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J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2016 Jul;57(7):824-34. doi: 10.1111/jcpp.12477. Epub 2015 Oct 28.

Positive parenting and children's prosocial behavior in eight countries.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy.
2
Center for Child and Family Policy, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA.
3
Department of Psychology, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, USA.
4
Interuniversity Centre for Research in the Genesis and Development of Prosocial and Antisocial Motivations, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy.
5
Department of Psychology, Second University of Naples, Caserta, Italy.
6
Department of Developmental and Social Psychology, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy.
7
Department of Education Sciences, Foro Italico University of Rome, Rome, Italy.
8
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Bethesda, MD, USA.
9
Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, Thailand.
10
Facultad de Psicologia, Universidad San Buenaventura, Medellin, Colombia.
11
Department of Psychology, Ateneo de Manila University, Metropolitan Manila, Philippines.
12
Department of Special Education, Hashemite University, Zarqa, Jordan.
13
Department of Educational Psychology, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.
14
Department of Psychology, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, USA.
15
Department of Educational Psychology, Maseno University, Maseno, Kenya.
16
Department of Psychology, University West, Trollhättan, Sweden.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Research supports the beneficial role of prosocial behaviors on children's adjustment and successful youth development. Empirical studies point to reciprocal relations between negative parenting and children's maladjustment, but reciprocal relations between positive parenting and children's prosocial behavior are understudied. In this study reciprocal relations between two different dimensions of positive parenting (quality of the mother-child relationship and the use of balanced positive discipline) and children's prosocial behavior were examined in Colombia, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, the Philippines, Sweden, Thailand, and the United States.

METHODS:

Mother-child dyads (N = 1105) provided data over 2 years in two waves (Mage of child in wave 1 = 9.31 years, SD = 0.73; 50% female).

RESULTS:

A model of reciprocal relations between parenting dimensions, but not among parenting and children's prosocial behavior, emerged. In particular, children with higher levels of prosocial behavior at age 9 elicited higher levels of mother-child relationship quality in the following year.

CONCLUSIONS:

Findings yielded similar relations across countries, evidencing that being prosocial in late childhood contributes to some degree to the enhancement of a nurturing and involved mother-child relationship in countries that vary widely on sociodemographic profiles and psychological characteristics. Policy and intervention implications of this study are discussed.

KEYWORDS:

Prosocial behavior; cross-national; late childhood; parenting

PMID:
26511201
PMCID:
PMC4848190
DOI:
10.1111/jcpp.12477
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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