In 1971 psychologist Diana Baumrind published a detailed longitudinal study of 133 parents of preschoolers that involved observations, interviews and questionnaires. She was able to classify most of the parents into one of three styles: Authoritarian (20%), Authoritative (19%) and Permissive (30%). A small group (8%) were classified as rejecting-neglecting and the remaining parents used a mixture of styles.
Since then a number of other researchers have used these groupings and Baumrind herself has extended the original research. The categories quickly made it into the popular press. Most parents today have heard of them.
Even more important than . . .