supportive type of parenting is really not working for adolescents," said Cixin Wang, assistant professor at the University of California Riverside's Graduate School of Education.
It also shows that it is important for parents, who tend to be emotionally less expressive and use less praise in parenting, to show their approval, love and support for their children.
For the study, researchers analysed data from a youth survey in Hangzhou, China.
The sample included 589 middle and high school children.
The survey asked the children about their perceptions of the behaviour of their mothers and fathers, as well as their self-esteem, school adjustment, depression and problem behaviour.
Previous research on western cultures has found that when parents exert strong psychological control over their children, it leads to problem behaviour, low self-esteem and low grades among the children.
Wang and her co-authors found that permissiveness and punitiveness were linked to negative adolescent adjustment among Chinese students too.
"The findings refute the idea that the traditional, strict 'Chinese' upbringing that gained widespread attention in the 2011 book 'Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother' by Amy Chua, is superior," researchers noted.
The study also has implications for parents who are often trying to balance traditional cultural norms with popular parenting practice in the American society today.
The paper was published in the Journal of Family Issues.