Sample Project on Negative Parenting


Negative parenting is one of the factors that contribute immensely in terms of negative impacts in children, which continue to their adulthood. The purpose of the present study is to determine the causes and impacts of negative parenting and to determine ways that can be used to resolve the problems of negative parenting. Causes have been identified as parental incarceration, single parenting, parental depression, and teenage parenting. These result in negative parenting which lead to emotional problems such as depression in children, low self-esteem, attention deficiency, and anger control issues. These problems can be addressed through talking, counseling, and positive role modeling by parents.


Parenting is the responsibility as well as duty of parents towards their children. The process of parenting involves the support and promotion of a child from his or her infancy all through into adulthood. Promoting and supporting the child is in different aspects such physical support, emotional support, social support, financial and also help through intellectual growth. Parenting does not only end on normal biological relationship. In most cases, the people who are responsible for parenting are the biological parents of the child, but in some circumstances, some other personalities can assume the responsibility. For instance, if parents of an infant are deceased and then the eldest sibling will assume the responsibility of parenthood or if there is not, then uncle or any other member of the close family can take over parenthood responsibilities to the infant.

However, the law can be approached to settle any kind of concern about an infant’s custodian or guardian. The society too can have a role in guiding the child to almost close to parenthood (Kathryn 2003). Some children can also be legally adopted; the foster parents are therefore liable for the child and should uphold good parenting as per the law. A parent or guardian who manages to exhibit or practice good parenting skills becomes a good parent (Melissa, 2011).

In most cases, parenting takes a positive form, which is different from the negative parenting that is the focus of this paper. While positive parenting leads to the provision of support and promotion of children towards smooth transition through the various developmental stages. Negative parenting involves the transfer of negative values to children, which is often associated with rough handling of children, expression of negative emotions towards the children, and involvement of children in activities that are endangering to their lives and to their development. Child abuse is also a form of negative parenting. It has been established that negative parenting results in several negative impacts on children, which are often exhibited through display of aggressive tendencies, development into abusive adults or adults incapable of free expression of their emotions. Parenting styles have been described using theories for many years.

Diana Baumrind developed the most common theory of parenting. According to this theory, four types of parenting exist. These include authoritarian parenting, authoritative parenting, permissive (permissive indulgent) parenting and neglectful (permissive uninvolved) parenting. From the descriptions accorded to these styles, negative parenting can be described by the permissive and neglectful parenting (Greenwood, 2015). The permissive parenting style involves the excessive display of affection towards the children with limited restrictions. Children whose parents practice permissive parenting exhibit signs of late maturity, reluctance in accepting responsibility and impulse control problems. The uninvolved form of parenting is characterized by disinterest towards the child, no warmth or even child rejection. The children who experience the neglectful parenting exhibit depressive tendencies, delinquency and poor academic performance (Greenwood, 2015).

The purpose of the present study is to collect information relating to negative parenting, to analyze and represent this information and to find out the impacts of negative parenting on the children and how these impacts can be averted. The following questions will offer guidance in carrying out the study.

  • What are the causes associated with negative parenting?
  • What impacts does negative parenting have on children during their development?
  • How can the impacts of negative parenting be addressed in children?

Literature Review

Causes of negative parenting

Various factors have been linked to negative parenting over the years. One of the aspects that have been identified as leading to increased cases of negative parenting is parental incarceration. This is whereby a child’s parent or parents are taken into the custody of law enforcement agencies and confined for corrective action. According to the US Department of Health and Social Services, parental incarceration results in several negative outcomes, which are also linked to negative parenting (DHHS, n.d). One of the effects of parental incarceration is a reduction in family income. This is because for two parent families, the reliance of both parents’ incomes is replaced by the dependence on the remaining parent’s income. This means that the remaining parent has to work harder towards the accomplishment of financial obligations towards the children. This implies that in most cases, the attention accorded to the children is reduced as stress due to the separation as well as financial obligations take centre place. The parenting style thus changes from the more positive forms towards the adoption of permissive uninvolved parenting, which leads to depression and anxiety in children. The separation of parents also results in increased family strains and potential neglect of the children (Gogolinski, 2012).

It has been established that single parenting also contributes to negative parenting tendencies. Single parents tend to contend with high levels of social stress, as well as financial stress (Laura et al., 2007). These factors make the parents more vulnerable to practicing permissive uninvolved parenting. On the other hand, some of the single parents, especially mothers become too attached to their children, leading to the exhibition of excess affection towards them without restrictive measures even in situations that may result in danger towards their children. Moreover, single parents are also linked to immense negative behaviors such as drug use and irresponsible sexual behavior. These contribute to ineffective role modeling for their children (Barnett, 2008). The children are thus exposed to the potential impacts of negative parenting. Besides single parenthood, teenage parenthood also contributes to negative parenting in several ways.

The tendency for child rejection is prevalent among teenage parents due to some factors. A high number of teenage pregnancies are unplanned and unexpected (Nauert, 2011). This makes it difficult for the young parents to accept responsibility for parenthood due to unpreparedness. Moreover, most of the teenage relationships that result in parenthood also end up in separations leading to single parenting. The impact of this is also an increase in negative parenting tendencies (Nauert, 2011). Teenagers also engage in irresponsible behaviors due to immaturity hence the children of teenage parents are more prone to rejection as well as to exposure to negative behavior. Consequently, they also find themselves in situations that are indicative of negative parenting.

Another factor that is cited as causing negative parenting is parental depression. Dallaire et al (2011) found out that there is a correlation between parental depression and the use of harsh/ negative parenting behaviors. The relationship between parental depression and parenting habits was found to be stronger with destructive parenting tendencies than with the constructive tendencies. This can be said to be true since depressed parents tend to display negative emotions such as anger towards their children. Parenting under depression and/ or any other significant negative pressure also contributes to child depression.

Impacts of Negative parenting

Negative parenting behaviors such as expression of negative emotions leads to depression among the children. Children experiencing negative parenting are more at risk of experiencing depression as compared to children that go through constructivist parenting. The implications of negative parenting are more adverse in terms of resulting in depression among the children. Dallaire et al (2011) carried out a study in which it was realized that the contribution of parents to depression in children was more enhanced whereby uninvolved and permissive parenting was practiced. Apart from the depression in children, negative parenting has also been confirmed to result in delinquency among children.

As has been stated previously, negative parenting results in poor role modeling among parents. Inappropriate sexual behavior and drug use are some of the characteristics associated with poor parenting. These activities also aid in the inculcation of negative behaviors among the children under the care of those parents. Consequently, children under the care of such irresponsible parenting often engage in criminal activity and are also more prone to drug use and sexual irresponsibility. The implication of this is that such children are also more vulnerable to juvenile incarceration hence reduced productivity in the society. Moreover, irresponsible parents also fail to offer moral and emotional support to their children hence making them more susceptible to emotional break down and depression. Such children display anti-social behavior (Steven, 2000).

The impacts of irresponsible/ negative parenting on juvenile delinquency are therefore immense and an important concern in child development. This impact is even made worse in cases where the said parent is a single parent. This is because in this case, the level of supervision accorded to the child is limited due to the extensive duties that the parent has in taking care of the children. Financial strains also increase the time demand on the parents resulting in higher vulnerability to negative behaviors. Because of the lack of supervision and demand for financial well being, children may be compelled to join criminal behaviors which increase the chances of incarceration. Some of these behaviors may have been copied from the parents who act as negative role models (Laura et al., 2007). In some cases, the parents also have a tumultuous relationship with their children.

Among children in the pre-school years, strained relationships between the parents and their children has been seen to result in negative behaviors such as explosiveness, aggression and defiance. These behaviors are often projections of the children’s experiences with their parents and can be averted through positive reinforcement activities such as awards for positive behaviors. Some of the children have undergone experiences which involved watching their parents fighting. This results in anti-social behavior among the children. Besides this, they may also grow into violent adults due to the misconception that violence is a normal form of emotional expression (Rand, 2003).

Other children are left traumatized due to extremely violent experiences which can result in psychological disorders in their latter years. Such children face many challenges in their adulthood or in their general lives (Claire & Rosie, 2006).  For instance, a child who experiences abuse or beating at home performs poorly in academics as he or she has reduced capacity to concentrate due to trauma. Moreover, their self-esteem will be impacted negatively as they tend to hold the belief that they are not good enough at anything and be presumptuous that whatever they do, they are most likely to be rewarded with serious punishment. These same children might also develop violent behaviors and may be incapable of anger management or can develop short temperedness. These tendencies towards violence and short temperedness can get the children in trouble with both school administrations and law enforcement agencies (Danielle, 2006).



The purpose of the research is to analyze the consequences of negative parenting on the children. The sections below will include the research design used to get data, the population, the instruments used, the hypothesis, the methods of data collection and finally data analysis.

Research Design

The type of research conducted is a descriptive study. The research design used will be a survey. This research design was chosen because it analyzes the research question comprehensively and also a wide range of information is acquired from the participants. The descriptive approach to research is also suitable for obtaining theoretical information such as that desired in the present study. The descriptive study is effective in the establishment of cause – effect relationships such as that which forms the subject of the present study.


The society has a role of parenthood and bringing up the child uprightly (Kathryn et al., 2003). Failure to bring up the children effectively has an effect on the child’s life hence finding themselves as victims of drug abuse (Steven et al., 2000). Such factors propagated the need to conduct the research so as help come up with solutions that may help change the negative behavior of the children. The primary stakeholders in the research will be the researcher, parents, and the children.

Population and Sample

The population of the research will include any person who can express themselves effectively on critical issues. The population, therefore, will consider people from the age of 15 to 40 years. The population will be broken down into different age groups, 15-20, 21-25, 26-30, 31-35 and 36-40, to ensure that all ages are represented. The population does not have any differences in terms of providing information because they will be describing their personal childhood experiences and how they viewed the parenting role of their parents.


Negative parenting has negative impacts on the lives of the children.


The instrument used to collect data was a survey. A sample of the survey will first be distributed to 20 people in order to evaluate the ease of filling the questions and the time they would take to answer the question. The survey asks the participant the type of parenting they experienced when they were young and related issues concerning negative parenting. The information provided in the survey by the participants will be crucial in answering the research question.

Data Collection

Data will be collected in one town but will consider the ages of the participants first. In collecting the data, the consent of the participant will be required because the ethical code does not permit the researcher to forceful get information from a person. The answers provided in the survey will be anonymous hence, the identity of the participant will be hidden. The participant will be proven to be of sound mind before they participate in the research. This will enhance the validity of the information given. The survey questions will be distributed randomly. The data provided will be analyzed based on the experiences of the people in their childhood and the type of parenting they were exposed to affects their current lives. The information, therefore, will answer the research question adequately.

Data Analysis

Apart from the survey, secondary data will be used. Laura et al (2007), states that parents who portray a good image make the children want to look up to them. Parents who always fight facilitate the growth of anti-social behavior in their children (Rand et al, 2003). According to Claire and Rosie (2006), children who face scenes of violence are likely to be traumatized. Children may also get into violent behaviors that may lead them trouble in school (Danielle et al., 2006). The consequences of negative parenting can be resolved by the use of counseling sessions (Sandra, 2011). The research will also aim at providing a recommendation. Michael et al (2013), Melissa et al (2011) and Tamara et al (2014) provide the solutions of becoming better parents.

The data to be acquired from the survey will relate to the information from the secondary data. The integration of the two forms of data collection methods will help in coming up with a comprehensive conclusion about the research question. The data will be classified into two groups, the positive impacts, and the adverse impacts. The inconsistencies that may occur will be dealt with by relying on the information that has more responses.

Findings and Discussion

The findings relating to this study were obtained from two major sources. The secondary data was used as the basis for the formulation of the survey questions and also to provide a strong theoretical foundation for the study. From the study, it was confirmed that negative parenting is often triggered by factors such as parental incarceration, single parenthood, teenage parenthood and parental depression. These factors motivate negative parenting in various ways and also result in diverse impacts on the children’s future. While these causes have been clearly identified and discussed by various studies, other causes can also be described based on the experiences of various individuals who are now adults. Other factors that have widely been cited include: poverty, lack of education and the parents’ own childhood experiences. Poverty mainly contributes leads to negative parenting through compulsion to engage in negative behaviors such as criminal activity.

These activities result in negative role modeling which is a characteristic of negative parenting. On the other hand, lack of education makes the parents unaware of the demands of parenting hence giving their children less than they deserve. As has been earlier said, negative childhood experiences lead to the development of negative adults who may be incapable of controlling their anger, may be short tempered of may have acquired abusive tendencies. This only results in their ineffectiveness as parents. While these factors contribute in varying degrees to negative parenting, obtaining help for both parents and their children ca go a long way in averting the impacts of negative parenting, which have been recognized to be adverse.

From the data collected during the survey using the questionnaire, the following table shows the responses to various questions. The answer columns indicate the percentage of respondents who answered yes or no to a particular question respectively.

No. Question Yes No
1 Would you describe your childhood as a negative experience? 32 68
2 What kind of negative experience did you have?

o     Harsh parenting

o     Careless parenting

o     unfair treatment between you and your siblings

o     Other (sexual abuse, neglect and exposure to in criminal activity)












3 Do you feel your negative childhood still affects you today? 24 76
4 Did your parents try to resolve what they did with you? 28 4
5 Have you read about how a negative childhood can affect people in adulthood? 84 16
6 Did you try to resolve your problems by self awareness? 30 70
7 Did you try to resolve your problems through counseling? 2 98
8 Did you try to resolve your problems by talking to your parents? 11 89

From the survey results, it was established that 32 percent of the respondents experienced what they considered to be negative parenting. This figure is slightly high compared to what was expected. The main reason that can be used to explain this is that since there was no way to exactly measure the level of harshness or freedom that was to be considered as negative parenting, there was the potential for discrepancies to exist between respondent perceptions. For instance, what one considered to be harsh parenting could have been another person’s idea of carelessness in parenting.

Among the identified forms of negative parenting, most of the respondents who reported having had negative experiences said they had experienced unfair treatment between the siblings. This type of treatment is often associated in families where some of the children are living with their stepparents. Other forms of negativity that were reported included harsh parenting, careless parenting, and specific forms of negative parenting. Some of the experiences that were mentioned by the respondents include sexual abuse, exposure to criminal activity and negative role modeling. The impacts of these forms of negative parenting are varied although the respondents were not requested to give the specific effects their parenting had had on their lives. The information on the forms of negative parenting is however considered accurate since it was dependent on the respondents’ real life situations. Most of the respondents who had reported experiencing negative parenting also reported that they have been affected by their experiences in their present lives.

As observed through the survey results, most of those who reported having had negative parenting experiences tried in at least one way to address their problems. Some of the ways used included taking to parents, seeking for counseling and attaining self- awareness. On the other hand, some of the parents also reached out to their children through talking. While the effectiveness of these approaches has not been established, some other methods have been confirmed to be effective towards dealing with negative parenting. Talking with the children and seeking counseling help are among the ways that have been confirmed as effective. It is however the role of the parents to initiate help for their children. Other ways of resolving these issues include: use of group therapy techniques and engagement in hobbies or other activities that may be of interest to the children. Increased social activity also helps in addressing issues relating to negative parenting.

Recommendations and Conclusion

From the results obtained during this study, various recommendations can be made for parents whose children have undergone negative parenting and who intend to improve their children’s lives through dealing with the negative impacts associated with the negative parenting experiences. First, parents should engage the use of education to improve their children’s lives. This can be achieved through collaboration with educators who see the children on a daily basis. The parents who engage in negative parenting due to their lack of education should also be informed about the impacts of their behaviors on the children’s development.

Secondly, parents should also keep close relationships with their children through communication and keeping contact with their children’s friends. It is critical for parents to understand their children’s friend and to know them well so that they can be able to identify negative changes in their children when they occur (Tamara et al., 2014). The engagement in communication is not restricted to the child or to the child friends alone. On the contrary, parent should also engage their children’s teachers and house helps where they are present to monitor the behaviors of those children in their parents’ absence. Positive role modeling is also called for in parenting to avoid the inculcation of vices into the lives of the children (Michael et al., 2013). Engagement in positive reinforcement behaviors also contributes to the development of positive behavior in children.

As a conclusion, it can be said therefore that the study has been effective in the achievement of its intended objectives. The research questions have been answered conclusively. The causes of negative parenting have been identified as including parental depression, teenage pregnancy, parental incarceration, and single parenting. The negative parenting tendencies such as harsh parenting, uninvolved parenting, and neglect have also been established to result in various negative impacts on the children. These impacts can best be alleviated through positive role modeling and counseling.


Barnett, M. (2008). Economic disadvantage in complex family systems: Expansion of family stress models. Clin Child Fam psychol Rev, 11, 145-161. Retrieved from

Claire, H., & Rosie, E. (2006). Behavioral Problems in 2-Year Olds: Links with Individual            Differences in Theory of Mind, Executive Function and Harsh Parenting. Journal of         Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 47(5), 488-497.

Danielle, D., Ashley, P., David, C., Jeffrey, C., Farrah, J., Beth, L., & Alanna, B. (2006). Relation of Positive and Negative Parenting to Children’s Depressive Symptoms.      Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 35(2), 313-322.

Department of Health and Human Services DHHS (n.d). The effects of parental incarceration on children. Retrieved from

Gogolinski, T. (2012). Effects of differences in parenting styles on couple distress and children’s perceptions of family support. Thesis. University of Maryland.

Greenwood, B. (2015). The Baumrind theory of parenting styles. Retrieved from

Kathryn, A., Judith, D., Alison, P., & Robert, P. (2003). Non Shared Environmental          Influences On Individual Differences In Early Behavioral Development: A       Monozygotic Twin Differences Study. Child Development, 74(3), 933-43.

Laura, M., Erin, R., Nicole, C., Ardis, O., Rex, F., Christina, M., Deborah, J., Cecelia, G., &         Michael, Z. (2007) Harsh Discipline and Child Problem Behaviors: The Roles of           Positive Parenting and Gender. Journal of Family Violence, 22(4), 187-196.

Melissa, H., Danielle, D., Jenna, G., Linda, L., Irwin, S., & Sharlene, W. (2011). Positive Parenting During Childhood Moderates The Impact Of Recent Negative Events On Cortisol Activity In Parentally Bereaved Youth. Psychopharmacology, 214(1), 231-    238.

Michael, E., Eric, J., Jaclyn, M., Benjamin, A., & Charles, S. (2013). Harsh Childhood       Environmental Characteristics Predict Exploitation And Retaliation In Humans.     Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society, 280 (1750), 2012-2104.

Nauert, R. (2011). Negative Parenting Style Contributes to Child Aggression. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 28, 2015, from

Rand, C., Tricia, N., Kee, K.,& Laura, S. (2003). Angry and Aggressive Behavior across   Three Generations: A Prospective, Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children.    Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 31(2), 143-160.

Sandra, L. (2011). My Chinese American Problem-And Ours: The National Convulsion Over        Tiger Moms Has Led Parents To Hate Or Fear People Like Me. They Should Feel     Sorry For Us Instead. (Critical essay). The Atlantic, 307(3), 83(7).

Steven, P., Alfred, D., Stephen, A., & Peggy, C. (2000). Harsh Physical Discipline in        Childhood and Violence in Later Romantic Involvements: The Mediating Role of      Problem Behaviors. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 62(2), 508-519.

Tamara, D., Randi, P., & Kimberly, R. (2014). The Impact of  Children’s Language Ability           on Parent Cognitions and Harsh Discipline Practices. Infant and Child Development, 23(4), 388-401.



Appendix A: List of Changes made


For your MRP 6, you need to include the following sections:

-Table of Contents


-Literature Review


This means you need to make sure you add the sections I outlined above. In addition.your sections should be more than one paragraph long. If you have a section that is only one paragraph, go back and make sure it is detailed and robust enough, and probably add at least one more paragraph to it.

Also, make sure your Introduction is for the whole paper and not just the Methods section. Make sure your Table of Contents is for your whole paper, not just your Lit Review.

Take Roman Numerals completely out of the body of your paper.

This addresses the most widespread issues I saw in the papers.

Changes made

-Table of Contents (To be for the whole paper)

Added at the beginning of the paper

-Abstract – Added

-Literature Review – Completed and combined with the other parts that were done earlier

-References – Added

Short sections – all short sections have been revised and made more robust

Introduction – Written for the whole paper

Roman numerals – taken out of the whole paper completely















Appendix B: Survey Questionnaire


  1. Would you describe your childhood as a negative experience?
  • Yes
  • No
  1. What kind of negative experience did you have?
  • Harsh parenting
  • Careless parenting
  • unfair treatment between you and your siblings
  • Other
  1. Do you feel your negative childhood still affects you today?
  • Yes
  • No
  1. Did your parents try to resolve what they did with you?
  • Yes
  • No
  1. Have you read about how a negative childhood can affected people in adulthood?
  • Yes
  • No
  1. Did you try to resolve your problems by self-awareness?
  • Yes
  • No
  1. Did you try to resolve your problems with ask counseling?
  • Yes
  • No
  1. Did you try to resolve your problems by talk with your parents?
  • Yes
  • No