The role of parents in the socialization of children: An historical overview.

Developmental Psychology (Impact Factor: 3.21). 10/1992; 28(6):1006-1017. DOI: 10.1037/0012-1649.28.6.1006

ABSTRACT The history of research on childhood socialization in the context of the family is traced through the present century. The 2 major early theories (behaviorism and psychoanalytic theory) are described. These theories declined in mid-century, under the impact of failures to find empirical support. Simple reinforcement theory was seriously weakened by work on developmental psycholinguistics, attachment, modeling, and altruism. The field turned to more domain-specific mini-theories. The advent of microanalytic analyses of parent–child interaction focused attention on bidirectional processes. Views about the nature of identification and its role in socialization underwent profound change. The role of "parent as teacher" was reconceptualized (with strong influence from Vygotskian thinking). There has been increasing emphasis on the role of emotions and mutual cognitions in establishing the meaning of parent–child exchanges. The enormous asymmetry in power and competence between adults and children implies that the parent–child relationship must have a unique role in childhood socialization. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

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