Family, Peer and Media Influences

On the different stages of development

Parenting Styles

Authoritative parents combine control with encouragement along with reasonable expectations. They have rules and structure but accept listening to their child's point of view. They can be flexible and open minded with rules. Children of these parents develop independence and self control. They have good academic achievement and are outgoing, social and cooperative. They have high self esteem and are less likely to partake in substance abuse.

Authoritarian parents have a large amount of rules and control. They are insensitive to their children's feelings and there is no changing the rules. The child is expected to not question the reasoning of the rules; just follow them. Children from this parenting show aggression and bullying during development. They can be withdrawn, dependent on peers, frustrated, angry and show poor academic achievement. They have lower maturity levels and lower moral reasoning as adolescents. There is negative impact on child development from authoritarian parenting style.

Permissive parents have very little rules and not much structure. Children are open to express themselves and have very little restrictions. The children show aggression, poor social skills and have issues with self control. As adolescents they have low academic performance, deviant behavior and poor psychosocial functioning.

Neglectful parents do not engage with their children or provide in the relationship. They have very little involvement all together. Neglectful parenting causes angry and defiant behavior from the young child that may continue through adolescents. They have lower social skills and lower school achievement. These children are more likely to conduct in drug use and juvenile delinquency in adolescents.

Family Structures

Divorce - Children may feel sadness, depression and abandonment. Adolescents may act out with problem behaviors.

Single Parent - Children can be overwhelmed and burdened with extra responsibilities. Adolescents can mature faster due to the extra responsibilities they take on to help.

Adoptive Families - The child may struggle with finding their identity.

Foster Care - Children from foster care are at a greater risk of suicide attempt, substance abuse, criminal activity and poor school performance.

Intergenerational families - Children may show sadness and depression from loss of parent.

Peer Relationships and Media Use

Peer Relationships

-Builds social and communication skills

-Develop conflict resolution skills

-Self esteem development

-Helps identify self

-Develop feelings and emotions

Media Use

-Has positive and negative effects on development

-Too much media use can cause delays in cognitive development

-Children may have a hard time focusing on simple tasks and school work

-If media use is abused it can cause poorer academic achievement

-If not used properly media use can be distraction in learning

-Educational programs can have a positive impact on early childhood development

Alcohol, Narcotics, Drug Use and Tobacco

Any and all drug use can have a negative impact on development. Drug use can cause a loss of memory, brain damage and liver damage. Children and adolescents show poor academic performance due to drug use causing problems with learning and retaining information. Adolescents may suffer from a loss of friends caused by fighting and aggression from drug use and abuse. Children and adolescents may have poor self esteem, poor problem solving skills and loss of interest in activities they previously enjoyed. They have an increase in engaging in high-risk behavior. Adolescents may suffer depression and mood swings. Parental drug use increases the chances of their children using drugs. Parents should talk to their children about the negative impact drug use has.


-National Institute on Alcohol abuse and alcoholism. The Effects of Alcohol on Physiological Processes and Biological Development. Retrieved from

-Aarons, G.A.; Brown, S.A.; Coe, M.T.; et al. Adolescent alcohol and drug abuse and health. Journal of Adolescent Health 24:412–421, 1999. PMID: 10401969

-Levy, S. (2009). Drug and substance use and abuse in adolescents. Retrieved from

-Wittmer, D.S. (2010). Family Structure. Retrieved from

-Levine, L.E., & Munsch, J. (2014). Child Development: An active learning approach (2nd ed.). Retrieved from University of Phoenix online database.