Problem Statement: There are various environmental factors such as culture, socioeconomic status, family patterns, parental personality, family size, and education system among others, which affect development of individuals. Especially in the childhood period, parenting style is an important variable in forming physical, emotional, cognitive, and social development. Parenting style affects the capacity of children to interact with others, psychological wellbeing, and life skills; therefore, parenting style has increasingly been recognized for its importance in fostering children‘s social, emotional, and cognitive areas of development. In the literature, there are different types of categorizations of parental style, however, most the acceptable parenting styles are described as democratic, authoritative, and permissive.
Purpose of the Study: The aim of this study is to investigate perceptions of the parenting styles of mothers who have children between 2-6 years old, depending on their socioeconomic status (upper, middle, or lower). Method: In this study, a quantitative research method was used as the research design to collect and analyze the interpretations and meanings of mothers‘ perceptions for maternal style from their responses. In determining the research group, purposive sampling is a type of non-probability sampling technique has been applied. In this respect, within the research process, 20 mothers from upper, middle, and lower socioeconomic levels have been selected and interviewed by using a semi-structured interview form generated with regards to Baumrind‘s parental model. Interviews were analyzed by content analysis and descriptive analysis.
Findings and Results: Finding of analyses were held separately according to socioeconomic level. It was researched whether perceived maternal styles differ depending on SES or not. Mothers from upper socioeconomic level reflect a democratic parental style. Mothers from all socioeconomic levels emphasise that there are rules for children to obey but only mothers in upper socioeconomic level make rules together with children. All of the mothers in upper and middle socio-economic levels and some of mothers in the lower socioeconomic level report to explaining emotions toward behaviours of their children. But when opinions of mothers are examined, it is seen that they do not use "I language" to express their emotions.
Conclusion and Recommendations: Findings of the present study are thought to be crucial in explaining maternal styles over Baumrind‘s parenting styles based on the dimensions-unlike the other studies in literature-in the early childhood period based on the SES of mothers. For further studies, it can be recommended that parental style should be evaluated based on the parenting socialisation, practices, and beliefs, and furthermore, in preparing and implementing parent-education.
Keywords: parenting, parental education level, parental income, qualitative research model.