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Beyond Parental Control and Authoritarian Parenting Style: Understanding Chinese Parenting Through the Cultural Notion of Training

Ruth K. Chao
Child Development
Vol. 65, No. 4 (Aug., 1994), pp. 1111-1119
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development
DOI: 10.2307/1131308
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1131308
Page Count: 9
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Beyond Parental Control and Authoritarian Parenting Style: Understanding Chinese Parenting Through the Cultural Notion of Training
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Abstract

This study addresses a paradox in the literature involving the parenting style of Asians: Chinese parenting has often been described as "controlling" or "authoritarian." These styles of parenting have been found to be predictive of poor school achievement among European-Americans, and yet the Chinese are performing quite well in school. This study suggests that the concepts of authoritative and authoritarian are somewhat ethnocentric and do not capture the important features of Chinese child rearing, especially for explaining their school success. Immigrant Chinese and European-American mothers of preschool-aged children were administered standard measures of parental control and authoritative-authoritarian parenting style as well as Chinese child-rearing items involving the concept of "training." After controlling for their education, and their scores on the standard measures, the Chinese mothers were found to score significantly higher on the "training" ideologies. This "training" concept has important features, beyond the authoritarian concept, that may explain Chinese school success.

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