Papers from the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology Conferences

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Cross-cultural research on developmental expectations has shown that the ages mothers expect children can master developmental skills vary according to their cultural background. This study examined the role of culture on developmental expectations by comparing Turkish-German (n = 107) and German (n = 127) mothers with preschool aged children in terms of their estimations regarding children’s mastery on 8 different developmental domains (e.g., cognitive, physical, social). Results have shown that Turkish-German mothers expected children to attain developmental milestones later than German mothers in nearly all domains. But the differences were not quite to the same extent in all domains. Furthermore Turkish-German mothers who grew up in Germany differed in some domains less from German mothers than mothers who grew up in Turkey. This is seen as an evident that parental ethnotheories are not adopted in a determined and probably already dysfunctional mode for the child’s adaptation to its current environment but that they are reinterpreted by integrating new information and reflecting the demands of the environment in order to allow their children an optimal adaptation to their environment.

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