promote positive moral development and legal socialization, while avoiding interactions that reinforce social disaffection and negative attitudes toward law and legal authority.
The dominant paradigm for studying the socialization of prosocial behavior in the real world has been the examination of parenting styles, which have been measured in terms of patterns of control, responsiveness, warmth, and punishment that parents use to manage their children’s behavior (see Chapter 4). The parenting typology established by Baumrind and her colleagues in the 1960s (authoritarian, permissive, authoritative) provides a model of conceptualizing approaches to socialization and discipline that could be relevant to the juvenile justice system’s challenge of promoting accountability.
Research reviewed by Maccoby (2007) demonstrates how parenting practices associated with permissive and authoritarian styles are ineffective at promoting accountability in children, as they either fail to instill any controls or instill only fear of punishment. Thus, the question underlying modern parenting research is not whether parents should exercise authority, but rather how parental control can best be exercised so as to support children’s developing capacity for self-regulation. The identification of the authoritative parenting style has captured the combination of responsive, supporting parenting with firmness. Although there has been an unwavering emphasis on rule-setting, monitoring, and the importance of following up on infractions with discipline, there has also been an increasing emphasis on integrating warmth, humor, responsiveness, and politeness into these control functions. The authoritative style entails parents making age-appropriate demands on their children, modeling moral behavior, establishing clear and consistent expectations, and setting up firmly enforced rules of behavior, while also listening to their children, taking their viewpoints into account, providing explanations for parental demands, involving them in decision making, and creating opportunities for their moral reasoning (Laursen and Collins, 2009).
Gibbs (2003) highlights the role that “inductive discipline” encounters play in authoritative systems, asserting that although nurturance and role modeling foster receptivity in children, it is these discipline encounters that teach the impact of the child’s selfish acts on others, which is crucial to the development of empathy and accountability (Bugental and Goodnow, 1998). Inductive reasoning in discipline encounters refers to parents informing their children of norms and principles, explaining why rules are necessary, highlighting the well-being of others, and illuminating the effects of children’s actions. Discipline that emphasizes power does not cultivate