Papers from the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology Conferences

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Researchers have long studied parenting practices, and have recently paid increasing attention to cross-cultural differences. Unfortunately, most of the research has only examined self-report data; studies including both self-report and observational data are still very rare. This study examined the disciplinary methods of mothers (of 5- to 7-year-old children) in a cross-cultural sample (N = 89: 30 Chinese in Taiwan, 30 Chinese immigrants in the UK, and 29 non-immigrant white English in the UK) using both questionnaires and observational data. Cultural differences were found between groups both in reported, as well as observed parenting. The Taiwanese mothers reported greater use of Chinese-specific parenting methods as well as physical coercion and were observed to use more (gentle and assertive) physical intervention than the Chinese immigrant and English mothers. The Chinese immigrant mothers reported a higher degree of granting child autonomy than the Taiwanese and English mothers. These findings provided valuable insights into parenting in different cultural contexts, underscoring the importance of examining both reported and observed behaviour, in order to understand human development from a holistic perspective.

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