Cluster analysis was used to empirically determine if parenting practices would reflect distinct patterns of parental behavior in a sample of 1,056 mothers. Hierarchical agglomerative clustering was performed with J. H. Ward’s (1963) method. R. Mojena’s (1977) criterion determined that a 4-cluster solution was optimal; the resulting patterns are described. Simplified rules for classifying new cases also were generated. The clusters differentiated the mothers by age, education, number of children, socioeconomic status, and frequency of reported behavior problems. Theoretical and methodological issues, links to D. Baumrind’s (1991) parenting styles, and the heuristic potential of classifying parenting practices are discussed.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/robert_fox/18/