PhotoWhen it comes to raising kids, are you a die hard disciplinarian or a laid back libertarian? Whatever your parenting style, studies show it can have a big impact on the way your kids turn out.

Like most parents, you probably want your child to grow into a happy, educated adult with a high-paying job. But a new study has found that some parenting styles may be more conducive to creating this type of adult than others.

A new survey -- conducted by a research group led by Nishimura Kazuo, project professor at the Kobe University Center of Social Systems Innovation -- has found that the way a person was raised can greatly influence their level of happiness and professional success in adulthood.

Six categories of parenting

Earlier this year, the team surveyed 5,000 men and women to obtain information about their relationships with their parents during childhood. Participants responded to such questions as, “My parents trusted me,” and “I felt like my family had no interest in me.”

Based on responses, the research team was able to identify four key parenting factors -- (dis)interest, trust, rules, and independence -- and sort parenting methods into the following six categories:

  • Supportive: High or average levels of independence, high levels of trust, high levels of interest shown in child, large amount of time spent together
  • Strict: Low levels of independence, medium-to-high levels of trust, strict or fairly strict, medium-to-high levels of interest shown in child, many rules
  • Indulgent: High or average levels of trust, not strict at all, time spent together is average or longer than average
  • Easygoing: Low levels of interest shown in child, not strict at all, small amount of time spent together, few rules
  • Harsh: Low levels of interest shown in child, low levels of independence, low levels of trust, strict
  • Average. Average levels for all key factors

Supportive is best

The team found that positive attention and care from parents was the most effective parenting method -- at least when it came to producing adults who were both happy and successful.

Adults who reported being raised by “supportive” parents were more likely to have high incomes, high happiness levels, academic success, and a strong sense of morality.

Strict upbringings, however, tended to produce an entirely different type of adult. Although they reported high salaries and academic success, participants with parents who paid them high levels of attention combined with strict discipline became adults with lower happiness levels and increased stress.

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