Enhancing positive development in youths

Authoritative parenting is significantly linked to positive youth development, according to a recent study published in the Pertanika Journal of Social Sciences & Humanities (JSSH).

Malaysia, which aims to become a developed country by 2020, is keen to ensure that its young people grow into successful and competent adults who contribute to the country’s growth. Positive youth development (PYD) is a good indicator for this as it measures an adolescent’s strengths and capabilities based on five factors: competence, confidence, caring, connection and character. Previous studies showed that parents are the biggest influencers in determining the level of PYD in youths.

Atefeh Kiadarbandsari and colleagues from the Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) looked at whether different parenting styles and parental education levels correlate with PYD in Malaysian youths and how. They collected data from 496 students, ages 14 to 16, from national secondary schools in urban and rural areas in Selangor, Malaysia. The team also determined if the students’ race, age, gender and location of their school (urban or rural) affected their PYD.

Parenting style refers to the emotional climate through which parents communicate to their child. There are four styles: authoritative (responsive and warm, but strict), authoritarian (strict and demanding without being responsive or warm), permissive and uninvolved. Previous studies have shown that the authoritative style is the most beneficial for psychological and educational outcomes in adolescents in the western societies, but in other cultures, authoritarian parenting had a link to positive development of youths.

In a recent JSSH paper, the UPM researchers found that authoritative and uninvolved parenting styles were significantly correlated with PYD – with the latter style being negatively correlated. In particular, students with authoritative parents were most likely to have higher PYD scores. They also found that if the father’s education level was a university degree or higher, the correlation with PYD was positive and vice versa. There was no correlation between a mother’s education level and the student’s PYD.

What’s more, Malay students scored higher in PYD than non-Malay students, indicating that race/ethnicity might affect PYD scores. The researchers did not find any significant relationship between PYD scores and students’ age, gender and school location.

The researchers hope their study will help educators, policy makers, parents and practitioners to improve PYD among youths. They noted that the findings should be interpreted carefully, as the sample data was collected from only one state of Malaysia. Additional research should help explain the discrepancies between Malay and non-Malay students in PYD levels.

For more information about this research, please contact:

Atefeh Kiadarbandsari
Department of Human Development and Family Studies
Faculty of Human Ecology
Universiti Putra Malaysia
43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor Darul Ehsan
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +(6011) 1628 8740

About Pertanika Journal of Social Sciences & Humanities (JSSH)
Pertanika Journal of Social Sciences & Humanities (JSSH) is published by Universiti Putra Malaysia in English and is open to authors around the world regardless of nationality. It is published four times a year in March, June, September and December. Other Pertanika series include Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science (JTAS), and Pertanika Journal of Science & Technology (JST).

JSSH aims to develop as a pioneer journal for the social sciences with a focus on emerging issues pertaining to the social and behavioural sciences as well as the humanities. Areas relevant to the scope of the journal include Social Sciences—Accounting, anthropology, Archaeology and history, Architecture and habitat, Consumer and family economics, Economics, Education, Finance, Geography, Law, Management studies, Media and communication studies, Political sciences and public policy, Population studies, Psychology, Sociology, Technology management, Tourism; Humanities—Arts and culture, Dance, Historical and civilisation studies, Language and Linguistics, Literature, Music, Philosophy, Religious studies, Sports.

The journal publishes original academic articles dealing with research on issues of worldwide relevance. The journals cater for scientists, professors, researchers, post-docs, scholars and students who wish to promote and communicate advances in the fields of Social Sciences & Humanities research.

For more information about the journal, contact:

The Chief Executive Editor (UPM Journals)
Head, Journal Division, UPM Press
Office of the Deputy Vice Chancellor (R&I)
IDEA Tower 2, UPM-MDTC Technology Centre
Universiti Putra Malaysia
43400 Serdang, Selangor

Phone: +(603) 8947 1622 | +(6016) 217 4050
Email: [email protected]

Date of Release: 15 December 2016

The Chief Executive Editor, UPM Journals

Published: 15 Dec 2016

Contact details:

Office of the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research & Innovation) Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) 43400 UPM Serdang Selangor Malaysia

+603 8947 1622
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http://www.pertanika.upm.edu.my/ Pertanika website
http://pertanika.upm.edu.my/Pertanika%20PAPERS/JSSH%20Vol.%2024%20(4)%20Dec.%202016/13%20JSSH-1432-2015.pdf Original paper