Psychology Professor M March 12th, 2013 Abstract Throughout the years, producers have developed and aired thousands of television series giving Americans hours of entertainment every day. Producers not only demonstrate life lessons, education or what may be entertaining, but demonstrate the different types of Baumrind’s parenting styles and the benefits or consequences that shape a child throughout a show. When you watch a television series or even a movie you can often examine the development process of a character throughout the duration of the film. When parents are characters in a series or film, their actions usually impact the development of their children. In this paper, we are going to examine two of the four parenting styles of Baumrind: neglectful and authoritative. By examining these two styles we will observe and analyze the neglectful style that the parents in the television series “The Family Guy” demonstrates and the authoritative style the parent in another television series “Jimmy Neutron” demonstrates.
Introduction With television becoming highly popular throughout the country, it wouldn’t be surprising that our daily lives could in fact be influenced by this type of entertainment. Whether television shows impact an individual beneficially, or negatively, television can educate the audience whether it does it knowingly or unknowingly. One of the ways that various shows can present this education process is through the acts of the parent characters. When a show contains parent characters they typically have children they are in taking care of. These parent’s actions usually shape a child character’s life throughout the series of television shows demonstrating the main topic this paper will evaluate: Baumrind’s parenting styles. We will analyze two out of the four parenting styles which will include the authoritative parenting style and the neglectful parenting styles. Both are demonstrated in two particular entertainment shows: The Family Guy and the television production of Jimmy Neutron. In the popular television show The Family Guy, Lois and Peter Griffin exhibit a neglectful parenting style that negatively influences their child, Meg. According to Santrock (2008), author of the textbook “Life-Span Development Twelfth Edition”, a neglectful parenting style is a style of parenting in which the parent is very uninvolved in the child’s life; it is associated with children’s social incompetence, especially a lack of self-control (Santrock, 2008, p.257). Throughout the show’s episodes, the parents consistently demonstrate this type of parenting style and even though the episodes do not correlate with each other, you can see the negative developmental impact this neglectful parenting style has on Meg. The other parenting style, authoritative style, is clearly presented in the television production of The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genus. The Nickelodeon television series contains a motherly character known as Judy in which clearly presents an authoritative parenting style. According to Santrock (2008), an authoritative parenting style is a style in which parents encourage their children to be independent but still place limits and controls on their actions. Extensive verbal give-and-take is allowed, and parents are warm and nurturant toward the child. Authoritative parenting is associated with children’s social competence (Santrock, 2008, p.257). Judy’s actions influence and shape her son, Jimmy Neutron throughout the television series. Her parenting style is also a big factor in the development and progression of each episode as well. In addition, as we compare the two types of Baumrind’s parenting styles to their corresponding entertainment shows; you will be able to observe a correlation to the parenting style and the actions of the child. Each parenting