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The Uninvolved Parenting Style and Its Effect on the Psychological Development of a Child

Approaches to parenting and child care can vary significantly based on the parents’ individual characteristics and their preferred style. Each of the strategies exhibits unique features and characteristics that envelop parents’ personality traits and identify the behavioral patterns chosen. However, the most outstanding achievement of parenting style theories lies in assessing the impact it bears on children’s psychological and emotional attitudes, as well as their overall mental development (Talib et al., 2015). It has been stated that while some techniques specified allow to achieve beneficial results, others might be detrimental for young individual’s future, as they harm their well-being and affect the growth outcomes (Pinquart, 2017). The uninvolved parenting style has been outlined as one of such negative caring strategies, which adversely influences the maturing individuals, hindering the development of necessary abilities and coping strategies.

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In the long term, dismissive parent-child interactions may even contribute to the formation of specific traits and disorders that significantly alter the adolescents’ quality of life. Understanding the consequences of uninvolved parenting and its connection to the psychological progress of a growing individual is an essential part of psychology investigations. In this research paper, the primary definitions of uninvolved parenting style and children’s mental development will be presented, and the potential effects of such caring techniques will be ascertained according to contemporary scientific literature.

Leading Characteristics of the Uninvolved Parenting Style

Given the tremendous variety of parenting strategies and the impact they potentially have on children, scholars have directed remarkable attention to the investigation of existing development methods in connection to their efficacy and positive influence. Several predominating styles have been identified based on parents’ levels of control, demand, and responsiveness when interacting with their children. As such, the most fundamental distinction was first introduced by Baumrind, who proposed a three-type control categorization: authoritarian, authoritative, and permissive parenting strategies (Talib et al., 2015). Although this specification allowed for a deeper understanding of parental behaviors and developmental outcomes, a more diverse theory was necessary in order to thoroughly investigate the phenomenon, especially the deviations from the three aforementioned suggestions. Maccoby and Martin further altered Baumrind’s categories, including demand and responsiveness, and adding such styles as indulgent and uninvolved (Talib et al., 2015). The latter typology is also referred to as neglectful, proposing the lack of interest in the children’s accomplishments or issues manifested in these parents’ behavior. Thus, the authors introduced a contrast needed to specify the patterns evident in neglectful caretakers.

The new notions exceptionally benefited the original theory, further distinguishing between parenting styles. Even though the general dimensions used were kept relatively intact, the overall theoretical coverage of this phenomenon was greatly elevated. In contemporary research, most authors still refer to is the initial definitions coined by Baumrind, with the authoritative style being the desired parenting approach that combines high levels of control and affection (Sahithya et al., 2019). The authoritarian strategy maintained high levels of power while demonstrating low degrees of responsiveness. Permissive parents were described as showing little demandingness but still being involved in the offspring’s activities. Finally, uninvolved or neglectful guardians represent the integration of low control and responsiveness simultaneously, staying rather cold and distant.

The concept of uninvolved parenting is mainly dependent on the understanding of parental authority. In a neglectful behavioral pattern, parents exert little control over their children’s activities or endeavors, demonstrating little to no involvement in their accomplishments or issues (Sahithya et al., 2019). In addition, such caretakers lack an essential amount of emotional warmth, failing to show the affection needed. Dismissive parents often give their children tremendous freedom of choice regarding their actions, only controlling them in extraordinary or dangerous situations (Singh, 2017). This absence of interest is combined with a distant and non-attentive approach, where a growing individual’s emotional needs are not fulfilled (Pinquart, 2017). Altogether, guardians following uninvolved parental style appear to ignore their children’s behavior and emotions, offering little actual and emotional involvement.

Justification of Current Research

The new categorization became highly affluent within the psychological society, presenting additional options for scientific studies. According to some scholars, it is imperative to highlight both the authority and affection dimensions of parenting, as they play a crucial role in successful mental and social upbringing (Pinquart, 2017). The psychological development of a maturing individual is closely correlated with the parenting style adopted, bearing harmful outcomes if a non-efficient or disadvantageous approach is applied (Singh, 2017). Multiple empirical findings state that neglectful also called uninvolved, technique is especially dangerous for children’s well-being, as it often becomes a source of underdeveloped psychological functions and destructive patterns of behavior (Sahithya et al., 2019). However, particular connections between uninvolved parenting and psychological progress are still not established, leaving a significant knowledge gap in the area of parent-child relationships.

Even though the style of upbringing defined is almost unanimously considered non-beneficial, its impact on children varies in multiple instances, having different effect levels and development results. The consequences of uninvolved parenting can be divided into several groups based on various features, from their severity to the psychological issues caused. Multiple investigations support the practicality of Baumrind’s suggestions and outline the validity of alterations made by Maccoby and Martin (Sahithya et al., 2019). Nevertheless, given the broad range of this topic and the diversity of the impact described, it is necessary to research recent scientific findings, creating a comprehensive overview of their results and possible implications. Precise links between uninvolved parenting and types of developmental outcomes are still to be established.

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Neglectful Parenting Style and Pathological Manifestations

Ignoring the child’s physiological and emotional needs can be especially disastrous when manifested at earlier ages. According to research, there is an exceptionally high correlation between parental lack of involvement and various pathological symptoms (Pinquart, 2017). Many individuals who grew up with neglectful parents were reported to demonstrate signs of multiple disorders, for example, markers of anxiety and depression potentially procured by inadequate support during childhood years (Konopka et al., 2018). Guidance and proper care from both maternal and paternal sides are necessary in the younger years, which allows for the construction of successful world concepts and coping strategies. By interacting with their parents, a maturing individual receives not only additional knowledge about various environments but also learns to handle diverse negative situations (Sahithya et al., 2019). In a scenario where it is impossible to acquire such information from a significant other, maladaptive strategies will likely be formed.

The absence of a particular approach that is efficient in managing concerning situations is a considerable predictor of pathological psychological development. In addition to suffering from the early onset of depression and anxiety, such children are prone to substance abuse and eating disorders, which manifests as an attempt to overcome negative experiences (Konopka et al., 2018). Females often suffer from bulimia or anorexia, which often manifest during adolescent years as a response to low levels of emotional warmth. Even though this correlation was not established for the male population, it is evident that a significant risk of eating complications is present.

Internalization and its role in psychological well-being is a popular topic of empirical exploration. A worrisome connection has been observed between disruptions of internalization processes and negative childhood experiences, namely neglectful behavior from parents or guardians. Some scholars argue that these results develop as a consequence of internalization problems, which over time become more difficult to handle (Pinquart, 2017). In contrast, youth who received more prominent parental warmth are much less likely to exhibit such symptoms, even if the amount of support obtained was not ideal. Several studies compared the internalization problems occurring in adolescence raised by parents with different parenting styles (Pinquart, 2017). While high control and low warmth, evidenced in an authoritarian style, can also lead to pathological manifestations, these symptoms are considerably more diverse and severe in a neglectful approach. Overall, findings from multiple studies suggest that uninvolved parenting is the most harmful strategy, as it directly ignores a child’s emotional and psychological needs, acting as an instigator of diverse pathological conditions.

Dismissive Parenting and Emotional Disruptions

Another adverse outcome sighted in children raised by uninvolved parents is disturbed emotion regulation. Apart from establishing successful coping strategies, guardians also play an important part in stabilizing the emotional output of their child, offering them an opportunity to manage their levels of stress and anxiety (Sahithya et al., 2019). While one negative consequence of dismissive parenting is the risk of pathological disorders, another side of this issue is securing empathy and emotional understanding, which can get severely impacted by neglectful caretakers. Adolescents affected by an extensive lack of affection and emotional support often become unable to recognize emotions not only within themselves but also in other people (Bukhalenkova et al., 2021). According to a recent study, five to six-year-old children are tremendously susceptible to such mistreatment, as their abilities to understand and ascertain other people’s emotions become underdeveloped (Bukhalenkova et al., 2021). The mental progress of maturing individuals with uninvolved parents is majorly hindered, causing detrimental psychological and well-being outcomes.

Another critical feature to be discussed is emotional regulation, which allows for control over one’s impulsiveness. In certain situations, it is necessary to exert specific restraint over emotional outputs, as particular expressions might be deemed inappropriate by other society members. Furthermore, constraint and discipline are the building factors of emotional intelligence, an essential concept that includes the ability to handle one’s own emotions in social circumstances (Llorca-Mestre et al., 2017). This trait is necessary for sustaining successful relationships with others, perceiving affluence of communication, and avoiding or diffusing conflict. However, children raised by dismissive parents demonstrate low levels of self-control, prompting them to openly disclose their emotions in an impulsive manner, regardless of circumstances (Llorca-Mestre et al., 2017). Inability to register one’s own feelings can lead to insufficient management and obstruction of social relationships.

Lack of Parental Involvement and Social Adaptation

Strategies adopted by parents significantly affect various areas of psychological development, including the success of social adaptation. While authoritative parental style allows the children to practice different social skills, the uninvolved approach deprives the adolescent of such an opportunity, originating complications in social interactions (Pinquart, 2017). Apart from attaining maladaptive coping strategies and low emotional intelligence, these individuals are often unaware of prosocial behavior aspects, failing to establish successful communication with their peers (Llorca-Mestre et al., 2017). As stated before, lack of self-control is a common consequence of parental neglectfulness, which produces critical complications during social interactions. Children with these symptoms are viewed negatively by other individuals, which disrupts communication processes. In response to being unaccepted by other community members, adolescents can develop non-functional coping strategies, from social isolation to expressions of extreme aggression and violence (Llorca-Mestre et al., 2017). Inability to regulate emotional output becomes an essential predictor of poor social adaptation and peer attachment.

Along with decreased emotional control, behavioral patterns appropriated can also pose an incremental danger for public interactions. According to Van Wert et al. (2019), children exposed to neglectful practices tend to act similarly when communicating with other individuals, producing an additional determinant of intimate relationship deterioration. When growing up with distant and uninterested parents, adolescents transfer these methods of socializing to their own social connections, preemptively sabotaging them. Studies show that even mature individuals show signs of childhood mistreatment, failing to establish successful interaction processes (Hwang & Jung, 2021). Providing a maturing person with sufficient knowledge regarding public communication is a vital responsibility for parents.

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Dismissive Parental Behavior, Violence, and Delinquency

A particular type of consequence connected to neglectful parenting is related to manifestations of violent and delinquent acts. Along with being extremely susceptible to psychological disorders and substance abuse, children might also demonstrate markers of highly aggressive behavior, which often originates from youth maltreatment (Moreno-Ruiz et al., 2018). These repercussions are prompted by a lack of any degree of parental involvement, forcing the adolescent to create antisocial behavioral patterns in an attempt to overcome the negative experiences (Johnson, 2016). While some individuals participate in aggressive or abusive actions towards their peers, others may reveal significant criminal tendencies, especially during adolescent years. Recent investigations claim that the amount of robberies and violent acts committed by an adult from neglectful families is incredibly high, outnumbering other potential factors of delinquency (Johnson, 2016). Moreover, even in contrast with authoritarian upbringing, which also originates violent desires, the uninvolved parenting style influences the individual in a far more detrimental manner (Johnson, 2016). Altogether, dismissive parenting considerably increases the risk of misdemeanors, aggression, and displays of brutal force developed.

A vital concern for parents and scholars worldwide is the psychological impact of uninvolved upbringing that can be conveyed by affected individuals to their own families. Data acquired from multiple adults raised in such circumstances reveals the psychological and biological indicators of future neglectful parenting (Van Wert et al., 2019). Lack of parental warmth and control over one’s actions act as an instigator of subsequent behavioral patterns in these individuals, who feel inclined to adopt similar techniques within their own families (Van Wert et al., 2019). At first sight, it seems that the absence of parent-child interaction is a better outcome than another mistreatment, for example, excessive control. Nevertheless, in the long term, such actions have a significant long-lasting impact that might be transferred between different generations.

Absence of Parent-Child Interaction and Extended Developmental Effects

In the context of children’s mental progress, it is essential to consider the long-term outcomes which affect their adult lives. Although some adverse consequences of neglectful parenting can be observed during younger years, as a growing individual shows little interest in communications with others or indulges in aggressive behavior, some complications remain hidden (Hwang & Jung, 2021). Psychological issues might develop during the later stages of life, thus obstructing well-being (Hwang & Jung, 2021). Given the tremendous amount of time that children spent under their guardians’ care, it is necessary to note that multiple levels of psychological development occur throughout these years.

Depending on circumstantial and personal characteristics, manifestations may be exceptionally distinct but generally exhibit similar attributes, namely neglectfulness towards one’s children, absence of interest in family activities, and inefficient coping strategies. Moreover, it is common for such individuals to experience lowered self-efficacy and life satisfaction, with the child-parent relationships deteriorating overtime (Hwang & Jung, 2021). These results are both psychological and biological in their nature, meaning that some traits attained during childhood become rigid and extremely difficult to alter.

Negating Effects of Neglectful Parenting

Troublesome experiences encountered throughout the early years and adolescence appear to be a substantial aspect of hindered emotional and psychological development, which in turn contributes to decreased welfare and quality of life. Although the impact discussed is remarkably influential, it is still possible to negate particular repercussions and alter the coping strategies and psychological mechanisms established. A widely recognized approach seems to be psychotherapy, a prominent technique of surpassing the influence of past events (Hayes & Hofmann, 2018). Cognitive-behavioral therapy is especially affluent in this regard, being suitable for forming efficient techniques which allow the individual to confront negative circumstances in a more productive way (Crowe & McKay, 2017). This therapeutical approach has been shown to alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety, as well as substance abuse and certain childhood traumas (Garber et al., 2016). Instances of extreme irritability and aggression can also be addressed within the cognitive-behavioral therapies framework, producing a possibility for affected individuals to secure a more positive future for themselves and their families.


To conclude, the leading elements of uninvolved parenting style and its effects on children’s development were discussed in detail in this paper. Early childhood and adolescence are imperative periods of any individual’s life, as essential knowledge and personality aspects are acquired over the course of these years. By interacting with their parents, children study and learn the primary behavioral patterns they will employ in subsequent social relationships. Furthermore, the adolescents master their emotional and social intelligence, adopting specific approaches to the understanding of individual and others’ emotions, as well as self-control and coping strategies.

Parental involvement is a determining element in this context, as it allows young individuals to construct successful techniques of battling various circumstances and overcoming negative experiences.

Failing to provide the child with sufficient warmth and authority can detrimentally influence their psychological development and future well-being by enforcing nonpractical attitudes and self-understanding practices. Children raised by neglectful parents repeatedly demonstrate markers of pathological behaviors, namely anxiety and depression disorders, as well as considerable substance abuse. Additionally, distant parenting has been shown to drastically increase the possibility of crime participation and violent tendencies, compelling youth to struggle with the consequences of an irresponsible upbringing. Finally, the tremendous range of such repercussions accounts for the long-term effects present in numerous adults from uninvolved families, who continue to endure distress symptoms originating from childhood traumas.

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