Immediate Influence

Non-harsh limit setting

Parent construct: Caring parents

Non-harsh limit setting is a type of parenting that uses moderate amounts of restrictiveness, expects appropriately mature behavior from children, sets reasonable limits, uses high levels of warmth, and is responsive and attentive to children’s needs.1 When using discipline, it is reasoned, consistent, and democratic, with mutual respect and give and take between the parent and child.2 3 This type of parenting has been highly researched and has been associated with many psychological and social advantages in adolescence, such as adolescent adjustment, school performance, and psychosocial maturity3 4 as well as negative outcomes such as deviant behaviors,3 alcohol use,5 and tobacco use.


  1. Parke, R.D., & Buriel, R. (1998). Socialization in the family: Ethnic and ecological perspectives. In W. Damon & N. Eisenberg (Eds.), Handbook of child psychology (5th ed., Vol. 3, pp. 463-552). New York: Wiley.  

  2. Jackson, C. (2002). Perceived legitimacy of parental authority and tobacco and alcohol use during early adolescence. Journal of Adolescent Health, 31(5), 425-432.  

  3. Simons-Morton, B., & Hartos, J. (2002). Application of the authoritative parenting model to adolescent health behavior. In R.J. DiClementi, R.A. Crosby & M.C. Kegler (Eds.), Emerging theories in health promotion practice and research (pp. 100-125). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.  

  4. Gray, M., & Steinberg, L. (1999). Unpacking authoritative parenting: Reassessing a multidimensional construct. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 61, 574-587.  

  5. Jackson, C., Henriksen, L., & Foshee, V.A. (1998). The Authoritative Parenting Index: predicting health risk behaviors among children and adolescents. Health Education Behavior, 25(3), 319-337.