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date: 11 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Conversations with parents are one important way in which moral and behavioral standards get communicated to children. This chapter explores how the content and style of parent-child discourse might influence children’s socialization and moral development. Although researchers have emphasized the importance of discourse in the context of inductive discipline, there has been little empirical work on how the content of that discourse might influence children’s perception and appropriation of the discipline message. Thus, we speculate on the types of discourse that might be important for promoting children’s moral internalization in the context of discipline. More work has been done on parent-child discourse in other contexts, including on children’s reminiscing, parent-child conflict, and the discussion of hypothetical and real world conflicts. We review this work and highlight the importance of examining the interplay between content and style of discourse in predicting moral development.

Keywords: parent-child discourse, conflict, discipline, conversation, reminiscing, moral development, behavioral standards, socialization

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