Culture and Parenting

Authored by: Xinyin Chen , Rui Fu , Wai Ying Vivien Yiu

Handbook of Parenting

Print publication date:  February  2019
Online publication date:  March  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138228689
eBook ISBN: 9780429401459
Adobe ISBN:


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Research has shown considerable cross-cultural similarities as well as differences in individual socioemotional and cognitive functioning. For example, relative to their Western counterparts, children and adolescents in many African and Asian societies tend to be less expressive of their emotions and engage in less active interactions in challenging social settings (Chen, DeSouza, Chen, and Wang, 2006; Edwards, 2000; Oakland, Pretorius, and Lee, 2008). Chinese, Korean, and Mexican children display more controlled and cooperative-compliant behavior than North American children in task-oriented or limited-resource situations (Kagan and Knight, 1981; Oh and Lewis, 2008; Orlick, Zhou, and Partington, 1990). Given this background, theorists and researchers have been interested in how socialization factors, particularly parenting, play a role in explaining children’s socioemotional and cognitive functioning and its cultural variations (Bornstein, 2012; Vygotsky, 1978). In most societies, as a major socialization agent, parents provide care and monitoring to children and exert a significant influence on their development, particularly in the early years. Cultural beliefs, norms, and values in the society determine, to a large extent, parental socialization goals and parenting practices. Moreover, culture provides a guideline for social judgments of specific parenting behaviors, which in turn shape their significance for child development.

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