Maternal and Paternal Authority Styles and Developmental Outcomes: An Investigation of University Students in Turkey and the United States

Gözü H., Newman J., Colvin K.

Educational Process International Journal, vol.9, no.3, pp.153-168, 2020 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 9 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.22521/edupij.2020.93.3
  • Journal Name: Educational Process International Journal
  • Journal Indexes: ERIC (Education Resources Information Center), MLA - Modern Language Association Database, Directory of Open Access Journals, DIALNET
  • Page Numbers: pp.153-168
  • Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University Affiliated: Yes


Using data from undergraduates in both Turkey and the United States, we examined

cultural differences in the perceived parenting authority styles and the links between

perceived parenting authority styles, academic achievement, and self-esteem. We also

examined the separate contributions of fathers and mothers in each country. A total of

423 undergraduates (196 from Turkey and 227 from the US) completed the Buri Parent

Authority Questionnaire to report on the parenting styles of their parents. They also

reported on their own college GPA and completed the Rosenberg self-esteem

measure. Some adjustment of the parenting scales was needed in order to achieve

cross-cultural measurement invariance. Our study revealed that there were differences

of parental style both between and within the two countries. Fathers were reported to

be more authoritarian than mothers, and mothers to be more authoritative. Higher

levels of authoritarian parenting by fathers was found in the American data. Some

parental authority measures were associated with the students’ self-esteem, and all of

these involved paternal authority. Paternal authoritarian parenting was negatively

associated with the students’ self-esteem in the Turkish data, with paternal

authoritative parenting positively associated with the self-esteem of the American

students only. The study’s findings suggest that researchers should not ignore

differences in parental authority style between mothers and fathers, nor differences

between different countries. In particular, the role of fathers should not be