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Cross-Cultural Research on Parenting – Psychology Essay

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Updated: Apr 24th, 2020

Introduction

There are certain factors that affect the psychological growth and development of children especially during the adolescent stage. The type of parental care given to these individuals will greatly influence the psychological and social development among them.

In the article “Introduction to Special Section on Cross-Cultural Research on Parenting and Psychological Adjustment of Children”, Dwairy and Achoui, (2010), attempts to examine how parental factors relate to the psychological disorders in adolescents across different cultures. Dwairy seeks to ascertain the hypothesis that the parental factors and their influence on the health of the adolescents differ across the cultures.

Summary of the article

The parent plays a key role in the mental health of the children. Providing too much for the needs of the child or extreme negligence of the needs of a child will affect his psychological development. The hostility, authoritarianism, lack of family connectedness, and rejecting parenting are some of the parental factors that have negative impact on the psychological adjustment of the children. The inconsistency and incoherence in parental care is yet another factor that affects psychology of the adolescents.

There are different approaches given to the relationship between parenting factors and the psychological adjustment in the children. Baumrind’s parenting style entails warmth and control (Dwairy & Achoui, 2010, p.1). It is characterized by authoritarian, permissive, and authoritative parenting styles. Authoritarian style has low warmth and high control. The parents exercise control over the children who are not to argue but abide by the given directives. Permissive parenting style allows the adolescents to make their own decision.

The parents are not authoritative and it is characterized by high warmth and low control. The authoritative style is a blend between the permissive and authoritarian styles. It has been observed to be associated with better mental conditions (Dwairy & Achoui, 2010, p.2).

Rohner holds that the parenting styles fall anywhere acceptance on one extreme end and rejection on the other end. The parenting style is thus categorized depending on how warm a parent is towards the children. Rejection has been found to be associated with various odds among children and this relationship is believed to hold across cultures.

The kind of parental styles is seen to be influenced greatly by the culture of given community. The values and norms in a particular culture will affect the perception of education in the area and this eventually affects the relationship that is developed between a child and the parent (Dwairy & Achoui, 2010, p.2). The cultural diversity therefore explains the difference in child-parent relationships witnessed in different areas.

The study of culture and its impact on child-parent relationship is considered in two concepts; collectivism and individualism. Parents in collective cultures tend to be more authoritarian while the parents in liberal individualistic cultures tend to be permissive and the children are able to make independent decisions. The relationship that exists between parents and the children in collective cultures is closer than that seen in the individualistic cultures.

The adolescents in the eastern countries have been seen to be more connected to their parents than their counterparts from the west. Besides, the different parenting styles have been seen to have different implications on the child-parent relations across cultures.

One parenting style can be found to be effective among a given society or in some region and the same style is not effective in the other region. Authoritarian parenting style has been seen to have negative effects on the adolescents in the western countries while they are not associated with the psychological disorders witnessed among the adolescents from the eastern countries.

Impact of cross-culture in the research in Psychology

The culture has been portrayed as having an influence on the parenting style that is adopted by different individuals. This will eventually affect the psychological adjustments among the adolescents in the communities. A shift from one culture to another can pose a psychological shock that is hard to absorb and that can have adverse effects on an individual (Xia, 2009, p.1).

The analysis of the cultural differences and the effects that they have on the relationships developed between the parents and children is a very interesting area for a researcher in Psychology. The findings that have been pointed out here calls for further research by the psychologists.

For instance, it has been observed that there are significant differences between how the children and the parents relate in a collective culture and how they relate in an individual culture. However, in spite of the observed differences, there have been very few studies conducted on the relationships from a cross-cultural perspective.

Most of the research that has been conducted in the US, for instance, takes little consideration of the ethnic diversity (Dwairy & Achoui, 2010, p.3). Similar researches, thus, need to be conducted in multicultural social settings to shed light on the true impact of the differences.

The current world is characterized by high rate of globalization with peoples from different cultures being brought together by various economic and social activities (Xia, 2009, p.1). The diverse effects of culture on the psychological adjustments of the adolescents will influence how the individual adapts to new environment. Psychologists are therefore prompted to research on the most appropriate ways through which an individual can adjust to the different cultures (Xia, 2009, p.1).

The direction that the research might take

There have been conflicting views by the researchers on the effectiveness of the different parenting styles. The authoritarian parenting style has been perceived by some individuals as negatively affecting the development of the child. However, there are researches that have shown different results.

Some researchers in the US showed that authoritarian parenting style positively impacted on the behavior of the African Americans. The individuals were seen to develop independence and assertiveness (Dwairy & Achoui, 2010, p.3). The authoritarian style was seen to have a positive effect on the academic performance among the Asians than the authoritative parenting style.

Some researchers believe that the consequences of the authoritarian parenting style follow the culture of the community, as well as how the adolescents view the style. Others postulate that the effects of the control that parents have over their children will depend on the perception of the children on these control measures.

A question that needs to be addressed is why the different parenting styles have different effects on the adolescent-parent relationships in different parts of the world. The most effective among the authoritative, authoritarian, and permissive parenting styles need to be considered.

In this regard, further research is likely to consider not only the effects of cultural differences on the parenting styles but also on the most appropriate parenting style that can be universally adopted. The effect of the interaction between culture and other factors like social and biological conditions should be considered in relation to how they collectively affect psychological developments among adolescents. This is likely to be the new direction of research.

References

Dwairy, M. (2010). Introduction to Special Section on Cross-Cultural Research on Parenting and Psychological Adjustment of Children. Journal of Child & Family Studies, 19(1), 8-15. Web.

Xia, J. (2009). Analysis of Impact of Culture Shock on Individual Psychology. International Journal of Psychological Studies, 1(2), 97-101. Web.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Cross-Cultural Research on Parenting - Psychology'. 24 April.

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