Parenting Styles in Caribbean, Dominicans Relating to Gender From an Anthropological Perspective


Parenting refers to cultural attainment activity, which mediates via the prevailing molarity grammar and subject to the effect of competing claim-makers groups. The fathers and mothers transformation into parent historically coexists with the increase in the affinity to reinterpret rearing of children as a skill, instead of an integral characteristic of a relationship of an integral family. As a result, the fathers and mothers relationship with their children has been detached from parenting skills possession. These skills are progressively represented as traits of science and expertise that have been away from direct child-rearing experience (Faircloth & Hoffman 3). This is where the parents adapt the parenting style to impose on their children. Parenting style refers to the typical behaviors and attitude of parents that create the emotional climate where in children are raised. Parenting style has been said to play a significant role in emotional and social development of the children (Zarra-Nezhad et al. 1). This paper focuses on analyzing parenting style for Dominicans people in Caribbean, as per the child’s gender based on an anthropological view.

Parenting Styles and Their Impact on Children Emotional, Psychological and Emotional Well-Being

Relation between individual identity and parenting are central problems in psychological anthropology. The level to which parents monitor their kids in great part stems from their parenting style choice. For example, warm and effective parenting which is attributed by involvement, supportiveness, and responsiveness; together with behavior control that include limit and clear rules setting; which are clearly given by parents have been demonstrated to be associated to lower levels of depressive and symptoms of behavioral issues among children. High level of parental psychological control which include controlling emotion and behavior of children, via psychological ways that include guilt induction, is said to be related to increased depressive, distress and anxiety symptoms among both adolescents and children.

Early children emotional development happens in the vibrant interaction between the environment that they grow in and child-parent relationship. Parenting style is one aspect of this environment, where comparatively, stable parental attitudes and behaviors toward their children establish the family emotional climate (Zarra-Nezhad et al. 2).  There are various parenting styles that parents can adopt while raising their children. Some of these styles include authoritative, authoritarian, permissive and negligent among others. Permissive parenting is typified by low behavior control and by provision of high affection. Authoritarian parenting is typified by low affection and a punitive and harsh control. Authoritative parenting is typified by a high level of both behavioral control and parental affection, while negligent parenting involves not taking care of the child and not instilling any control or offering any emotional support. This is one of the most destructive parenting styles.

Research has extensively proposed that the methods which parents utilize to discipline and guide their children impact their emotional, social, and academic development. For instance, emotional socialization study suggest that punishing kids for showing negative emotions or reducing their emotional expression, augment intensity of children’s emotional expression, making these children to be less self-regulating emotionally and more emotionally reactive. In addition, authoritative parenting has been demonstrated to be prognostic of more established emotional functioning that include responding to empathy in children with time. Authoritarian and permissive parenting on the other hand have been depicted to be associated to emotional dysfunction of children, which is reflected in aggression and poor strategies of emotion regulation. In addition, a high parental level of psychological control has been depicted to result to internalizing issues that include internalized distress, anxiety, and depression. This can easily influence the child behavior during teenage and in adulthood (Zarra-Nezhad et al. 2).

Parenting Style in Dominica and Its Impact

The adopted parenting style plays an essential role in dictating the general emotional, psychological and behavioral health of a child. Past research has in particular proposed that parenting practice might influence the mental health of adolescents. This is no different in Caribbean. Majority of researchers have proposed that Caribbean parents predominately use authoritarian style of parenting. However, as reported by teenagers in Lipps et al. (8), research, parents apply different styles of parenting with two most prevalent parenting styles in the area being neglectful parenting and authoritative parenting. Authoritarian according to this research only accounted for about 20.3% of all parenting styles. The research also established a significant parenting style variation with regard to gender. Female respondents reported higher level of authoritative parenting style, while male respondent reporting a higher level of neglectful parenting style. This implies that girls attract more parental attention and control compared to boys in the Caribbean region (Lipps et al. 9).

Caribbean parenting style is highly influenced by the Latino culture. Latinos share the same culture despite originating from different regions and nations. Based on this Latinos have shared norms, attitudes, values, and beliefs that define Latinos heritage, which is decisive for the creation of family, personal and worldview decision making as well as context-particular behaviors that include parenting practices. They are therefore known to have collective worldview, which might express higher concerns on family wellbeing and family values, rather than individual chances to develop their personal aspiration. Based on these shared family values, Latino women are traditionally given the primary responsibility of taking care of the entire family in a nuclear family set up. Latino families also believe in respect of the elder, harmony among themselves, trust and reduced conflict. They consider children obedient and discipline compared to white. Parents and elders in this culture are also known to be less consultative, while decision making about their teenage children. Male are highly dominant in the family while female are anticipated to be submissive. Thus, serious decision making is normally done by men. The parenting style in this culture is highly influenced by gender role set by the society. In this regard, according to Guilammmo-Ramos et al. (19), permissive parenting style is said to be mostly applied when raising sons compared to girls, due to gender biasness embraced by Latino culture parenting practices. Latino parents are also thought to be highly probable to adopt egalitarian and authoritative parenting style while handing teenage sons, but more authoritarian and stricter parenting style while handling teenage girls.

In a research determining the relation between parenting and gender among Dominicans, it was established that the community employ different parenting practices as a gender function of their teenagers (Guilamo-Ramos et al. 22). Generally, the gender differences were attributed to the Latino cultural norms of female submissiveness and male liberty. Boys according to Dominicans mothers need to be raised with extra freedom compared to girls. In this regard a higher parental control is employed on girls who are encouraged strongly to take part in household activities, as boys are permitted more freedom to discover and explore external activities. Other than gender role-based parenting control differences between girls and boys in Dominica, parents tend to employ similar parenting techniques to their children in other aspects. Based on Guilamo-Ramos et al. (23) research findings, Dominican parents maintain supportive and warm relationship with their children. This relationship is typified by high level of teenager-parent sharing and interaction. They are also highly inclined into explaining parental actions and decisions to their children, an aspect that play a great role in building positive relationship with their children. Parents, in most cases Dominican mothers make an effort to improve and build relationships with their children (Guilamo-Ramos et al. 17).

The above findings are partly contrasted in a different research conducted to determine the influence of parenting on teenage alcoholism in the Dominican community (Decker and Flinn 204). In this research, Dominica parents demonstrate low parental affection or caring and high parental controlling or intrusiveness. This influences increased danger of negative results that include substance abuse in adulthood and adolescence. Similar to Guilamo-Ramos et al. , this research also acknowledged the parenting variation based on gender. The distinct sex differences parenting pattern was found to contribute to variation between boys and girls drinking behavior in the community. The connection between substance use attributes, parental rearing and adult personality proposes that ecological or cultural dimensions such as gender identity and matrifocality, might create intense interactive impacts in putatively universal connection for humans between caregiver or parental style and adult results.

Community matrifocality has been linked with higher daughter-biased parental care prevalence. These findings support the conclusion that daughter-biased parental care and matrifocality add to boy suffering from higher degree of social marginalization at the community level, which puts them at higher danger for negative outcomes. The daughter-biased parental care and matrifocality in Dominica is also linked to increased male alcoholism, poverty, increased in boys high school dropouts and reduced chances for boys to migrate for work (Decker and Flinn 204). Boys in this community are said to experience reduced maternal care compared to girls. This is said to contribute to high level of alcoholism among male adolescents and adults. It also creates great disparity between the men involved in alcoholism and cigarette smoking compared to women. As an adaptation to heightened risk and resource scarcity, daughter-biased parental care and matrifocality might influence female folks groups toward less controlling or intrusive and less affectionate parental styles subsequently, contributing to likelihood for boys to be extra prone to coping by reduced punishment sensitivity. This can also push boys to be involved in risky ”male-typical” sensation-seeking behaviors that include excessive consumption of alcohol (Decker and Flinn 204).

The alcoholic behavior of male children in Dominica during their adolescence can be attributed poor parental monitoring. Parental monitoring and support according to Patock-Peckham and Morgan-Lopez (117), are strong predictors of the results of adolescent problems, even after managing family alcohol abuse history, socioeconomic status, race, age, family structure and gender. According to social theory of learning, children learn via imitating and observing the parent of the same gender. Based on this theory, it has been established that parent who employ coercive control that include hitting, yelling, screaming, slapping and shouting, had teenagers who were more probable to act out and show deviance at school. In addition, adolescents that reported having the highest levels of parental monitoring and extra house rules demonstrated the lowest degrees of behavioral problem that include school misconduct, deviance, use of illicit drugs and drinking. Parental monitoring in addition plays an essential environmental role in the intergenerational alcoholism transmission in families. One manner in which parental alcoholism presumably results to the drinking problem transmission to adolescent offspring is via decreased children monitoring by parents. This is clearly depicted in Latino culture while handling boys. Low parental monitoring is said to create a probability of children having to spend extra time with deviant peers, who are likely to influence their behaviors and drinking habits (Patock-Peckham and Morgan-Lopez 117).

Different parenting style are related to different level of monitoring and hence difference in children behaviors. According to Patock-Peckham and Morgan-Lopez (118), teenagers exposed to authoritative parenting might be at reduced risk for substance abuse and use compared to their peers. For instance, when contrasted to adolescents raised by authoritative parents, teenagers exposed to indifferent, authoritarian, and permissive parenting were 1.8 to 5.9 times as probable to deny authority of parents concerning alcohol use. This is backed by the research results that demonstrated that positive processes control mediated the relation between perceived control and parenting styles over individual drinking (Patock-Peckham and Morgan-Lopez 118). This is supported by Guilammmo-Ramos et al. (19) finding which proposed that Dominicans provide permissive parenting style to. It can thus be said that male children in Dominica community lack proper parental monitoring, with most parents employing other parenting methods other than authoritative parenting to raise boys, which increase their risk of being alcoholic.


Parenting style is said to have a great influence on the child general behavioral, emotional and psychological development. This has clearly been seen in the role the parenting style play in influencing boys drinking in the Dominican community. Dominicans exercise less parental control when raising boys and strict control while raising girls. This can be related to all other form of parenting other than authoritative parenting style. As a result some boys may feel less loved or cared for compared to their sisters turning to wrong peers or alcohol for comfort. Others may just exercise their freedom a great deal turning to alcohol as a form of amusement.

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