Handbook Of Social Support and The Family
a book by Gregory R. Pierce and Barbara R. Sarason and Irwin G. Sarason, eds.
(our site's book review)
Starting with the obvious truth that emotional warmth is a very good and necessary quality in human relationships, the authors tackle autonomy.
ďAutonomyĒ refers to self-regulation and self-governance. An autonomous behavior is volitional or self-generated, and also authentic in the technical and spiritual senses of that termóit proceeds from its author, according to the authors.
Non-autonomous behavior is actions governed by programming from parents, peers, or social expectations for conformity
The authors say autonomous behavior has an internal perceived locus of causality or that emanates from the self of the actor. Contrariwise, behavior that is coerced, controlled, or subtly cajoled lacks autonomy. So autonomy-supportive relationships will tend to foster more authentic self-expression and less sense of being valued for being compliant. So one might feel more securely connected to those who relate to one in autonomy-supportive ways. I.e., itís far better to be loved for who you are than how much you obey, which is what democratic and authoritative parenting theories also say.
The authors say that numerous studies have supported the link between sensitive, autonomy-supportive caregiving and well-being. We've seen this research and we concur.
Also, they say that a parenting style characterized by warmth, inductive reasoning, appropriate monitoring, and clear communication fosters a child's cognitive functioning, social skills, moral development, and psychological adjustment, while parenting practices involving hostility, rejection, and coercion have been shown to increase the probability of negative developmental outcomes such as delinquency, psychopathology, academic failure, and substance abuse. This is obvious stuff that anyone with their head not in the sand learned from life already, but itís nice to see it backed up by research.
Raise kids well and they turn out well: obvious stuff that anyone with their head not in the sand learned from life already, but itís nice to see it backed up by research
Raise kids well and they turn out well. It is a proven fact. Itís amazing that coercion and control are still included in most parentsí toolboxes, in spite of the research that shows that these are flawed toolbox tools.
Autonomy support is one of the key ingredients of all good democratic and authoritative parenting methods. But, use these methods in MCs, since only MCs (microcommunities) can get anywhere near a total solution to the optimal childcare we all want for our kids. See Why Register for an MC?.
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