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Survey: What Percentage of Parents Embrace an Authoritarian Parenting Style in 2024?
By Debbie Lopez Updated on March 26, 2024
Rick Lopez, M.Ed. Rick Lopez, M.Ed.

Survey: What Percentage of Parents Embrace an Authoritarian Parenting Style in 2024?

We recently conducted a survey of 3,000 parents to uncover the percentage of parents in each state adopting a more authoritative parenting style. Though disparities exist geographically, it is clear that parents in most states are trending towards a more hands-on parenting style when it comes to their child's education. The full results are highlighted below.

Key Findings:

  • Nearly half of American parents (49%) are now choosing a more authoritarian parenting style than before. Many parents feel like they need to take more control of their children’s academic pursuits.
  • We can witness clear regional disparities. Certain states show a significant rise in stricter parenting, such as Oklahoma, Virginia, and Arkansas (64%, 63%, 61%, respectively), while others like North Dakota, Colorado and Iowa (25%, 34%, 28%, respectively) show considerably more permissive parenting.
  • 40% of parents acknowledge the impact of technological advancements on their children’s education and career decisions, and 16% prioritize job security over their children’s interests.
  • We can see a clear shift towards parents favoring regimented skill-building activities instead of encouraging free play. With more authoritative parenting, it’s also common to apply performance-based praise or punishment, including reducing allowances for declining grades or helping with school projects to ensure higher marks.
  • 19% of parents equate their child’s failure to attend college with personal defeat, emphasizing the high stakes placed on educational attainment.

Implications of the Study:

A trend towards interventionist parenting

  • The fact that a growing percentage of parents prefer regimented activities and punitive measures to gear their children towards higher academic achievement shows a broader trend towards interventionist parenting.
  • Parents clearly recognize the impact and importance of technological and AI developments, which plays a big part in their parenting choices, and is partly responsible for the shift towards more authoritative parenting.

Significant geographical variations

  • The geographical variations in parenting styles, such as the marked increase in stricter approaches in certain states suggests that localized factors influence parental attitudes and behaviors.

Career success over individual passions

  • The prevalence of stricter parenting styles, as indicated by the increased control over children’s academic lives, suggests a societal shift towards prioritizing structured education and career success over individual passions.
  • As we can see, personal success is highly associated with educational attainment, which shows how significant academic achievement is in the eyes of more authoritative parents in the current socio-economic climate.


Online panel survey of 3,000 adults based on age, gender, and geography. Internal data sources are used to obtain population data sets. We used a two-step process to ensure representativeness through stratified sampling and post-stratification weighting.

Respondents are carefully chosen from a geographically representative online panel of double opt-in members. This selection is further tailored to meet the precise criteria required for each unique survey. Throughout the survey, we design questions to carefully screen and authenticate respondents, guaranteeing the alignment of the survey with the ideal participants.

To ensure the integrity of our data collection, we employ an array of data quality methods. Alongside conventional measures like digital fingerprinting, bot checks, geo-verification, and speeding detection, etc., each response undergoes a thorough review by a dedicated team member to ensure quality and contextual accuracy. Our commitment extends to open-ended responses, subjecting them to scrutiny for gibberish answers and plagiarism detection.