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


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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    • "As such, we examine whether HPA-axis regulation in 3-year-old children during a lab-based task moderates the effect of the quality of the parent–child relationship on change in temperamental PE and NE over a period of three years during childhood, from age 3 to 6. Early childhood is a particularly important period in which to examine these effects, as children are highly dependent on their primary caregiver, making the parent–child relationship the most salient component of their environment (e.g. Maccoby, 1992), and this is the period during which temperament begins to stabilize (Caspi & Shiner, 2006; Roberts & DelVecchio, 2000). Moreover, focusing on the development of PE and NE is important given that they are generally acknowledged to be core aspects of temperament or personality (see Klein, Kotov & Bufferd, 2011), and are robustly associated with symptoms of psychopathology and other indices of psychosocial maladjustment (see Kotov, Gamez, Schmidt & Watson, 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: Positive parenting has been related both to lower cortisol reactivity and more adaptive temperament traits in children, whereas elevated cortisol reactivity may be related to maladaptive temperament traits, such as higher negative emotionality (NE) and lower positive emotionality (PE). However, no studies have examined whether hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity, as measured by cortisol reactivity, moderates the effect of the quality of the parent–child relationship on changes in temperament in early childhood. In this study, 126 3-year-olds were administered the Laboratory Temperament Assessment Battery (Lab-TAB; Goldsmith et al., 1995) as a measure of temperamental NE and PE. Salivary cortisol was collected from the child at 4 time points during this task. The primary parent and the child completed the Teaching Tasks battery (Egeland et al., 1995), from which the quality of the relationship was coded. At age 6, children completed the Lab-TAB again. From age 3 to 6, adjusting for age 3 PE or NE, a better quality relationship with their primary parent predicted decreases in NE for children with elevated cortisol reactivity and predicted increases in PE for children with low cortisol reactivity. Results have implications for our understanding of the interaction of biological stress systems and the parent–child relationship in the development of temperament in childhood.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Developmental Science
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    • "Their negative expressions are exaggerated patterns of regulating the child's routine and activity, over-protectiveness, close training in how to think and feel, and so on—signs of psychological control (Barber, 1996; Schwarz, Barton-Henry & Pruzinsky, 1985; Steinberg, Elmen & Mounts, 1989). Parental acceptance is characterized by a combination of warmth and responsiveness, and is expressed in accepting the child's emotions, active listening, providing praise, and emotional and behavioral involvement in the child's life and activities (Maccoby, 1992). "
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    ABSTRACT: The study examined the relationship between parenting style and parental involvement in school, and educational functioning among children with various disabilities integrated into mainstream education. It included 116 parents of children with special needs who reported their children according to formal educational evaluations they possessed. The sample of children reported by parents disproportionately represents six age layers ( =9.23, SD=1.85( and 3 main disability groups. Multivariate regression analyses indicated that parenting style and parental involvement in school explain a significant proportion of the variance in educational functioning among children with attention deficit disorders and complex disabilities. Within the first group, parental involvement significantly mediated the relationship between parenting style and educational functioning. Parenting style and parental involvement modestly predicted academic achievements in language skills and mathematics field (respectively) in the general sample. Significant relationships between parenting style and educational functioning and achievements in these tests pointed to better performance of children of authoritative parents compared with children of authoritarian parents. The main findings stress the need to encourage and nurture authoritative parenting traits, along with consistent parental involvement in school, as significant means of improving and strengthening the educational functioning among children with special needs integrated into mainstream education.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015
    • "For example, notions that parents are more agentic or more powerful than children have largely remained unchanged, and these assumptions in turn constrain researchers' thinking, channeling them toward examining parent-to-child influences. The terminology often used by researchers also reveals implicit assumptions regarding (unidirectional ) causality, for example, " internalization of values, " " compliance, " " parenting antecedents, " and " child outcomes " (Lollis & Kuczynski, 1997; Maccoby, 1992). It is intriguing to speculate as to why implicit unidirectional assumptions and concepts have persisted (and why the unidirectional view has been so dominant for many years). "
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    ABSTRACT: Views regarding children's influence on their environment and their own development have undergone considerable changes over the years. Following Bell's (1968) seminal paper, the notion of children's influence and the view of socialization as a bidirectional process have gradually gained wide acceptance. However, empirical research implementing this theoretical advancement has lagged behind. This Special Section compiles a collection of new empirical works addressing multiple forms of influential child processes, with special attention to their consequences for children's and others’ positive functioning, risk and resilience. By addressing a wide variety of child influences, this Special Section seeks to advance integration of influential child processes into myriad future studies on development and psychopathology and to promote the translation of such work into preventive interventions.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Development and Psychopathology
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