Date of Award

Summer 2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Bardwell, Rebecca

Second Advisor

Melchert, Timothy

Third Advisor

Edwards, Lisa


Parenting styles create different social environments in the lives of children within the home. Many studies have investigated the effects of parenting style on children's emotional development and behavior (Liem, Cavell, & Lustig, 2010; Pezzella, 2010; Schaffer, Clark, & Jeglic, 2009; Steward & Bond, 2002; Timpano, Keough, Mahaffey, Schmidt, & Abramowitz, 2010) as well as differences in parenting across cultures (Keels, 2009; Paulussen-Hoogeboom, Stams, Hermanns, Peetsma, &Wittenboer, 2008). Limited research has been conducted on parenting style and religion, however, and especially in Muslim families, and among Muslim American families in particular. There is also a lack of research that focuses on the effects of all four parenting styles (i.e. authoritarian, authoritative, permissive, and neglectful) on child development in Muslim families. Most scholars focus on authoritarian and authoritative parenting styles in their studies and disregard the permissive and neglectful parenting styles (Mayseless, Scharf, & Sholt, 2003; Takeuchi & Takeuchi, 2008). The present study focused on associations between parenting style and measures of emotional and behavioral problems in Muslim American children. No statistically significant differences were found in emotional and behavior problems between the various parenting groups. Consistency in parenting was also not associated with emotional and behavioral difficulty scores. Authoritative parenting was found to be the most frequent parenting style among Muslim fathers in the study sample, while authoritarian parenting was the most frequently reported parenting style among the Muslim mothers in the sample.