2011. Vol.2, No.5, 526-534
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. DOI:10.4236/psych.2011.25082
Type of Parental Socialization across Cultures A
Psychoanalysis Review
Samah Khaled Abd El Kawy Zahran
Child Education Department, Women’s College, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt.
Received April 23rd, 2011; revised June 5th, 2011; accepted July 12th, 2011.
In order to study parental socialization (Styles) cross-culturally, it is necessary to understand the different styles
of parenting in culture throughout the world, also the effects of culture’s variables on parenting styles. The re-
search discusses this notion through: definitions, specific theories and psychoanalysis for the theoretical frame-
work. Then the st udy s uggests a new type of socialization (parenting style s) as a result of the new global culture.
Keywords: Culture, Parenting Socialization (Styles), Intermediate Variables, Mixed Culture, Acculturation
During the first years of life parents assume special impor-
tance. As parents guide their young children from complete
infantile dependence into the beginning stages of autonomy.
This process can be called parental socialization and socializa-
tion refers to the process of inheriting norms, customs and ide-
ologies. It may provide the individual with the skills and habits
necessary for participating within their own society; a society
develops a culture through a plurality of shared norms, customs,
values, traditions, social roles, symbols and languages. Sociali-
zation is thus: the means by which social and cultural continu-
ity are attained (John, 1968). So, parents styles of care giving
can have both immedi at e an d lasti ng effect s on chil dre n’s socia l
functioning in areas from moral development to peer play to
academic achievement (Bornstein, 2007). Interpersonal relation-
ships have unparalleled developmental implications for humans
everywhere, regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, culture,
socioeconomic status, and geographic boundaries (Duck, 1999).
For children, parent-child relationships are particularly impor-
tant. A vast research literature shows that the quality of par-
ent-child relationships characterized by parental acceptance
(love) and rejection (lack of love) is a major predictor of psy-
chological functioning and development for both children and
adults universally (Khaleque & Rohner, in press; Rohner, 1975,
2002; Rohner & Rohner, 1980). A significant portion of this
research dealing with the quality of parent-child interactions
relates to parental acceptance-rejection theory. While, parent-
ing- child interpersonal relationship is important, the topic of
culture and parenting holds interest on many different levels,
also. Parenting represents both a universal, if not taken for
granted, feature of everyday family life and individual autobio-
graphical experience, even as it also varies markedly across
different cultural, social, and historical contexts. Implicated in
processes of psychological development and intergenerational
influence, parenting is fundamental to human survival as well
as to processes of cultural transmission and change (Miller,
Human infants are born without any culture. The general
process of acquiring culture is referred to as socialization.
While socialization refers to the general process of acquiring
culture, anthropologists use the term enculturation for the proc-
ess of being socialized to a particular culture. You were accul-
turated to your specific culture by your parents and the other
people who raised you. Socialization is a learning process that
begins shortly after birth. Early childhood is the period of the
most intense and the most crucial socialization. It is then that
we acquire language and learn the fundamentals of our culture
(O’Neil, 2008).
Culture is the system of information that codes the manner in
which the people in an organized group, society or nation in-
teract with their social and physically environment. In this
sense, the term refers to a frame of reference for the group or
collection of persons who shared that patterned system (Reber,
1995). So that; culture is socially learned and socially transmit-
ted, it travels from an individual or group to another, so it can-
not be studied as static entity; culture exists into motion (Mor-
gan et al., 2005). Yet, culture is reflected in any group that
shares a history and belief system that influences how they
function. It is important to distinguish societal culture and
home culture. Societal culture is made up of the institutions in a
society that express the group’s value system (educational sys-
tems, medical systems, political systems, religious systems, the
media, etc.). Home culture is made of the values of the imme-
diate family. Sometimes, home culture can conflict with the
societal culture (Ontai et al., 2010). The psychosocial develop-
ment of children depends, of course, to a great extent on how
they are raised by their parents. Children’s behavior and devel-
opment influence parents’ behavi or, too, interacting with it. Cul-
ture affects these parenting styles and practices and child-parent
relationships, because parents usually rise and deal with their
children according to the values and norms endorsed in their own
culture (Dwairy et al., 2006). Culture constitutes a strong factor
in structuring parental practices because it can transmit guidelines
about parenting (Dwairy et al., 2006).
S. K. A. E. K. ZAHRAN 527
There are cultural and ethnic variations that produce value
systems which essentially direct parent’s manner and styles of
parenting. This paper attempts to discuss three types of cultures:
A) Collective or independent pattern as it appears, for example
in Asian, Native Hispanic, African and Asian American and
non western countries. Whom families take time to inculcate to
their children: the values and beliefs that their ancestors had
ingrained to the former generations. The way families are joint
together as a social unit uniquely cultural in nature (Wong,
2002). For example, Native and Hispanic American families
focus on family and kinship helping patterns, while African
American families tend to promote family and kinship helping
but also believe strongly in the importance of individual
achievement. Generally, this pattern of culture believes that
social skills should be nurtured as much as academic skills.
Also, immigrant parents from Latin America may view how
their child is behaving in classroom just as important as what
there is learning (Tcet, 2010). B) Individual or independence as
it appears in European American and western counties; Euro-
pean American in contrast; they promote more individualistic
and independent thinking and nurturing styles that are vastly
different from their Asian American counterparts. According to
studies, European American emphasized self-esteem, stressing
the personal well being in individual (Wong, 2002). Parents
from cultures embracing individualism expect competition and
an emphasis on individual accomplishments in school (Tcet,
2010). Cultural values can commonly be divided into “inde-
pendence” or “interdependence”. The US culture commonly
stresses values of “independence” while non-Western cultures
focus more on interdependence. The most important goal of
raising independent children is for them to be self-sufficient
and act on their own personal choices. On the other hand, the
primary goal of raising interdependent children is for them to
be part of a larger system of relationships—to “depend” on
others for well-being. A range of both independence and inter-
dependence can be seen in any family or culture (Ontai et al,
2010). C) Mixed cultures—which are the new variable in the
current study and means that the cultures were collective then
exposed to western cultures then absorbed their cultures and
become mixed of both, like some Arabic countries and some
immigrants in Australia and United States of America, for ex-
ample. So that their types of rearing become mixe d of individual
(independence) and collective (interdependence) type of culture.
Culture is dynamic in nature and changes across generations
and geographical locations. Overarching societal and economic
conditions have tremendous influences on cultural practices.
However, there are ways of organizing thinking about culture
that can be helpful as a beginning point for understanding par-
enting (Tcet, 2010).
Parental Socialization
On the other hand, a parenting style is a psychological con-
struct representing standard strategies that parents use in their
child rearing. There are many differing theories and opinions on
the best ways to rear children, as well as differing levels of time
and effort that parents are willing to invest. Many parents create
their own style from a combination of factors, and these may
evolve over time as the children develop their own personalities
and move through life’s stages. Parenting style is affected by
both the parents’ and children’s temperaments, and is largely
based on the influence of one’s own parents and culture. Most
parents learn parenting practices from their own parents—some
they accept, some they discard. The degree to which a child’s
education is part of parenting is a further matter of debate
(Maccoby, 1983; Chan et al., 2008). Maccoby and Martin
(1983) identified two particular dimensions of parenting be-
haviors: whether they were strict (controlling) or permissive
(gave a great deal of autonomy), and whether they were ac-
cepting and responsive or rejecting and unresponsive. Based
upon these two dimensions four parenting styles were identified.
Baumrind (1971) identified three parenting styles: authoritarian,
authoritative, and permissive. The latter was later divided into
two forms, permissive neglectful and permissive indulgent
(Tcet, 2010). Parenting style can also be defined as a pattern of
attitude that parenting exhibit toward the upbringing of their
children (Zervides et al., 2007).
This definition of parenting style is consistent with the earli-
est research on socialization. While, socialization is a process
that: enables individual to integrate into and behave adaptively
within a society. It is a lifelong experience. However, the
dominant usage of the term is with respect to the processes by
which the child becomes inculcated with society’s values and
with his or her own social roles (Reber, 1995). Interest in the
influence of parents’ behavior on child development was a
natural outgrowth of both behaviorist and Freudian theory.
Child behaviorists were interested in how the parenting of re-
inforcement in the near environment shaped development.
Freudian theorists, in contrast, argued that the basic determi-
nants of development were biological and inevitably in conflict
with parental desires and soci etal requirements. This interaction
between the child’s libidinal needs and the family environment
was presumed to determine individual difference in children’s
development. The psychodynamic model concentrated their
efforts on emotional relationship between the parent and child
and its influence on the child’s psychosexual, psychosocial, and
personality development. The learning model focuses on pa-
rental practices rather than attitudes. Because differences in
children’s development were through to reflect differences in
the learning environment to which they had been exposed,
measures of parenting style were designed to capture the par-
enting of behaviors that defined theses environment (Darling &
Sternberg, 1993).
Parental acceptance-rejection theory (PARTheory) is a the-
ory of socialization that attempts to predict and explain world-
wide causes, consequences, and other correlates of parental
acceptance-rejection. Additionally, the theory attempts to pre-
dict and explain the consequences of acceptance-rejection in
other primary interpersonal relationships, including intimate
adult relationships. This theory is aimed to predict and explain
major causes, consequences, and correlates of parental accep-
tance and rejection within the United States and worldwide
(Rohner, 1980, 1986, 2001). PAR Theory attempts to answer
five classes of questions concerning parental acceptance and
rejection. These questions are divided into the theory’s three
subtheories: personality subtheory, coping subtheory, and so-
ciocultural systems subtheory. In particular, personality postu-
lates that rejected children are likely to feel anxious and inse-
cure. Additionally, parental rejection is expected to lead to
other personality outcomes in children and adults including:
hostility, aggression, passive aggression, or problems with the
management of hostility and aggression; dependence or defen-
sive independence, depending on the form, frequency, and in-
tensity of rejection; impaired self-esteem; impaired self-ade-
quacy; emotional unresponsiveness; emotional instability; and
negative worldview. About coping subtheory, Studies in the
United States and across the world confirm PAR Theory’s as-
sumption that nearly 80 percent of children and adults—irre-
spective of geographic location, race, and ethnicity—generally
tend to be negatively affected by parental rejection (Rohner,
2001, 2002). PAR Theory’s sociocultural systems subtheory
attempts to predict and explain major causes and sociocultural
correlates of parental acceptance and rejection worldwide. The
subtheory predicts, for example that children are likely to de-
velop cultural beliefs about the supernatural world (God and
spiritual beings) as being malevolent (i.e. hostile, treacherous,
destructive, or negative in some way) in societies where they
tend to be rejected. On the other hand, the supernatural world is
expected to be perceived as benevolent (i.e. warm, generous,
protective, or positive in some other way) in societies where
most children are raised with love and acceptance. Substantial
cross-cultural evidence confirms these predictions (Rohner,
1975, 1986). So PAR Theory from 1960 till 2002, all over the
world can be applied on thousands of people and dozen nations,
language group internationally, which gives evidence lends
credibility to PAR Theory’s contention that the experience of
parental rejection is one irreducible, root-cause of social, emo-
tional, behavioral, and social-cognitive problems in the devel-
opment of children, adolescents, and adults everywhere- re-
gardless of differences in gender, ethnicity, race, language,
sociocultural background, or other such defining conditions.
Because perceived acceptance-rejection appears to have a con-
sistent effect on all humans the possibility is opened for creat-
ing culture-fair policies and programs, interventions, treatment,
and other practical applications for enhancing human welfare
everywhere (Rohner, 2002).
Also, Baumrind Theory (1966, 1967, and 1991)—as men-
tioned before has identified three basic styles of child rearing:
authoritarian, permissive, and authoritative. The three parenting
styles differ in two particular areas of parenting: the amount of
nurturing (or warmth) a child receives and the extent to which a
child’s activities and behavior are controlled (Baumrind, 1991).
Parents who practice the authoritarian style emphasize their
control of the child and his or her obedience .They restricts the
autonomy of the child and decrees what behavior is appropriate
for him or her (Baumrind, 1966; Reitman, Rhode, Hupp, &
Altobello, 2002). These parents favor enforced discipline, usu-
ally demanding unquestioned adherence to their wishes, and
expect children to follow their orders immediately. They are the
sole regulating authority in the child’s life, using punishment to
control him or her, and seldom explain the reasoning behind
rules and regulations. The nurturing skills of authoritarian par-
ents tend to be low. They rarely use words of comfort and are
unlikely to demonstrate affection or to praise their adolescents.
Permissive parents encourage their children’s autonomy and
enable them to make their own decisions and regulate their own
activities. They avoid confrontation and tend to be warm, sup-
portive people and do not care to be viewed by a child as a
figure of authority. The nurturing skills of parents who adopt
the permissive style tend to be moderate to high, whereas their
control of t heir c hildren is poor ( Baumri nd, 19 91; Rei tman et
al., 2002). The authoritarian and permissive parenting styles are
considered to be the two poles of a continuum, whereas the
authoritative style lies somewhere in the middle. Parents who
adopt this style tend to have good nurturing skills and exercise
moderate parental control to allow the child to become progres-
sively more autonomous (Baumrind, 1966, 1967, 1991; Reit-
man et al., 2002). Children reared in this style are not com-
pletely restricted but rather are allowed a reasonable degree of
latitude in their behavior. Authoritative parents do enforce lim-
its in various ways such as reasoning, verbal give and take,
overt power, and positive reinforcements. Most Western par-
ents adopt the authoritative style of child rearing. The authori-
tative parenting style has been associated with positive out-
comes in terms of the child’s psychosocial development. Nu-
merous studies have presented evidence for the salutary effect
of this style in North Americans. (Steinberg, Dornbusch, &
Brown, 1992; Steinberg, Lamborn, Dornbusch, & Darling,
1992; Steinberg, Mounts, Lamborn, & Dornbusch, 1991). Au-
thoritarian and Permissive type of parenting can be found in (B)
pattern of culture. Children of authoritative parents have a high
level of self-esteem and tend to be self-reliant, self-controlled,
secure, popular, and inquisitive (Buri, Louiselle, Misukanis, &
Mueller, 1988; Wenar, 1994). They manifest fewer psycho-
logical and behavioral problems than youth having authoritar-
ian or permissive parents (Dwairy et al., 2006).
Children with this type of parenting may have less social
competence as the parent generally tells the child what to do
instead of allowing the child to choose by him or herself. This
may be found in type (A) culture. Nonetheless, researchers
have found that in some cultures and ethnic groups, aspects of
authoritarian style may be associated with more positive child
outcomes than Baumrind predicts. Aspects of traditional Asian
child-rearing practices are often continued by Asian American
families. In some cases, these practices have been described as
authoritarian. While, children of permissive parents are tend to
be more impulsive, and as adolescents, may engage more in
misconduct and drug use. Children never learn to control their
own behavior and always expect to get their way. But in the
better cases they are emotionally secure, independent and are
willing to learn and accept defeat. They are able to live life
without the help of someone else. Children whose parents are
neglectful develop the sense that other aspects of the parents’
lives are more important than they are. Children often display
contradictory behavior, and are emotionally withdrawn from
social situations. This disturbed attachment also impacts rela-
tionships later on in life. In adolescence, they may show pat-
terns of truancy and delinquency. Finally, authoritative parent-
ing encourages children to be independent.
They are not usually as controlling, allowing the child to ex-
plore more freely, thus having them make their own decisions
based upon their own reasoning (Maccoby, 1983; Chan et al.,
2008). While, type (C) mixed culture, exhibit all these type of
parenting styles, according to situations, children’s age and
gender, parents’ level of education, etc. Related studies in Ara-
bic countries have shown that parenting styles become permis-
sive with children than adolescence and with male than female,
also it is permissive in some situations like nutrition, but au-
thoritative in other situations, they consider more important like
sexual one (Gaber, 1978).
S. K. A. E. K. ZAHRAN 529
Cultures and Family Systems
It is common knowledge that cultures seem to have different
types of family systems. In the United States and Canada and
the countries of northern Europe the nuclear family, father,
mother and the children, appears to predominate. In almost all
of the rest of the world, extended families, the grandparents,
father, mother, children, but also aunts, uncles, cousins, and
other kin are considered to be “family.” The 20th century has
seen the greatest upheaval in history of family change. Family
types in North America and northern Europe have been chang-
ing with the increase of nuclear families and the decrease of
extended ones, and during the past 20 years or more, with the
increase of unmarried or divorced families, unmarried mothers,
and homosexual families. Nuclear families have also been in-
creasing in all the continents of the world. The key to studying
how family structure is related to function and how it effects
psychological differentiation, and how family type is related to
economic base and culture, is the nuclear family. Murdock
made an important distinction (1949) regarding the relationship
of the nuclear family to the extended family; that the extended
family represents a constellation of nuclear families; the nuclear
family of the paternal grandparents, the nuclear family of the
maternal grandparents, the nuclear family of the married sons,
married daughter, married cousins, etc. Thus, in focusing on a
particular nuclear family, it is a mistake to assume it is an in-
dependent unit, but because the extended family is essentially a
constellation of nuclear families across at least three-genera-
tions. The important question is the degree of contact and in-
terdependence between this constellation of nuclear families.
Parson’s theory of the isolation of the nuclear family from its
extended family and kinship network, leading to psychological
isolation and anomie had a strong influence on psychological
and sociological theorizing about the nuclear family. However,
studies of social networks in North America and Northern
Europe in the past 40 years have indicated that the nuclear fam-
ily is not isolated from its kin not is it independent to the degree
assumed by Parsons and other sociologists of the family. Nu-
clear families, even in industrial countries, have networks with
grandparents, brothers, sisters and other kin. The question is the
degree of contact and communication with these kin, even in
nations of Northern America and northern Europe (Georgas,
Some Variables that Affect Parental Soci aliz ation
within the Same Culture
Not only culture affects parenting styles, some reports indi-
cated that there are some intermediate variables that influence
the parenting styles also. Intermediate variables as: 1) First born
children: Parents treat first-born children in a special way.
Axelson (1999) claimed that first-born children tend to receive
more attention, are likely to carry the family’s ambitions, and
are assigned a dominant role with respect to later children. This
description fits the Arab first-born children, too, who carry the
parents’ aspirations, on one hand, and enjoy more parental at-
tention, care, and indulgence, on the other. Some research indi-
cates that a first-born Arab child is treated more gently than the
other children in the family (Achoui, 2003; Al-Teer, 1997). These
differences between first-born and other children are expected to
influence the process of individuation and the parent-child con-
nectedness. Also, First-born adolescents reported higher level
permissive parenting than other adolescents (Dwairy, 2006). 2)
Parent economical and educational level: Some reports indi-
cated that parental education, economic level, and urbanization
influence the parenting styles and practices. This association
between socioeconomic classes and a harsh style of parenting is
universal, and not specific to Arabs. More educated mothers
were less authoritarian and controlling than less educated par-
ents in Saudi Arabia (Al-Mutalq, 1981), Egypt (Hana, 1974),
and Algeria (Sahrawi, 1998). Mahmoud (1997) reported that
mothers of a higher socioeconomic level tend to be more au-
thoritative and encouraging of their children’s independence
than lower socioeconomic-level mothers. In a comparison be-
tween gifted children and nongifted children, parenting of
gifted Palestinian children was more authoritative and less au-
thoritarian. It is interesting that authoritarian parenting was
associated with poorer mental health of gifted but not of
nongifted children (Dwairy, 2004b in Dwairy, 2006). Moderni-
zation, a theory developed by sociology and political science,
hypothesizes that increasing economic level and industrializa-
tion in a society results in the rejection of traditional values and
culture, and inevitable convergence toward a system of modern
values and increasing individualization. One of the conse-
quences of modernization is the transition of the extended fam-
ily system in economically underdeveloped societies to the
nuclear family characteristic of industrial societies (Georgas,
2003). 3) Goodness of fit between parents and children: Re-
searchers have identified three styles of children: easy children:
are calm, happy, adaptable, regular in sleeping and eating habits,
positive in mood and interested in new experiences. Difficult
children: are often fussy, irregular in feeding and sleeping hab-
its, low in adaptability, fearful of new people and situations,
easily upset, high strung, and intense in their reactions. Slow to
warm up children: are relatively inactive, reflective, tend to
withdraw or to react negatively to novelty, but their reactions
gradually become more positive with experience. So that; the
match or mismatch between a child’s style and his/her parental
way of socialization determines the harmony between them
(, 2010).
4) Gender and generational changes in parenting: Researches
indicated that males from two generations—big in forties and
smaller in thirties- were likely to display a more authoritarian
parenting style than females, while females from both genera-
tions were likely to display more authoritative parenting styles
than males. However males from rather generation did not have
a more permissive style of parenting than females. A genera-
tional change in parenting styles toward a more lenient and
democratic style may have occurred- in smaller generation-
which may reflect an overall societal trend towards an authori-
tative child rearing style (Zervides et al., 2007). Not only par-
ents’ gender affects parenting styles, but children’s gender af-
fects them also; as researches on Arabic societies indicate that:
authoritarian style was higher among males, whereas the mean
score of the authoritative style was higher among females
(Dwairy, 2006). Mothers verses Fathers: Researches have indi-
cated that, mothers are more likely to manage their children’s
behaviors and activities and focus on providing basic needs
(Parke 1995), While, fathers’ time with children is less frequent
but can be characterized by more play (Pleck & Masciadrelli,
2004; Parke & Buriel, 2006; Yeung, Sandberg, David-Kean, &
Hofferth, 2001). Other studies show that, Fathers may help
their children to develop self-identity (Shulman & Klein, 1993
all in Tahseen, 2005). Another deferential variable among fa-
thers and mothers is the increase of educated and working
mothers in many societies throughout the world, mother has
gained economic power as have working children, while the
father has been losing his absolute control of the family. In
Mongolia, for example, studies have found that children in
urban areas side relay basically on their mothers; because she
not only works and brings money in, but also cooks, cares for
the house and for them (Georgas, 2003).
5) Socioemotional development and parental role as per-
ceived: Studies comparing mainland China and other Chinese
communities are rare, but are important to gaining a better
knowledge of variation across Geographical locations. Berndt,
Cheung, Lau, Hau, and Lew (1993) compared perceptions of
parenting in three Chinese societies, mainland China, Taiwan,
and Hong Kong. They reported that, not surprisingly, mothers
were generally perceived as warmer as and less controlling than
fathers. Daughters perceived their fathers as warmer and as less
controlling than did sons. Also, Hong Kong adults perceived
both parents as less warm and more controlling than adults
from the other two communities. This result is consistent with
more recent study of Lai, Zhang, and Wang (2000), who re-
ported that mothers in Beijing, in comparison with mothers in
Hong Kong, were less controlling and less authoritarian in dis-
ciplinary style, but were more inclined to show affection and to
emphasize their children’s achievement (Fho, 2001).
6) Only children: only children appear to enjoy advantages in
environmental and health conditions, and tend to have broader
interests, better cognitive development, and higher intellectual
ability than children with siblings (Rosenberg & Jing, 1996).
However, results in the areas of personality and social func-
tioning have been rather inconsistent. Chen, Rubin, and Li
(1994) reported no significant differences between urban only
and nononly children in social behavior, peer relationships,
school-related social competence, and academic achievement
(Fho, 2001).
7) Age: researches show that there is a distinction between
adolescent perceptions of parent socialization practices and
parents’ beliefs about parenting practices, according to age
variable. Parenting style is conceptualized as a variable that
moderates the relation between parenting practices and devel-
opmental outcomes (Darling & Steinberg, 1993 all in Tahseen,
8) Acculturation: can be defined as the process of adapting to
a new culture through a course of changes in cultural attitudes,
values, and behaviors following contact with two distinct cul-
tures (e.g., Barlow, Taylor, & Lambert, 2000; Feurtes & West-
brook, 1996; Park & Harrison, 1995; Rayle & Myers, 2004).
Immigrants face the dilemma of maintaining traditional values
and adopting new ones. The reaction to a new host culture sig-
nificantly affects child rearing practices (McGillicuddy-De Lisi
& Subramanian, 1996). When parents choose not to modify
traditional values, for example, Asian American parents expect
the child to be obedient yet paradoxically recognize that she/he
must be independent in order to succeed in Western culture
(Rhee, et al., 2003 all in Tahseen, 2005). Acculturation in this
study presented in mixed culture, which appears here in immi-
grants, some Arabic countries and some occupied people, who
adopted collective culture, then, exposed to individual one and
absorbed some of its values, which conduct a new unique type.
The Present Study
From what previously stated, the current research aims and
focuses on examining the most frequent variables that affect
parenting styles (socialization), especially across cultures then
comparing them with some variables within the same culture.
From what stated in theoretical framework, first. Then second,
compare it with what is actually happing at the author’s country.
Egyptian society has been chosen; as an example of a mixed
culture society. From ancient, Egyptian society has exposed to
different civilizations as well as cultures like Pharos, Greek,
Roman, Coptic, Islamic, European and so on. So it becomes a
good example of this mixed or melting pot type of culture. So it
was hypothesized that:
1) There are co-variant variables that affect Parenting styles
and can be classified within the same cultures and across cul-
2) Acculturation may have the major impact on changing
parenting styles, more than before.
The method implies:
1) Psychoanalysis of the content. From the related studies
and the theoretical framework, this is focusing on: analyze the
family as a social system in different countries. Through clas-
sifying variables according to cultures and parenting styles.
This is to answer these main questions:
-What are the indicator variables that reflect changes in par-
enting styles across cultures?—What is the main source of
these changes? Are these from the same culture, or because of
acculturation, or globalization?
2) Then examine this theoretical framework with a small pi-
lot study.
The researcher handled the idea through classifying variables
as mentioned bellow:
1) Classified countries’ cultures as shown in studies like this,
type (A: Collective) culture founded mainly in: China, Russia.
While type (B: Individual) culture founded mainly in: England,
Bulgaria, European, White, Non-Muslim-American, Australia,
Anglo- Australia, and Canada. Type (C: mixed culture founded
mainly in: Asian, Colored, Muslim- American, Greek- Austra-
lian and Arabic countries in the sample with different levels.
2) Classified intermediate variables as shown in studies: A-
Age: pre-school, middle to late childhood and adolescence. B-
Gender: male a nd female. C-Ty pe of interac tion inside the fam-
ily: Positive, negative and mixed, which means that it was
negative then, became mixture according to exposing to another
culture, which have changed the type into dual interaction.
Type of interaction means the impact of parenting styles within
the family, type of relationship among family’s members ac-
cording to study’s descriptions or results. Intermediate variables
that mentioned before, all together shape this type of interaction
or relationship.
S. K. A. E. K. ZAHRAN 531
3) Classified parenting styles, according to studies, into four
categories: Authoritarian, Authoritative, permissive and mixed.
Mixed means that parenting style was authoritarian then be-
came mixture; as it has appeared in samples from two genera-
tions, also in immigrants, occupied people and Arabic countries,
because of acculturation. Description of Sample’s variables—
according to analyzing the theoretical frame work—is shown in
tables, at the end of this research (Appendix A).
4) Examine (compare) the acculturation result by conducting
small survey. Description of this small survey and its validity is
shown at the end of this research (Appendix B).
Analysis and Discussion
1) Psychoanalysis of the content: Parenting style is best un-
derstood as a context within socialization occurs, it is important
to analyze a family as a social system in different cultures. As
Darling & Sternberg suggested in 1993 “it is important to con-
duct further researches to answer the question: how does the
influence of parenting styles vary as a function of the cultural
background on developing person?”
According to this, the researcher here classified variables as
A) Variables within the same culture: as shown previous: first
born child, parent economical and educational leve l, goodness of
fit between parents and children, gender, mother versus father
and generational changes in parenting, only child, and age.
B) Variables among cultures: appears in acculturation, as
shown previous with the type of cultures: The analysis has been
done from the previous theoretical framework and from previ-
ous related studies—a random sample-that has been done
across cultures, which are from: (England, United States, Bul-
garia, China, Russia, Taiwan, Australia, Canada, Yemen, Pales-
tinian, Saudi, Egypt, Algeria, Jordan, and Lebanon); studies
according to researchers and dates are: Moore, 1986. Green-
berger, 1989; Watson, 1992; Darling et al., 1993; Fablo et al.,
1993; Pratt, 1993; Bernita et al., 1995; Turner et al., 1995; Hart,
1998; Chen, 2000; Miller, 2001; Zhou, 2004; Tahseen, 2005;
Ang, 2006; Costigan, 2006; Dwairy, 2006; Marie et al., 2007;
Zervides et al, 2007; Cheah, 2009; Park, 2010. The tables pre-
sented variables according to studies are at the end of research.
C) Indications for similarities across cultures are:
a) The extension of nuclear family: parson theorized that the
adaptation of the American family from its extended family
system in agricultural areas to urban areas required a nuclear
family structure. The young couple in the large city lived far
away and was fragmented from their families in the small
towns. The nuclear family became primarily a unit of residence
and consumption. The financial and educative functions be-
come dependent on the state, in contrast with the extended fam-
ily in small towns. Thus, the nuclear family was isolated geo-
graphically and psychologically from its kin and its major re-
maining function was to provide for the psychological aspects
of the family, such as the socialization of the children. Parsons
argued that this social mobility which characterizes America
was made possible by the breaking of family ties, but at the cost
of psychological isolation. Actually, America had a long history,
going back to colonial times, of the independent nuclear family,
as did England, northern France and some other European
countries (Georgas, 2003). Although studies of social networks
in North America and Northern Europe in the past 40 years
have indicated that the nuclear family is not isolated from its
kin and independent to the degree assumed by Parsons and
other sociologists of the family, Arabic studies in Egypt, Jordan
and Suede Arabia in the past 40 years have shown that nuclear
family becomes the basic type of the family through many of
Arabic countries, especially in urban and industrial areas, as
shown in several Arabic studies through the last 40 years.
b) Roles inside the same family: as reflection of economic
changes- television, movies, education, the internet, tourism
and commerce, so the traditional family systems of small socie-
ties are no longer totally dependent on subsistence systems such
as hunting, gathering or even agriculture. The father no longer
has absolute power in the family. According to this, mothers as
working member has a significant role, so that the perception of
gender has been changed in differentiatio n of male and female.
c) Pattern of parental socialization: Kagitcibasi has devel-
oped a model of family change based on socio-economic de-
velopment in which she theorizes three patterns of family in-
teraction: i) the traditional family in developing countries char-
acterized by total interdependence between generations in ma-
terial and emotional realms; ii) the individualistic nuclear fam-
ily model of Western society based on independence, and iii) a
synthesis of these two, involving material independence but
psychological interdependence between generations (Georgas,
2003). This is also, true across cultures, developing and ad-
vanced one, as shown in several Arabic studies through the last
40 years.
If we analyze these results we may notice that the type of in-
teraction inside the family is affected directly and indirectly by
cultures; so culture have the major impact on parenting styles
(Socialization) than other intermediate variables: such as gen-
der or age; as culture may affect them indirectly in perception
and behaviors among ages and genders. We also have noticed
that the interaction among cultures, specially mixed one, has a
significant impact on parenting styles. Also, we have noticed
that the interaction with collective and mixed cultures has more
impact on dependent variable. As a result of this, we may con-
clude that the collective cultures absorbed individual culture’s
value more than the individual one did, and become mixed
culture. For example, one of the interesting results on Arab
societies is that Egyptian, Algerians, and Palestinians in Israel
scored high in both authoritarian and permissive styles. The
mixed inconsistent pattern was at the highest level in Yemen
and among the Palestinian citizens in Israel. This mixed pattern
among the Palestinians in Israel may indicate the dual culture in
which they live. On one hand, as Palestinians they share the
Arabic authoritarian and collective culture, and on the other
hand, as Israeli citizens they are exposed to Israeli-Western
cultural influences. This dual culture may be expressed in this
mixed and contradicting parenting style. The results obtained
from the two samples of Palestinians indicate that the Palestin-
ian Israeli citizens respond to exposure to the Israeli culture
differently than the Palestinians under the Israeli occupation do.
As citizens, they tend to absorb some liberal values, whereas
under occupation they resist the Western influences. The incon-
sistent Pattern in Yemen may indicate new, rapid, Western
influences that started only in the past decade during which the
country moved from being a tribal society to being a democ-
ratic state. This abrupt transition to democracy occurred within
less than a decade in a rural, nonindustrial society (Zakareya,
1999). Consequently, the tribal system was not dismantled.
This fast transition, which was accompanied, of course, by
many other cultural, educational, and economic changes, cre-
ated a strange coexistence between the two systems (Dwairy,
2006). Goode’s (China, 1963) thesis is that Western ideological
influences, particularly the value of individual freedom of
choice, may have their most powerful effect in other cultures
through the changes they encourage within families. For exam-
ple, in societies which have the practice of arranging marriages
by parental choice, the appeal of Western practice of individual
mate selection may undermine the traditional parent-child rela-
tionship. Changes within family micro system, toward greater
individual choice and more democratic decision-making, even-
tually may affect changes at the social, macro system level
(Quoss, 1995). There is no single or definitive model of par-
enting. What may be right for one family or one child may not
be suitable for another. With authoritarian and permissive par-
enting-on opposite sides of the spectrum-most conventional and
modern models of parenting fall somewhere in between (Mac-
coby, 1983; Chan et al., 2008).
2) The applied (pilot) study, according to these results: the
author have done a limited survey on seven Egyptian families
with thirty participants: parents in forties and children from
preschool 6 old till 17 old—to examine the way (means their
style or socialization) they rearing their children from their
early childhood till teenage-and have found that:
All families believe that Western culture affects Arabic one,
now, and not vice versa. (Means the affection of western one is
more than the Arabic one, now days, as they believe).
The positive effects (from western culture) on Egyptian
families or parenting styles- as they perceived are: becoming
more permissive, give more freedom, interested in persistence,
hard work and precision more than before.
While, the negative effects on families, as they believe are:
become more consumption, violent, not prosaically as before;
because of involving in individual technological activities than
before and finally, family neither the first frame of reference
group for children, nor the most important one for them; as a
first and a primary frame of reference group. Peer and internet
social sites have more important role in socialization, nowadays
than before, in our global era.
Conclusion and Further View
So that, culture can no longer be treated as a static variable in
research, as if it was frozen in time. Another point is that we
cannot consider the role of culture in isolation. Both official
ideology and policies constitute an onslaught on cultural tradi-
tion. Ideology directs parents to bring up children with a social-
ist worldview, which in large measure clashes with traditional
values. The open-door policy leads to an acceleration of cul-
tural change (Fho, 2001). Cross-cultural research on parents’
socialization goals and practices with young children has in-
creasingly shown that parents promote aspects of both inde-
pendence and interdependence in their children; as these studies
have examined parent’s long-term goals for their children’s
futures, which may be equally or more influential than short-term
socialization goals on children’s development (Cheng et al.,
2007). So, a science of culture and parenting furnishes check
against ethnocentric world views of parenting (Miller, 2001).
At last, the world is changing; the rapid development in
communications from the past quarter century till now will cut
all barriers among societies and merge different aspects of cul-
tures into one new and strength culture that could stand and
adjust with our new era requirements, that may select and
merge different parenting styles to adjust the new era changing.
And this is the new idea in the study, the importance of it, also.
Mixed culture does not mean something positive or negative;
otherwise, it is a description of new born culture; as a melting
plot—melting pot here is a metaphor referring to the different
elements “melting together” into a harmonious whole with a
common culture, and as multiculturalists claim that assimilation
can hurt minority cultures by stripping away their distinctive
features. They point to situations where institutions of the
dominant culture initiate programs to assimilate or integrate
minority cultures (Millet, 2008). Here in this study- not minor-
ity but, national culture instead. The combination of all cultures
that communicate and interact internationally together—not
between two cultures or just few ones, but all over the world as
a result of moving toward global culture, as well as an unique
one. As Giger & Davidhizer suggested: there are 6 categories
that make a culture unique, the way their people communicate
together, the space and time they live in, there social organiza-
tion, environmental control and their biological variation (Giger
& Davidhizer, 1995). But the suggested unique here is in melt-
ing all barriers among cultures in this unique time, as moving
toward one world with one global culture. According to these
findings, results and suggested view, more researches are
needed to examine this new type of mixed or global culture.
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Appendix A
The following are: tables describe the random sample of
studies. As shown in previous theore tical framework.
Tables as appeared in the following page from Table 1 to 6.
Table 1.
Sample description accor d i ng to its societies.
Societi es Numbers Ratio
England 151 2.1%
Bulgaria 151 2.1%
Asian-American 323 4.49%
China 1825 25.38%
Asia 548 7.65%
European-American 211 2.96%
White-American 174 2.4%
Russia 207 2.88%
Colored-American 46 0.64%
Non Muslim-American 64 0.89%
Muslim-American 64 0.89%
Twain 201 2.79%
Australia 100 1.39%
Greek-Australia 65 0.9%
Anglo-Australia 65 0.9%
Canada 100 1.39%
Arab Countries: Yemen, Palestin-
ian-Israel, Palestine, Saudi, Egypt,
Algeria, Jorda n, Lebanon.
Total 7188 100%
Table 2.
Sample description according to age.
Age Numbers Ratio
Pre-School: 2 - 6 years 1100 15.3%
Middle to late c hildhood: 7 - 12 y ears 2048 28.49%
Adolescence: 13 - 19 year 4040 56.21%
Table 3.
Sample description according t o c u l tures.
Cultures Number of cases Ratio
Collective 2658 36.98%
Individual 1600 22.26%
Dual(mixed) 2930 40.76%
Table 4.
Sample description according to parenting styles.
Parenting styles Number of cases Ratio
Authoritarian 1900 26.43%
Authoritative 2308 32.12%
Permissive 400 5.56%
Mixed 2580 35.89%
Table 5.
Sample description according t o t y pe of interaction i nside the family.
Type of interaction Number of cases Ratio
Positive 2905 40.41%
Negative 1283 17.85%
Mixed 3000 41.74%
Table 6.
Sample description according t o G ender.
Gender Number of cases Ratio
Female (Mot hers, daughte rs) 3688 51.31%
Male (Fathe rs, sons) 3500 48.96%
Appendix B: The Small Applied (Pilot) Study
Table 7.
Questionnaire description.
Items Responses Ratio
1) Western cultures have
more impact on Arabic
No. 100%
2) The positiv e effects
(from western culture) on
Egyptian fam il ies or
parenting styles are:
- Becoming more perm issive.
- Give more freedom, interested
in persistence.
- Hard work and p recision more
than before .
3) The negative effects on
families a re:
- Become more consumption
than before .
- Violent.
- Not prosaically as before.
- Family neither the first frame
of reference group for their
children, nor the most important
one for them.
Scale validity has been compared with the theoretical frame
work as external criteria, while scale reliability by Alfa was