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J Genet Psychol. 2013 May-Jun;174(3):335-43.

Parenting and socialization of only children in urban China: an example of authoritative parenting.

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Department of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, China.


The authors report a semistructured interview of 328 urban Chinese parents regarding their parenting beliefs and practices with respect to their only children. Statistical analyses of the coded parental interviews and peer nomination data from the children show none of the traditional Chinese parenting or child behaviors that have been widely reported in the literature. The parenting of only children in urban China was predominantly authoritative rather than authoritarian. The parenting strategies and beliefs were child-centered, egalitarian, and warmth-oriented rather than control-oriented. Chinese parents encouraged prosocial assertiveness and discouraged behavioral constraint and modesty. The parenting of only children was also gender egalitarian in that there were few gender differences in child social behaviors and little gender differential parenting and socialization of these only children. Together with other recent studies, these findings and conclusions challenge the traditionalist view of Chinese parenting and beliefs and behaviors about child socialization.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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