Document Type



Author's Final Manuscript

Publication Title

Parenting: Science and Practice



Publication Date



Objective. This study examines East Asian versus Western parents’ valuation of child socialization goals and aims to shed light on the contributions of social change and sociodemographic factors to child socialization. Design. Using global surveys of values in three waves from 1989 to 2010, we examined East Asian and Western parents’ endorsement of 10 socialization goals. Results. Contrary to the widespread individualist-collectivist dichotomy, East Asian parents were more likely than Western parents to prize canonical individualist socialization goals (e.g., independence), and Western parents were relatively higher than East Asian parents in their endorsement of obedience, unselfishness, and tolerance/respect as valued child qualities. Additionally, parents were more likely to endorse individualist socialization and less likely to value collectivist socialization if they were born in later birth cohorts, had higher education and income, and used more information/technology. The findings were similar across mothers and fathers. Conclusions. Our study challenges stereotypical assumptions about East Asian versus Western parents. It advocates for the consideration of specific cultural dimensions as well as social class and generational differences in understanding child socialization cross-culturally.



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