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date: 11 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

A large body of empirical work has shown the role that parenting plays in the development of prosocial behaviors of children. Parenting styles (e.g., democratic versus authoritarian) and parenting practices (e.g., inductive discipline versus guilt-shame induction) in particular have been empirically linked to prosocial behaviors as well as numerous other well-being indicators in children. What is less understood is the role that culture and cultural context might play in the parenting-prosocial nexus. This chapter explores the contributions of culture comparative and in-depth cultural studies of parenting and children’s prosocial behaviors. These studies extend the range of variability of parenting dimensions and contexts as they relate to children’s prosocial outcomes – providing a means of testing the generalizability of theory in a wider range of settings, as well as in identifying facets of parenting and family life that may otherwise be neglected in current scholarship. Collectively, studies support traditional socialization theories and show how numerous parenting dimensions are linked to prosocial outcomes in children in several cultural communities. Nonetheless, emerging research suggests culturally embedded processes that impact upon the parenting and prosocial link - meriting closer attention for future scholarship.

Keywords: prosocial, culture, cross-cultural studies, parenting, children, development, socialization

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