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Many Parents Who Support Trump Have One Other Thing in Common

A recent poll conducted by Matthew MacWilliams, a doctoral candidate at the University of Massachusetts Amherst found that the unique thing that unites Trump supporters is their parenting style. Specifically, an authoritarian form of parenting.

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The poll gave respondents a list of qualities and asked parents which traits were more important: independence or respect for their elders; curiosity or good manners; self-reliance or obedience; and being considerate or being well-behaved.

Parents who picked the second traits, like good manners and obedience over the other options, tend toward a parenting style the psychologists call authoritarianism. According to the Washington Post, "Among Republicans who are otherwise similar, authoritarians—those who chose the second option in each of the four questions above—have nearly 50-50 odds of supporting Trump."

It's troubling that they also support a style of parenting that has a proven track record of harming children's well-being.

The polling didn't reveal similar results for other Republican candidates, which mean that the parenting styles of their supporters are more varied. But for Trump supporters, a dictatorial style of parenting is indicative of a personality that is drawn to strong leaders with a totalitarian message. And this authoritarian style, more than coherent policies, is what is driving the Trump campaign.

The troubling part of this analysis is that authoritarian parenting is bad parenting. While many of its adherents tout the benefits of raising kids with "good manners" and "obedience," studies show that authoritarian parenting styles lead to increased depression in teens and less social confidence and self-reliance. Authoritarian parenting is also correlated with the inability of children to be resourceful and rise out of poverty. Additionally, children who are raised by authoritarian parents are also less advanced when it comes to self-regulation and moral reasoning.

While many factors beyond parenting contribute to the success of a child, the bottom line is that authoritarianism is a negative way of raising children. And it's troubling not only that so many people in America support Trump's manic and despotic candidacy but they also support a style of parenting that has a proven track record of harming children's well-being.

RELATED: Tiger Parenting Makes Kids Fat

But of course, the downside of all of this is, pointing out the fallacies of not only Trump's candidacy but this parenting style will have little effect on the supporters. Again, the Washington Post notes, "And the findings are bad news for the other contenders in the GOP primary, since authoritarians tend to be set in their ways. What they have in common is an aversion to new kinds of experiences."

So in sum, we are doomed on more than just a democratic level.

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