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date: 14 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The purpose of this chapter is to examine the role of proactive parenting (i.e., parenting in anticipation of a child’s behavior) as it relates to the socialization of morality in children and adolescents. In an effort to synthesize across different fields of research, the chapter assesses parental communication and monitoring using three strategies of proactive parenting: cocooning, pre-arming, and deference. Specifically, proactive parent-child communication about ethnic discrimination and about sexuality is explored. Parental monitoring (or management of a child’s peer and media use) is also explored. Across these topics, we synthesized research exploring patterns of proactive parenting and their associations with various moral outcomes, such as prosocial behavior, civic engagement, and aggression. In addition, future directions for research are presented, including distinctions between proactive and reactive parenting, examination of proactive parenting in relation to other established parenting constructs, inclusion of diverse samples, and more nuanced approaches to studying moral development.

Keywords: proactive parenting, reactive parenting, parent-child communication, parental monitoring, sexuality, peers, media, moral development

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