The relationship between Parenting styles and childhood trauma: A study of street children in Limpopo Province, South Africa

  • MP Maepa
  • ES Idemudia
  • ME Ofonedu
Keywords: Street children, parenting styles, childhood trauma.


Childhood adversity increases the risk for psychopathology and psychiatric disorders in individuals and is one of the reasons for high numbers of street children seen in South African towns. This study aims to compare parenting styles and history of childhood trauma between street children and non-street children and to assess the relationship between parenting styles and childhood trauma among the street children. Using a cross-sectional design involving a snowball method, the study sampled a total of 300 street children. Concurrently, 300 non-street children were sampled using simple randomisation. Results obtained from a questionnaire with three sections was used (section A: demographic information, section B: parenting styles, section C: childhood trauma) revealed significant differences regarding parental warmth (t(598) = 14.02, p < .000), parental supervision (t(598) = 20.92, p < .000) and childhood trauma (t(598) = -27.24, p <.000), for the two groups. The results also revealed significant negative relationship between parental warmth and childhood trauma (r(300) = -.212, p <.001) but no significant difference was found between parental supervision and childhood trauma. The study concluded that understanding the role of parenting style as a predictor of childhood trauma is critical in the prevention of child abuse.

Keywords: Street children, parenting styles, childhood trauma.


Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 2411-6939