The relationship between adolescent identity styles and parenting styles in one and two parent families in Botswana
Adolescence is a critical developmental stage for any individual. The process of identity formation occurs during this stage and Erikson's theory states that adolescents' engagement in exploration, to form their own sense of identity, is influenced by environmental factors and socialization figures. Family has been one of the most important agents of socialization for adolescents. The family unit is essential in providing the support system for adolescents to overcome the challenges they face. Parenting is one of many aspects that play a role in the development of both adaptive and maladaptive behaviour in adolescents. Family and parenting are, therefore, important in adolescent identity formation. Berzonsky examined the process of social cognitive strategies that individuals utilize, when dealing with identity relevant information; that is the identity styles. One and two-parent families are among the forms of family structures, in which parents employ various parenting styles that, along with the interaction of families members, result in different outcomes in adolescents. The aim of this study was to compare the relationship between perceived parenting styles and the identity styles of adolescents living in one and two-parent families in Botswana. A quantitative methodology with a cross-sectional, correlational-comparative design was employed. The study population was Junior Secondary school learners in Gaborone, Botswana, aged between 13-17 years, residing in a one and two-parent families. Simple random sampling was used to select the 4 schools that participated. The study sample consisted of 194 learners. Data was collected using self-administered questionnaires that included demographic information, the identity style questionnaire and the parenting style and dimensions questionnaire. Data was analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). Descriptive statistics, Pearson correlation and independent t-tests were used to analyze the data. The findings of the study showed that the majority of the participants were oriented towards choosing the informational identity style as was shown by the mean and standard deviation (M=3.64, SD=.62). The most prevalent parenting style was authoritative, with higher maternal scores (M=3.52, SD=.81). There was a relationship between identity styles and parenting style and a significant difference in the relationship between parenting styles and identity styles in one and two-parent families. Pearson correlation was used to determine the relationship between variables and a significant positive relationship was at significance level (p = <0.05).