Culturally shared and unique meanings and expressions of maternal control across four cultures
AuthorCho, Hyun Su
Cheah, Charissa S L
Vu, Kathy T T
Yavuz, H Melis
Şen, Hilal H.
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CitationCho, H. S., Cheah, C. S. L., Vu, K. T. T., Selçuk, B., Yavuz, H. M., Şen, H. H., & Park, S. Y. (December 21, 2020). Culturally shared and unique meanings and expressions of maternal control across four cultures. Developmental Psychology. 57, (2). pp. 284-301.
Maternal control is a major dimension of parenting and has different meanings, practices, and potential consequences across cultures. The present study aimed to identify and compare mothers' conceptualizations of parenting control across four cultures to reveal a more nuanced understanding regarding the meaning and practices of control: European American, Chinese immigrant, Korean immigrant, and Turkish. Using a semistructured open-ended interview, 100 European American, 102 U.S. Chinese immigrant, 103 U.S. Korean immigrant, and 109 Turkish mothers of preschool-aged children reported the ratings of importance, specific reasons, and strategies for exerting control over their children in daily life. Results revealed both shared and unique conceptualizations of maternal control across four cultures. Specifically, all mothers reported that it is important to express maternal control over their children in order to set behavioral norms/standards, maintain child safety, support social relations and respect for others, provide guidance, and guide moral development. Moreover, mothers discussed utilizing nonphysical punishment, setting and maintaining rules, reasoning/negotiating, consistency, physical punishment and verbal control, showing parents' serious/stern attitude, correction, and psychological control forms of control. However, the levels at which mothers emphasize the different reasons and strategies varied across cultures, reflecting culturally emphasized values. The findings of the present study further enrich our understanding of the complexities of maternal control across cultures. (PsycInfo Database Record