Handbook of Parenting: Volume 5: The Practice of Parenting, Third Edition [3 ed.] 113822877X, 9781138228771

This highly anticipated third edition of the Handbook of Parenting brings together an array of field-leading experts who

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Table of contents :
Half Title
Preface to the Third Edition
About the Editor
About the Contributors
PART I Practical Parenting
1 The Ethics of Parenting
2 Parenting and Children’s Self-Regulation
3 Parenting and Child Discipline
4 Parenting and Children’s Prosocial Development
5 Parenting and Moral Development
6 Parenting to Promote Resilience in Children
7 Language and Play in Parent–Child Interactions
8 How Parents Can Maximize Children’s Cognitive Abilities
9 Parenting of Children’s Academic Motivation
10 Parents and Children’s Peer Relationships
PART II Parents and Social Institutions
11 Choosing Childcare for Young Children
12 Parenting and Children’s Organized Activities
13 Parenting in the Digital Age
14 Parenting the Child in School
15 Parenting and Children’s Health Care
16 Parenting and the Law
17 Parenting and Public Policy
18 Parenting, Religion, and Spirituality
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This highly anticipated third edition of the Handbook of Parenting brings together an array of field-leading experts who have worked in different ways toward understanding the many diverse aspects of parenting. Contributors to the Handbook look to the most recent research and thinking to shed light on topics every parent, professional, and policymaker wonders about. Parenting is a perennially “hot” topic. After all, everyone who has ever lived has been parented, and the vast majority of people become parents themselves. No wonder bookstores house shelves of “how-to” parenting books, and magazine racks in pharmacies and airports overflow with periodicals that feature parenting advice. However, almost none of these is evidence-based. The Handbook of Parenting is. Period. Each chapter has been written to be read and absorbed in a single sitting, and includes historical considerations of the topic, a discussion of central issues and theory, a review of classical and modern research, and forecasts of future directions of theory and research. Together, the five volumes in the Handbook cover Children and Parenting, the Biology and Ecology of Parenting, Being and Becoming a Parent, Social Conditions and Applied Parenting, and the Practice of Parenting. Volume 5, The Practice of Parenting, describes the nuts-and-bolts of parenting as well as the promotion of positive parenting practices. Parents meet the biological, physical, and health requirements of children. Parents interact with children socially. Parents stimulate children to engage and understand the environment and to enter the world of learning. Parents provide, organize, and arrange their children’s home and local environments and the media to which children are exposed. Parents also manage child development vis-à-vis childcare, school, and the circles of medicine and law, as well as other social institutions through their active citizenship. The chapters in Part I, on Practical Parenting, review the ethics of parenting, parenting and the development of children’s self-regulation, discipline, prosocial and moral development, and resilience, as well as children’s language, play, cognitive, academic motivation and children’s peer relationships. The chapters in Part II, on Parents and Social Institutions, explore parents and their children’s childcare, activities, media, schools, and health care and examine relations between parenthood and the law, public policy, and religion and spirituality. Marc H. Bornstein holds a BA from Columbia College, MS and PhD degrees from Yale University, and honorary doctorates from the University of Padua and University of Trento. Bornstein is President of the Society for Research in Child Development and has held faculty positions at Princeton University and New York University, as well as academic appointments in Munich, London, Paris, New York, Tokyo, Bamenda, Seoul, Trento, Santiago, Bristol, and Oxford. Bornstein is the author of several children’s books, videos, and puzzles in The Child’s World and Baby Explorer series, Editor Emeritus of Child Development and founding Editor of Parenting: Science and Practice, and consultant for governments, foundations, universities, publishers, scientific journals, the media, and UNICEF. He has published widely in experimental, methodological, comparative, developmental, and cultural science as well as neuroscience, pediatrics, and aesthetics.

HANDBOOK OF PARENTING Volume 5: The Practice of Parenting Third Edition

Edited by Marc H. Bornstein

Third edition published 2019 by Routledge 52 Vanderbilt Avenue, New York, NY 10017 and by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon, OX14 4RN Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business © 2019 Taylor & Francis The right of Marc H. Bornstein to be identified as the author of the editorial material, and of the authors for their individual chapters, has been asserted in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. Trademark notice: Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are used only for identification and explanation without intent to infringe. First edition published by Laurence Erlbaum Associates 1995 Second edition published by Taylor and Francis 2002 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data A catalog record for this book has been requested ISBN: 978-1-138-22877-1 (hbk) ISBN: 978-1-138-22878-8 (pbk) ISBN: 978-0-429-40169-5 (ebk) Typeset in Bembo by Apex CoVantage, LLC

For Marian and Harold Sackrowitz


Preface to the Third Edition About the Editor About the Contributors

ix xiv xvi


Practical Parenting


1 The Ethics of Parenting Ross A. Thompson and Diana Baumrind


2 Parenting and Children’s Self-Regulation Wendy S. Grolnick, Alessandra J. Caruso, and Madeline R. Levitt


3 Parenting and Child Discipline Jennifer E. Lansford


4 Parenting and Children’s Prosocial Development Tracy L. Spinrad, Nancy Eisenberg, and Carlos Valiente


5 Parenting and Moral Development Judith G. Smetana, Courtney L. Ball, and Ha Na Yoo


6 Parenting to Promote Resilience in Children Ann S. Masten and Alyssa R. Palmer


7 Language and Play in Parent–Child Interactions Catherine S. Tamis-LeMonda, Yana A. Kuchirko, Kelly Escobar, and Marc H. Bornstein




8 How Parents Can Maximize Children’s Cognitive Abilities Karin Sternberg, Wendy M. Williams, and Robert J. Sternberg


9 Parenting of Children’s Academic Motivation Adele Eskeles Gottfried


10 Parents and Children’s Peer Relationships Gary W. Ladd and Becky Kochenderfer-Ladd



Parents and Social Institutions


11 Choosing Childcare for Young Children Alice Sterling Honig


12 Parenting and Children’s Organized Activities Deborah Lowe Vandell, Sandra D. Simpkins, and Christopher M. Wegemer


13 Parenting in the Digital Age Rachel Barr


14 Parenting the Child in School Robert Crosnoe and Robert W. Ressler


15 Parenting and Children’s Health Care Carolyn Brockmeyer Cates,Victoria Chen, Caitlin F. Canfield, and Alan L. Mendelsohn


16 Parenting and the Law Caitlin Cavanagh and Elizabeth Cauffman


17 Parenting and Public Policy James Garbarino, Amy Governale, and Kathleen Kostelny


18 Parenting, Religion, and Spirituality Annette Mahoney and Chris J. Boyatzis






Previous editions of the Handbook of Parenting have been called the “who’s who of the what’s what.” The third edition of this Handbook appears at a time that is momentous in the history of parenting. The family generally, and parenting specifically, are today in a greater state of flux, question, and redefinition than perhaps ever before. We are witnessing the emergence of striking permutations on the theme of parenting: blended families, lesbian and gay parents, teen versus fifties first-time moms and dads, genetic versus social parents. One cannot but be awed on the biological front by technology that now renders postmenopausal women capable of childbearing and with the possibility of parents designing their babies. Similarly, on the sociological front, single parenthood is a modern-day fact of life, adult child dependency is on the rise, and even in the face of rising institutional demands to take increasing responsibility for their offspring, parents are ever less certain of their roles and responsibilities. The Handbook of Parenting is concerned with all these facets of parenting . . . and more. Most people become parents, and everyone who ever lived has had parents, yet parenting remains a mystifying subject. Who is ultimately responsible for parenting? Does parenting come naturally, or must parenting be learned? How do parents conceive of parenting? Of childhood? What does it mean to parent a preterm baby, twins, or a child on the autistic spectrum? To be an older parent, or one who is divorced, disabled, or drug abusing? What do theories (psychoanalysis, personality theory, attachment, and behavior genetics, for example) contribute to our understanding of parenting? What are the goals parents have for themselves? For their children? What functions do parents’ cognitions serve? What are the goals of parents’ practices? What accounts for parents believing or behaving in similar ways? Why do so many attitudes and actions of parents differ so? How do children influence their parents? How do personality, knowledge, and worldview affect parenting? How do social class, culture, environment, and history shape parenthood? How can parents effectively relate to childcare, schools, and their children’s pediatricians? These are many of the questions addressed in this third edition of the Handbook of Parenting . . . for this is an evidenced-based volume set on how to parent as much as it is one on what being a parent is all about. Put succinctly, parents create people. They are entrusted with preparing their offspring for the physical, psychosocial, and economic conditions in which their children eventually will fare and hopefully will flourish. Amidst the many influences on each next generation, parents are the “final common pathway” to children’s development, stature, adjustment, and success. Human social inquiry—antedating even Athenian interest in Spartan childrearing practices—has always, as a matter ix

Preface to the Third Edition

of course, included reports of parenting. Freud opined that childrearing is one of three “impossible professions”—the other two being governing nations and psychoanalysis. One encounters as many views as the number of people one asks about the relative merits of being an at-home or a working mother; about what mix of day care, family care, or parent care is best for a child; about whether good parenting reflects intuition or experience. The Handbook of Parenting concerns itself with different types of parents—mothers and fathers, single, adolescent, and adoptive parents; with basic characteristics of parenting—knowledge, beliefs, and expectations about parenting—as well as the practice of parenting; with forces that shape parenting—employment, social class, culture, environment, and history; with problems faced by parents—handicap, marital difficulties, drug addiction; and with practical concerns of parenting— how to promote children’s health, foster social adjustment and cognitive competence, and interact with educational, legal, and religious institutions. Contributors to the Handbook of Parenting have worked in different ways toward understanding all these diverse aspects of parenting, and all look to the most recent research and thinking in the field to shed light on many topics every parent, professional, and policymaker wonders about. Parenthood is a job whose primary object of attention and action is the child. But parenting also has consequences for parents. Parenthood is giving and responsibility, and parenting has its own intrinsic pleasures, privileges, and profits, as well as frustrations, fears, and failures. Parenthood can enhance psychological development, self-confidence, and sense of well-being, and parenthood also affords opportunities to confront new challenges and to test and display diverse competencies. Parents can derive considerable and continuing pleasure in their relationships and activities with their children. But parenting is also fraught with small and large stresses and disappointments. The transition to parenthood is daunting, and the onrush of new stages of parenthood is relentless. In the final analysis, however, parents receive a great deal “in kind” for the hard work of parenting—they can be recipients of unconditional love, they can gain skills, and they can even pretend to immortality. This third edition of the Handbook of Parenting reveals the many positives that accompany parenting and offers resolutions for its many challenges. The Handbook of Parenting encompasses the broad themes of who are parents; whom parents parent; the scope of parenting and its many effects; the determinants of parenting; and the nature, structure, and meaning of parenthood for parents. The third edition of the Handbook of Parenting is divided into five volumes, each with two parts: CHILDREN AND PARENTING is Volume 1 of the Handbook. Parenthood is, perhaps first and foremost, a functional status in the life cycle: Parents issue as well as protect, nurture, and teach their progeny, even if human development is too subtle and dynamic to admit that parental caregiving alone determines the developmental course and outcome of ontogeny. Volume 1 of the Handbook of Parenting begins with chapters concerned with how children influence parenting. Notable are their more obvious characteristics, like child age or developmental stage; but more subtle ones, like child gender, physical state, temperament, mental ability, and other individual-differences factors, are also instrumental. The chapters in Part I, on Parenting across the Lifespan, discuss the unique rewards and special demands of parenting children of different ages and stages—infants, toddlers, youngsters in middle childhood, and adolescents—as well as the modern notion of parent–child relationships in emerging adulthood and adulthood and old age. The chapters in Part II, on Parenting Children of Varying Status, discuss common issues associated with parenting children of different genders and temperaments, as well as unique situations of parenting adopted and foster children and children with a variety of special needs, such as those with extreme talent; born preterm; who are socially withdrawn or aggressive; or who fall on the autistic spectrum, manifest intellectual disabilities, or suffer a chronic health condition. x

Preface to the Third Edition

BIOLOGY AND ECOLOGY OF PARENTING is Volume 2 of the Handbook. For parenting to be understood as a whole, biological and ecological determinants of parenting need to be brought into the picture. Volume 2 of the Handbook relates parenting to its biological roots and sets parenting in its ecological framework. Some aspects of parenting are influenced by the organic makeup of human beings, and the chapters in Part I, on the Biology of Parenting, examine the evolution of parenting, the psychobiological determinants of parenting in nonhumans, and primate parenting and then the genetic, prenatal, neuroendocrinological, and neurobiological bases of human parenting. A deep understanding of what it means to parent also depends on the ecologies in which parenting takes place. Beyond the nuclear family, parents are embedded in, influence, and are themselves affected by larger social systems. The chapters in Part II, on the Ecology of Parenting, examine the ancient and modern histories of parenting, as well as epidemiology, neighborhoods, educational attainment, socioeconomic status, culture, and environment to provide an overarching relational developmental contextual systems perspective on parenting. BEING AND BECOMING A PARENT is Volume 3 of the Handbook. A large cast of characters is responsible for parenting, each has her or his own customs and agenda, and the psychological characteristics and social interests of those individuals are revealing of what parenting is. Chapters in Part I, on The Parent, show just how rich and multifaceted is the constellation of children’s caregivers. Considered first are family systems and then successively mothers and fathers, coparenting and gatekeeping between parents, adolescent parenting, grandparenting, and single parenthood, divorced and remarried parenting, lesbian and gay parents, and finally sibling caregivers and nonparental caregiving. Parenting also draws on transient and enduring physical, personality, and intellectual characteristics of the individual. The chapters in Part II, on Becoming and Being a Parent, consider the intergenerational transmission of parenting, parenting and contemporary reproductive technologies, the transition to parenthood, and stages of parental development, and then chapters turn to parents’ well-being, emotions, self-efficacy, cognitions, and attributions, as well as socialization, personality in parenting, and psychoanalytic theory. These features of parents serve many functions: They generate and shape parental practices, mediate the effectiveness of parenting, and help to organize parenting. SOCIAL CONDITIONS AND APPLIED PARENTING is Volume 4 of the Handbook. Parenting is not uniform across communities, groups, or cultures; rather, parenting is subject to wide variation. Volume 4 of the Handbook describes socially defined groups of parents and social conditions that promote variation in parenting. The chapters in Part I, on Social and Cultural Conditions of Parenting, start with a relational developmental systems perspective on parenting and move to considerations of ethnic and minority parenting among Latino and Latin Americans, African Americans, Asians and Asian Americans, indigenous parents, and immigrant parents. The section concludes with the roles of employment and of poverty on parenting. Parents are ordinarily the most consistent and caring people in children’s lives. However, parenting does not always go right or well. Information, education, and support programs can remedy potential ills. The chapters in Part II, on Applied Issues in Parenting, begin with how parenting is measured and follow with examinations of maternal deprivation, attachment, and acceptance/rejection in parenting. Serious challenges to parenting—some common, such as stress, depression, and disability, and some less common, such as substance abuse, psychopathology, maltreatment, and incarceration—are addressed, as are parenting interventions intended to redress these trials. THE PRACTICE OF PARENTING is Volume 5 of the Handbook. Parents meet the biological, physical, and health requirements of children. Parents interact with children socially. Parents stimulate children to engage and understand the environment and to enter the world of learning. Parents provision, organize, and arrange their children’s home and local xi

Preface to the Third Edition

environments and the media to which children are exposed. Parents also manage child development vis-à-vis childcare, school, and the circles of medicine and law, as well as other social institutions through their active citizenship. Volume 5 of the Handbook addresses the nuts-and-bolts of parenting, as well as the promotion of positive parenting practices. The chapters in Part I, on Practical Parenting, review the ethics of parenting, parenting and the development of children’s self-regulation, discipline, prosocial and moral development, and resilience, as well as children’s language, play, cognitive, and academic achievement and children’s peer relationships. Many caregiving principles and practices have direct effects on children. Parents indirectly influence children as well, for example, through relations they have with their local or larger community. The chapters in Part II, on Parents and Social Institutions, explore parents and their children’s childcare, activities, media, schools, and health care and examine relations between parenthood and the law, public policy, and religion and spirituality. Each chapter in the third edition of the Handbook of Parenting addresses a different but central topic in parenting; each is rooted in current thinking and theory as well as classical and modern research on a topic; each is written to be read and absorbed in a single sitting. Each chapter in this new Handbook adheres to a standard organization, including an introduction to the chapter as a whole, followed by historical considerations of the topic, a discussion of central issues and theory, a review of classical and modern research, forecasts of future directions of theory and research, and a set of evidencebased conclusions. Of course, each chapter considers contributors’ own convictions and findings, but contributions to this third edition of the Handbook of Parenting attempt to present all major points of view and central lines of inquiry and interpret them broadly. The Handbook of Parenting is intended to be both comprehensive and state-of-the-art. To assert that parenting is complex is to understate the obvious. As the expanded scope of this third edition of the Handbook of Parenting also amply attests, parenting is naturally and intensely interdisciplinary. The Handbook of Parenting is concerned principally with the nature and scope of parenting per se and secondarily with child outcomes of parenting. Beyond an impressive range of information, readers will find passim typologies of parenting (e.g., authoritarian-autocratic, indulgent-permissive, indifferent-uninvolved, authoritative-reciprocal), theories of parenting (e.g., ecological, psychoanalytic, behavior genetic, ethological, behavioral, sociobiological), conditions of parenting (e.g., gender, culture, content), recurrent themes in parenting studies (e.g., attachment, transaction, systems), and even aphorisms (e.g., “A child should have strict discipline in order to develop a fine, strong character,” “The child is father to the man”). Each chapter in the Handbook of Parenting lays out the meanings and implications of a contribution and a perspective on parenting. Once upon a time, parenting was a seemingly simple thing: Mothers mothered. Fathers fathered. Today, parenting has many motives, many meanings, and many manifestations. Contemporary parenting is viewed as immensely time consuming and effortful. The perfect mother or father or family is a figment of false cultural memory. Modern society recognizes “subdivisions” of the call: genetic mother, gestational mother, biological mother, birth mother, social mother. For some, the individual sacrifices that mark parenting arise for the sole and selfish purpose of passing one’s genes on to succeeding generations. For others, a second child may be conceived to save the life of a first child. A multitude of factors influences the unrelenting advance of events and decisions that surround parenting—biopsychosocial, dyadic, contextual, historical. Recognizing this complexity is important to informing people’s thinking about parenting, especially information-hungry parents themselves. This third edition of the Handbook of Parenting explores all these motives, meanings, and manifestations of parenting.


Preface to the Third Edition

Each day more than three-quarters of a million adults around the world experience the rewards and challenges, as well as the joys and heartaches, of becoming parents. The human race succeeds because of parenting. From the start, parenting is a “24/7” job. Parenting formally begins before pregnancy and can continue throughout the life span: Practically speaking for most, once a parent, always a parent. Parenting is a subject about which people hold strong opinions, and about which too little solid information or considered reflection exists. Parenting has never come with a Handbook . . . until now. —Marc H. Bornstein



Marc H. Bornstein holds a BA from Columbia College, MS and PhD degrees from Yale University, and honorary doctorates from the University of Padua and University of Trento. Bornstein was a J. S. Guggenheim Foundation Fellow, and he received a Research Career Development Award from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. He also received the C. S. Ford Cross-Cultural Research Award from the Human Relations Area Files, the B. R. McCandless Young Scientist Award, and the G. Stanley Hall Award from the American Psychological Association, a United States PHS Superior Service Award and an Award of Merit from the National Institutes of Health, two Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Fellowships, four Awards for Excellence from the American Mensa Education & Research Foundation, the Arnold Gesell Prize from the Theodor Hellbrügge Foundation, the Distinguished Scientist Award from the International Society for the Study of Behavioral Development, and both the Distinguished International Contributions to Child Development Award and the Distinguished Scientific Contributions to Child Development Award from the Society for Research in Child Development. Bornstein is President of the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) and a past member of the SRCD Governing Council and Executive Committee of the International Congress of Infancy Studies. Bornstein has held faculty positions at Princeton University and New York University, as well as academic appointments as Visiting Scientist at the Max-Planck-Institut für Psychiatrie in Munich, Visiting Fellow at University College London; Professeur Invité at the Laboratoire de Psychologie Expérimentale in the Université René Descartes in Paris; Child Clinical Fellow at the Institute for Behavior Therapy in New York; Visiting Professor at the University of Tokyo; Professeur Invité at the Laboratoire de Psychologie du Développement et de l’Éducation de l’Enfant in the Sorbonne in Paris; Visiting Fellow of the British Psychological Society; Visiting Scientist at the Human Development Resource Center in Bamenda, Cameroon; Visiting Scholar at the Institute of Psychology in Seoul National University in Seoul, South Korea; Visiting Professor at the Faculty of Cognitive Science in the University of Trento, Italy; Profesor Visitante at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile in Santiago, Chile; Institute for Advanced Studies Benjamin Meaker Visiting Professor, University of Bristol; Jacobs Foundation Scholar-in-Residence, Marbach, Germany; Honorary Fellow, Department of Psychiatry, Oxford University; Adjunct Academic Member of the Council of the Department of Cognitive Sciences, University of Trento, Italy; and International Research Fellow at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, London.


About the Editor

Bornstein is coauthor of The Architecture of the Child Mind: g, Fs, and the Hierarchical Model of Intelligence, Gender in Low- and Middle-Income Countries, Development in Infancy (five editions), Development: Infancy through Adolescence, Lifespan Development, Genitorialità: Fattori Biologici E Culturali Dell’essere Genitori, and Perceiving Similarity and Comprehending Metaphor. He is general editor of The Crosscurrents in Contemporary Psychology Series, including Psychological Development from Infancy, Comparative Methods in Psychology, Psychology and Its Allied Disciplines (Vols. I–III), Sensitive Periods in Development, Interaction in Human Development, Cultural Approaches to Parenting, Child Development and Behavioral Pediatrics, and Well-Being: Positive Development Across the Life Course, and general editor of the Monographs in Parenting series, including his own Socioeconomic Status, Parenting, and Child Development and Acculturation and Parent– child Relationships. He edited Maternal Responsiveness: Characteristics and Consequences, the Handbook of Parenting (Vols. I–V, three editions), and the Handbook of Cultural Developmental Science (Parts 1 and 2), and is Editor-in-Chief of the SAGE Encyclopedia of Lifespan Human Development. He also coedited Developmental Science: An Advanced Textbook (seven editions), Stability and Continuity in Mental Development, Contemporary Constructions of the Child, Early Child Development in the French Tradition, The Role of Play in the Development of Thought, Acculturation and Parent–child Relationships, Immigrant Families in Contemporary Society, The Developing Infant Mind: Origins of the Social Brain, and Ecological Settings and Processes in Developmental Systems (Volume 4 of the Handbook of Child Psychology and Developmental Science). He is the author of several children’s books, videos, and puzzles in The Child’s World and Baby Explorer series. Bornstein is Editor Emeritus of Child Development and Founding Editor of Parenting: Science and Practice. He has administered both federal and foundation grants; sits on the editorial boards of several professional journals; is a member of scholarly societies in a variety of disciplines; and consults for governments, foundations, universities, publishers, scientific journals, the media, and UNICEF. He has published widely in experimental, methodological, comparative, developmental, and cultural science as well as neuroscience, pediatrics, and aesthetics. Bornstein was named to the Top 20 Authors for Productivity in Developmental Science by the American Educational Research Association.



Courtney L. Ball is a PhD candidate in Developmental Psychology at the University of Rochester. Ball earned her BA in Psychology and Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame and completed her MA in Developmental Psychology at the University of Rochester. Her research focuses on early moral development, with a specific interest in moral emotions, particularly empathy. Rachel Barr is Professor of Psychology at Georgetown University and Director of the Georgetown Early Learning Project. She holds a PhD from the University of Otago, New Zealand. She is primarily interested in how children bridge the gap between what they learn from media and how they apply that information in the real world and how parents facilitate learning from touchscreens, computers, and television. Diana Baumrind is a Research Scientist at the Institute of Human Development at the University of California, Berkeley, where she directed the Family Socialization and Developmental Competence Project. Baumrind received her AB from Hunter College of the City of New York and her MA and PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. Baumrind’s research focuses on parenting effects and how contrasting childrearing patterns influence the development of character and competence in youth. Baumrind is also concerned with social policy applications of research on the family and cultural moderators of parent–child relationships. Chris J. Boyatzis is Professor of Psychology and Director of the Bucknell in Denmark Summer Program at Bucknell University. Boyatzis was educated at Boston University and Brandeis University and was previously affiliated with Wellesley College and California State UniversityFullerton. He is a past president of the Society for the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality of the American Psychological Association and is Associate Editor of Psychology of Religion and Spirituality. Caitlin F. Canfield is a Research Scientist at New York University School of Medicine and Research Director for the Bellevue Project for Language, Literacy, and Education Success. Canfield received her PhD in Developmental Psychology from Boston University and MS in Clinical Investigation from New York University School of Medicine. Her research has emphasized the role of individual differences in child characteristics, family processes, and environments in determining both children’s outcomes and intervention impacts. xvi

About the Contributors

Alessandra J. Caruso is a PhD student in Clinical Psychology at Clark University. Caruso received her BA in Psychology at Georgetown University and was a Research Coordinator at Boston Children’s Hospital. She conducts research on parenting and children’s motivation using a Self-Determination Theory framework. Carolyn Brockmeyer Cates is Assistant Professor of Psychology at Purchase College, State University of New York, and Research Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at New York University School of Medicine. She received her PhD in Developmental Psychology from Lehigh University. Cates leads projects designed to enhance language, literacy, and social-cognitive development through play- and narrative-based intervention programs in preschool and primary care settings serving low-income children. Elizabeth Cauffman is Professor and Chancellor’s Fellow in the Department of Psychology and Social Behavior and holds courtesy appointments in the School of Education and the School of Law at the University of California, Irvine. Cauffman was educated at Temple University and Stanford University and previously was affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh. Cauffman’s research addresses the intersection between adolescent development and juvenile justice. Caitlin Cavanagh is Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice and holds an adjunct appointment in the Department of Psychology at Michigan State University. She received her BA at the University of Rochester and her MA and PhD at the University of California, Irvine. Her research focuses on the intersections of psychology and the law and how social contexts shape adolescent behavior. Victoria Chen is Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell and Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center at Northwell Health. Chen graduated from the City University of New York Brooklyn College and from the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center. She is a developmental-behavioral pediatrician and currently serves as Co-Chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Early Childhood Research Network and Co-Chair of the Society for Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics Screening in Primary Care Working Group. Robert Crosnoe is the C. B. Smith, Sr. Centennial Chair #4 at the University of Texas at Austin, where he is Chair of the Department of Sociology. He received his PhD from Stanford University. He is President of the Society for Research on Adolescence, Co-Director of the Interdisciplinary Collaborative on Development in Context, and a Governing Board Member of the Council on Contemporary Families, as well as a past Governing Council member of the Society for Research in Child Development and Deputy Editor of the Journal of Marriage and Family. Nancy Eisenberg is Regents’ Professor of Psychology at Arizona State University. She received her PhD in Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley. Her research interests span the domain of socioemotional development of self-regulation and its relations to emotion, socially competent behavior, and maladjustment; empathy-related responding; moral reasoning; and personality development. She has been an Associate Editor of Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, MerrillPalmer Quarterly, and Developmental Psychology and editor of Psychological Bulletin and Child Development Perspectives. She was President of the Association for Psychological Development, Division 7 of the American Psychological Association and Western Psychological Association. Her books include The Caring Child, The Roots of Prosocial Behavior in Children, Altruistic Emotion, Cognition, and Behavior, and How Children Develop. She edited Volume 3 in the Handbook of Child Psychology: Social, Emotional, and xvii

About the Contributors

Personality Development and several other books, including Empathy and Its Development and Review of Personality and Social Psychology. Kelly Escobar is a PhD candidate in Developmental Psychology at New York University. She received her MS in Psychology from Villanova University. Escobar’s current research focuses on early dual-language development, with a particular focus on individual variability and the early social contexts that shape children’s bilingual trajectories. James Garbarino is the Maude C. Clarke Chair in Humanistic Psychology and the Senior Faculty Fellow with the Center for the Human Rights of Children at Loyola University Chicago. Previously he held the Elizabeth Lee Vincent Chair in Human Development at Cornell University and was President of the Erikson Institute for Advanced Study in Child Development. He has served as an advisor to the National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse, the National Institute for Mental Health, the American Medical Association, the U.S. Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect, and the FBI. His books include Miller’s Children: Why Giving Teenage Killers a Second Chance Matters for All of Us. Adele Eskeles Gottfried is Professor Emerita of Educational Psychology, California State University, Northridge, and co-directs the Fullerton Longitudinal Study. She received her MA degree from the University of Chicago, and PhD in Educational/Developmental Psychology from the Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York. Her study of parental employment served as a basis for a California Supreme Court ruling. She is the author of the Children’s Academic Intrinsic Motivation Inventory, and numerous articles and books. Amy Governale is a PhD candidate in Developmental Psychology at Loyola University Chicago. Her research interests include how different dimensions of organized activity involvement, including summer program participation, promote positive youth development among low-income, ethnically diverse adolescents. Wendy S. Grolnick is Professor of Psychology and Director of Clinical Training in the Frances L. Hiatt School of Psychology at Clark University. She received her MA and PhD from the University of Rochester. Grolnick’s research focuses on the effects of home and school environments on children’s motivation as well as factors affecting the environments that parents and teachers create for their children. She is the author of The Psychology of Parental Control: How Well-Meant Parenting Backfires and Pressured Parents, Stressed-Out Kids: Dealing with Competition While Raising a Successful Child. Alice Sterling Honig is Professor Emerita at Syracuse University. She received her BA from Barnard College, MA from Columbia University, and PhD from Syracuse University. She served as Research Review Editor for NAEYC’s Young Children. Among her books are Parent Involvement in Early Childhood Education, Risk Factors in Infancy, Little Kids, Big Worries: Stress Busting Tips for Early Childhood Classrooms, The Best for Babies: Expert Advice for Assessing Infant/Toddler Programs, and Literacy, Storytelling and Bilingualism in Asian Classrooms. Becky Kochenderfer-Ladd is Professor in the T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics at Arizona State University. Ladd earned her PhD at the University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign in Educational Psychology. She studies children’s social development and peer relationships. She is currently the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology. Kathleen Kostelny is a Senior Researcher at the Columbia Group for Children in Adversity at Columbia University. She received her BA from Bethel College, MA from the University of Chicago, xviii

About the Contributors

and PhD from the Erikson Institution/Loyola University. She was formerly a Research Associate at Erikson Insitute for Advanced Study in Child Development and is co-author of No Place to Be a Child: Growing Up in a War Zone and other publications dealing with children and families at risk. Yana A. Kuchirko is a Postdoctoral Associate at the Bellevue Project for Language, Literacy, and Education Success Initiative at the Institute of Human Development and Social Change at New York University. Kuchirko received her PhD in Developmental Psychology from New York University. Her research focuses on infants’ language experiences across different contexts and cultures. Gary W. Ladd is Cowden Distinguished Professor of Family and Human Development at Arizona State University. Ladd earned his PhD at the University of Rochester and then held professorships at Purdue University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He was a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford and served as Associate Editor for Child Development and the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships and Editor-in-Chief of Merrill-Palmer Quarterly. Ladd is the author of Children’s Peer Relations and Social Competence: A Century of Progress. Jennifer E. Lansford is Research Professor at the Sanford School of Public Policy and Faculty Fellow of the Center for Child and Family Policy at Duke University. Lansford earned her PhD from the University of Michigan. Her research focuses on the development of aggression and other behavior problems, with an emphasis on how family, peer, and cultural contexts contribute to or protect against these outcomes. She leads the Parenting Across Cultures project. Lansford is Associate Editor of Developmental Psychology and the International Journal of Behavioral Development. Madeline R. Levitt is a PhD student in Clinical Psychology at Clark University. Levitt received her BA in Psychology at Bates College and worked as a psychometrician and research coordinator at Massachusetts General Hospital. She conducts research on parenting and children’s motivation. Annette Mahoney is Professor of Psychology and Director of Clinical Training at Bowling Green State University. Mahoney was educated at Rice University and the University of Houston. She is the President of the Society for the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality of the American Psychological Association. She is an associate editor of Psychology of Religion and Spirituality. Mahoney was an associate editor of the APA Handbook of Psychology, Religion and Spirituality, Vol. II. Ann S. Masten is Regents Professor and the Irving B. Harris Professor of Child Development in the Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota. Masten completed her undergraduate degree at Smith College, her PhD at the University of Minnesota in psychology, and her clinical internship at the Neuropsychiatric Institute, University of California, Los Angeles. She is past President of the Society for Research in Child Development and Division 7 of the American Psychological Association (APA). She is the author of Ordinary Magic: Resilience in Development. Alan L. Mendelsohn is a General and Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician and Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Population Health at New York University School of Medicine and Bellevue Hospital Center. Mendelsohn has focused his career on reducing disparities in health and development for young children in low-income families. He is Chair of the NIH/NICHD Biobehavioral and Behavioral Sciences Subcommittee. Alyssa R. Palmer is a PhD candidate in Child Development at the Institute of Child Development within the University of Minnesota. She completed her undergraduate degree at The Pennsylvania State University in Psychology. Her research interests focus broadly on individual differences xix

About the Contributors

contributing to risk and resilience, self-regulation, physiological reactivity and regulation, and the influence of parent functioning and parent–child synchrony. Robert W. Ressler is a PhD student in the Department of Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin. He received his undergraduate degree from the College of William and Mary in Sociology and Hispanic Studies. He conducts research on how community contexts promote the development and education of children with a focus on Latinx, immigrant, and minority populations. Sandra D. Simpkins is Professor of Education and Co-Director of the Certificate in Afterschool and Summer Education at the University of California, Irvine. Simpkins received her PhD in Developmental Psychology from the University of California, Riverside, and previously was a faculty member at Arizona State University. Her work has focused on contextual influences that shape youth development from childhood through adolescence. Simpkins is the lead author on a SRCD Monograph entitled Parent Beliefs to Youth Choices: Mapping the Sequence of Predictors from Childhood to Adolescence. Judith G. Smetana is Professor of Psychology, Director of the Developmental Psychology PhD Program, and past Frederika Warner Chair of Human Development at the University of Rochester. She obtained her undergraduate degree at the University of California, Berkeley, and her MS and PhD in Psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is past Secretary of the Society for Research in Child Development. Smetana has been associate editor of Child Development and is currently Editor of Child Development Perspectives. Her research focuses on the development of children’s moral and social reasoning, children’s and parents’ beliefs about parenting, and adolescent–parent relationships in ethnic and cultural contexts. Smetana is author of Adolescents, Families and Social Development: How Teens Construct Their Worlds and co-editor of the Handbook of Moral Development. Tracy L. Spinrad is a Professor of Family Studies in the T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics at Arizona State University. She earned her PhD in Human Development and Family Studies from the Pennsylvania State University. Her program of research focuses on the socioemotional development of young children, particularly relations of children’s self-regulation abilities to children’s social adjustment. Karin Sternberg is a Research Associate at Cornell University. She has a PhD in Psychology from the University of Heidelberg, Germany, and an MBA with a specialization in banking from the University of Cooperative Education in Karlsruhe, Germany. Sternberg worked as a Research Associate at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and School of Public Health. She currently works on projects pertaining to child development, as well as admissions in undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools. She is the author of Child Development in the 21st Century and coauthor of The Psychologist’s Companion, Cognitive Psychology, The Nature of Hate, and the New Psychology of Love. Robert J. Sternberg is Professor of Human Development in the College of Human Ecology at Cornell University and Honorary Professor of Psychology at Heidelberg University, Germany. Previously, Sternberg was IBM Professor of Psychology and Education and Professor of Management at Yale. Sternberg’s BA is from Yale University, his PhD is from Stanford University, and he holds 13 honorary doctorates. Sternberg is a Past President of the American Psychological Association, the Federation of Associations in Behavioral and Brain Sciences, the Eastern Psychological Association, and the International Association for Cognitive Education and Psychology. Sternberg is editor of Perspectives on Psychological Science. Sternberg is a member of the National Academy of Education and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has authored textbooks in introductory psychology, cognitive psychology, and communication in psychology. xx

About the Contributors

Catherine S. Tamis-LeMonda is Professor of Applied Psychology in the Developmental Psychology program at New York University, where she co-directs the Center for Research on Culture, Development, and Education and earned her BA and PhD. Tamis-LeMonda investigates infant learning and development in social and cultural contexts, with a primary focus on infant communication, language, and play. She is Associate Editor of Infancy and Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. Ross A. Thompson is Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Davis. Thompson earned his AB from Occidental College and his AM and PhD from the University of Michigan. He studies early parent–child relationships, the development of emotion understanding and emotion regulation, the growth of conscience and prosocial motivation, and related topics concerning the development of constructive social motivation. His books include Preventing Child Maltreatment through Social Support: A Critical Analysis, The Postdivorce Family: Children, Families, and Society, and Infant-Parent Attachment. Carlos Valiente is Professor of Family Studies in the T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics at Arizona State University. He holds a PhD in Family Science from Arizona State University. Valiente’s program of research identifies ways educators and parents can foster children’s social, emotional, and educational success. Deborah Lowe Vandell is Professor of Education and Psychology at the University of California, Irvine, where she was the Founding Dean of the School of Education. She received her BA from Rice University, her EdM from Harvard University, and her PhD in Psychology from Boston University. She was previously on the faculty at the University of Wisconsin, where she was the Sears Bascom Professor of Education. Vandell studies the short-term and long-term effects of afterschool programs, extracurricular activities, and unsupervised time on children and adolescents from diverse families. Christopher M. Wegemer is a PhD student in the School of Education at the University of California, Irvine. Wegemer received degrees from Providence College, Columbia University, and the University of California, Santa Barbara, in the fields of Applied Physics, Electrical Engineering, and Global and International Studies, respectively. He studies identity development of adolescents in youth empowerment activities. Wendy M. Williams is a Professor in the Department of Human Development at Cornell University. She holds MA and PhD degrees in Psychology from Yale University, an MA in Physical Anthropology from Yale, and a BA in English and Biology from Columbia University. Williams founded and directs the Cornell Institute for Women in Science. She studies the development, assessment, training, and societal implications of intelligence. Williams authored and edited The Reluctant Reader, How to Develop Student Creativity, Why Aren’t More Women in Science?, and The Mathematics of Sex. Ha Na Yoo is a PhD student in Clinical and Social Sciences at the University of Rochester. Yoo received her BA in German Literature and Economics from Seoul National University and her MA in Developmental Psychology from Yonsei University. Her research focuses on moral development in childhood, specifically children’s developing conceptions of fairness, and the relation between moral judgments and empathy.



Practical Parenting

1 THE ETHICS OF PARENTING Ross A. Thompson and Diana Baumrind1

Introduction Ethical parenting, above all, is responsible caregiving, requiring of parents enduring investment and commitment throughout their children’s long period of dependency. The effort people put forth to be responsible parents, as in other areas of their lives, is a function of their self-attributions concerning the relation between their effort and outcome. As Bugental, Blue, and Cruzcosa (1989) have shown, parents who attribute a child’s dysfunctional behavior primarily to the child’s disposition or to peer influences rather than to their own practices are less likely to attempt to alter their disciplinary style when it is ineffective or developmentally unapt, or to attempt to alter their child’s behavior when it is changeworthy. Greenberger and Goldberg (1989) found that high-investment parents, as part of their identity, believed that they could meet their children’s needs better than other adults, and therefore willingly sacrificed other personal pleasures to be with their children. Such parents (whom the authors identified as authoritative) had higher maturity expectations, were notably responsive, and viewed their children more positively than did less invested parents. The ethics of parenting begins, therefore, with the assumption of responsibility for children. This chapter is concerned with unfolding the nature of that responsibility in the context of the reciprocal obligations of parents and offspring, and the responsibility of the state to support ethical parenting. The moral obligations of parents to their children, and of the state to the family, have been long-standing concerns of philosophy, the law, and psychology dating back to ancient times. This short chapter does not attempt to comprehensively review this interesting history, nor to offer guidelines to contemporary parents about specific ethical dilemmas (e.g., should a parent ever lie to a child?). Instead, we outline a theory of the ethics of parenting, rooted in traditional and modern views in moral and political philosophy, that describes the needs and rights of children and the roles and responsibilities of parents and the state for children’s welfare. We argue, in brief, that children’s rights are complementary and reciprocal (but not equal) to those of parents, that parental responsibilities to offspring arise from a developmental orientation to children’s needs and capabilities, that the state has an important role in supporting parents but not assuming parental responsibilities, and that developmental scientists have an obligation to contribute to public understanding of parenting and its influences. Such a theory can, we hope, offer guidance for the specific dilemmas that parents often face and provide a comprehensive, thoughtful perspective on what parenting is for, and why, in relation to the needs of children. The first part of the chapter concerns the ethical obligations of parents, with special attention to the rights of children, the moral justification of parental authority, and the contrasting views of


Ross A. Thompson and Diana Baumrind

protectionist, liberationist, and developmentalist approaches to understanding children’s best interests. This section closes with a profile of parents’ developmental responsibilities to children, especially in relation to the growth of character and competence. The second part of the chapter focuses on the relations among parents, children, and the state. In this section, we describe the state’s interest in the well-being of children and the conditions justifying the state’s intervention into family life to promote children’s well-being. In doing so, we also seek to profile what the state does well, and poorly, in its efforts to assist its youngest citizens. In the concluding section, we briefly consider the responsibilities of developmental scientists for fostering ethical parenting.

The Ethical Obligations of Parents The Rights of Children Discussions of parenting often begin with the rights of children. But what are children’s rights, and how are they justified? We propose that the moral norms of reciprocity and complementarity offer a new way of regarding children’s rights not as absolute entitlements to self-determination and autonomy, but rather as rights that develop in concert with children’s growing capacities to exercise mature judgment. In 1989 the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (United Nations General Assembly, 1989) codified children’s entitlements in a document that was adopted by the UN General Assembly and subsequently endorsed by more than 100 countries, but not by the United States. The survival, protection, development, and self-determination of dependent children are among the children’s rights identified by the Convention. It was the inclusion of self-determination rights that accounts, in part, for the reluctance of U.S. legislators to endorse the document. According to the Convention, children have the right to express their views (Article 11); to have freedom of thought, conscience, and religion (Article 14); to associate freely (Article 15); to privacy (Article 16); and to be protected from all forms of physical or mental violence (Article 19). The Committee on the Rights of the Child, the organization charged with monitoring and implementing the provisions of the Convention, interpreted Article 19, as well as Article 37 (which protects children against any form of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment), as prohibiting all physical punishment. In the United States, the debate over the ratification of the Convention sharpened fundamental differences between liberals and conservatives concerning the desirable degree of interference by the state in family life (the less, the better to conservatives) and the freedom with which a child should be legally endowed (the more, the better to liberals). Liberals have urged ratification but criticized the Convention for failing to explicitly proscribe physical punishment. Conservatives have strongly and successfully opposed ratification, arguing that the document contains unwarranted restrictions on the historical right of parents to regulate the physical, moral, intellectual, and cultural development of their children. This liberal versus conservative polarity reflects a broader division in views of the family that contrasts a hierarchical, paternalistic, authoritarian model that places obedience at the cornerstone in the foundation of character (Dobson, 1992) with a children’s rights position that demands for children the same civil rights as are possessed by adults (Cohen, 1980). As the debate over the Convention in the United States illustrates, beginning with the rights of children (or of parents) sharpens the perceived conflict between the rights of each within the family and, inappropriately in our view, impedes thoughtful reflection on ethical parenting by polarizing discussion according to whether children’s rights or parents’ rights should be preeminent. The Convention neither acknowledges nor resolves the conflict created by its approach. We argue that it is much more useful to consider children’s rights and needs within a developmental perspective and within the context of the mutual obligations of parents and children, based on moral norms of reciprocity and complementarity.


The Ethics of Parenting

The Moral Norms of Reciprocity and Complementarity Instantiated by different value hierarchies in different cultures, a cornerstone of all ethical systems is the moral norm of reciprocity, represented in Christian religion by the Golden Rule, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” and in Buddhist thinking as karma or the sum of the ethical consequences of one’s actions (Baumrind, 1980). Reciprocity refers to the balance in an interactive system such that each party has both rights and duties, and the subordinate norm of complementarity states that one’s rights are the other’s obligations. The norm of complementarity implies that if children have a right to be nurtured (and not merely to seek nurturance), then there must be adult caregivers with a complementary obligation to nurture. Children also incur obligations reciprocal to that right, such as returning love and complying with parental directives, that motivate and enable caregivers to nurture and guide them satisfactorily. Application of the principle of reciprocity requires, therefore, mutuality of obligation and gratification and governs relationships within all stable social systems, including the family. Thus, parents and children have reciprocal, not equal, rights. The view that the rights and obligations of youthful status are reciprocal rather than identical to those of their caregivers acknowledges reciprocity as a generalizable moral norm based on the mutually contingent exchange of resources and gratification whose application is likely to produce the greatest good for the greatest number. Consistent with the principle that children’s rights and responsibilities are complementary, not identical, to those of their parents is the view that parents incur a duty to commit themselves to the welfare of their dependent children, who in turn have a duty to conform to parental standards (Baumrind, 1978b). Because of their dependent status, unemancipated youth may claim from adults the protection and support necessary for their growth and development, but may not claim the full rights to self-determination appropriate to an emancipated, independent person. In practice this means that parents may choose their children’s education, religion, and abode and, at least until adolescence, censor their reading, media exposure, friends, and attire. As children approach adolescence, however, their developing capabilities permit greater self-determination, and they also begin to relinquish the privileges of childhood as they assume the responsibilities and entitlements of adulthood. The remaining restrictions on their freedom provide adolescents with an essential impetus to becoming selfsupporting and thus self-determining. Exploitation or indulgence of the child by the parent interferes with the child’s internalization of the norm of reciprocity and the child’s acknowledgment that her or his actions have consequences for self and others. A marked imbalance between what is given gratuitously and what is required of the child disequilibrates the social system of the family. Whereas unconditional commitment to the child’s welfare and responsiveness to the child’s wishes motivate young children to comply with their parents’ demands for maturity and obedience (Kochanska, 2002; Parpal and Maccoby, 1985), noncontingent acquiescence to children’s demands is likely to encourage dependency rather than to reward responsible self-sufficiency. The reciprocal relations between the rights and obligations of parents and children have enduring philosophical roots and constitute the basis of Rousseau’s (1767/1952, p. 387) social contract: The most ancient of all societies, and the only one that is natural, is the family: and even so the children remain attached to the father only as long as they need him for their preservation. As soon as this need ceases, the natural bond is dissolved. The children, released from the obedience they owed to the father, and the father, released from the care he owed his children, return equally to independence. Radical proponents of liberating rights for children (Cohen, 1980; Holt, 1974; Kohn, 2005) negate the principle of reciprocity by claiming simultaneously that because of their temporary dependence children are entitled to beneficent protection, and yet because of their inherent status as autonomous persons children should exercise equal self-determination as do adults.


Ross A. Thompson and Diana Baumrind

The Moral Case for and Against Equal Rights for Children The case for equal rights for children appeals largely to deontological universalist premises, which maintain that what is morally right and obligatory is based on principles (such as justice) that have prima facie validity, independent of whether they promote the common good. If children (like adults) are persons of unconditional value and persons have the right to equal justice in all situations, then children’s and adults’ rights are equally meriting respect. By contrast, the case for reciprocal rights for children appeals largely to rule-utilitarian consequentialist premises intended to maximize welfare (i.e., the welfare of the community and the family as well as of the child) at a given historical time and place (see Frankena, 1973, for a succinct discussion of these and other contrasting theories of ethics). The justification for children’s equal rights is commonly grounded in the universalist theory of justice of Rawls (1971), who believed that to prove the validity of ethical principles of just treatment, these principles must be selected in the hypothetical “original position” behind “a veil of ignorance” in which individuals are ignorant of their own specific interests, circumstances, and abilities and cannot be biased by them. The “original position” assumes the priority of equal liberty as the fundamental terms of association of all rational persons. Maximizing liberty in equal distribution is a universal, objective end of human nature. This universalist view is the foundation for Rawls’s theory of justice, but giving priority to the ideal of the free, autonomous individual is also a uniquely Western notion that is at variance with the Eastern ideals of collective harmony and individual duty (Markus and Kitayama, 1991; Schweder, 1990; Triandis, 1990). A focus on individual rights is not equipped to address conflict between the rights of persons and the rights of the collective (Baumrind, 2004). The children’s rights movement, which rose to prominence in the 1970s (Holt, 1974; Kohn, 2005; Worsfold, 1974), claimed for children all the rights of adult persons, including the rights associated with self-determination. In this view, children’s rights are entitlements and as such impose ethical obligations on parents and the state. As interpreted by Worsfold (1974), Rawls’s universalist theory claims that “in their fundamental rights children and adults are the same” (p. 33) and indeed that children “have a right to do what they prefer when it conflicts with what their parents and society prefer” (p. 35–36). This view of children’s rights is consistent with, and indeed derives from, the foundational deontological principle of maximizing individual liberty of Rawls’s theory. Worsfold supports his case for equal rights for children with two empirical claims and two moral principles. The two empirical claims are (1) the first motive of everyone is to preserve her or his own personal liberty, and (2) children have the same capacity as adults to know what they want and are capable of weighing alternatives and acting on their decisions. The two moral principles are (3) all inequalities of primary goods such as liberty must be justified by relevant differences between the people concerned, and (4) people are not to enjoy a special advantage as a result of age, natural ability, or social status. If the empirical claims (1) and (2) were both true, it might be appropriate to conclude, with Worsfold, that children have the same self-determination rights as do adults—but a developmental analysis raises significant doubts about their validity. Concerning (1): It is doubtful that most people of any age value absolute liberty above all other fundamental values. For example, there is an abundance of evidence that children of all ages, although they would like to do as they please, accept parental authority as legitimate even when it is punitive as well as firm and deprives them of liberty (Barber, Stolz, and Olsen, 2005; Catron and Masters, 1993; Siegal and Barclay, 1985). Other interests are more important. Concerning (2): Immense differences in knowledge, experience, and power make it impossible to conclude that children have the same capacity as adults to know what they want and to weigh alternatives and act on their choices. Thus, restrictions on children’s liberty rights based on their natural, developmental incapacities to exercise those rights cannot be regarded as inequitable in the moral sense of being unjust. Worsfold states that the two moral principles that justify equal rights for children [(3) and (4)] are based on Rawls’s “original position” and “veil of ignorance,” and so they are. To be logically


The Ethics of Parenting

secured, the equal rights for children position requires the “veil of ignorance”: Age cannot be taken into account, and neither adults nor children may claim any special advantages even if their relevant capacities are shown to differ greatly. But with regard to age distinctions, Rawls himself (1971) made the argument for temporary restrictions on children’s liberty from paternalism, as did the major philosophers before him (Locke, Hegel, Mill, Rousseau), emphasizing the priority of liberty as an ultimate goal. In summary, then, the case for equal rights for children as set forth by Worsfold is not convincing. By contrast with deontological theorists, rule-utilitarian theories claim that the right, the obligatory, and the morally good are a function of what is nonmorally good. On the assumption that morality was made for humankind rather than humankind for morality, rule-utilitarians are primarily concerned with the long-range consequences for humankind of acting on the ethical guidelines they espouse. Ruleutilitarians (unlike rule-deontologists) claim that the rules that are right are determined by their longrange consequences. An act is right if, and only if, it would maximize welfare (Brandt, 1998). What is judged to be right in principle is based, not on a short-range cost–benefit analysis of individual acts, but rather on the long-range consequences of applying the rule generally. The institutions of liberty are valued highly, for example, because they assure rational pursuit of the progressive interests of humankind. The right of parents to restrict the liberty of their dependent children is justified because application of this right typically advances the best interests of the child and the common good of the family and the state. Unlike act-utilitarians, rule-utilitarians do not claim that each situation is different and unique, but instead claim that general (but not necessarily universalizable) rules and guidelines must be formulated in making moral claims. However, based on particular welfare considerations, a moral code may vary from subgroup to subgroup within society. The principle of utility enters in determining what the rules will be in like contexts, rather than what concrete action should be performed in a given instance, as in situation ethics or other variations of act-utilitarianism. So in deciding whether one should lie or tell the truth, the long-range consequences of lying in general must be considered, not merely whether telling the truth or a lie in this particular instance is more beneficent in its effect. Unlike the deontological injunction against lying in all circumstances, for instance, rule-utilitarians would claim that to prevent a greater evil or to achieve a greater good in the long run, it would be right to lie. The example often given is that one ought to lie to secure the safe haven of a potential Holocaust victim. Frankena (1973, p. 52) developed a “mixed deontological theory of obligation” that takes as basic both the principle of beneficence (to do good and prevent or avoid harm) and the principle of justice (equal treatment), but appears to give precedence to the principle of justice. By contrast, ruleutilitarians incorporate the principle of social and distributive justice within the principle of utility (or beneficence) by claiming that what satisfies the principle of utility or beneficence in the long run must also satisfy the requirements of justice. For example, an unequal but equitable distribution of resources can maximize total welfare (“to each according to his or her needs”), even within the family. In formulating ethical guidelines for parenting, we adopt a modified rule-utilitarian stance, not dissimilar to that which Frankena (1973) proposed, in that it emphasizes justice (in the sense of equitable, not equal, treatment) as well as beneficence as underlying and unifying principles of morality. In our view, both principles—beneficence and justice—must be taken into account in determining what constitutes ethical parenting, but justice does not take precedence over beneficence. Our “mixed rule-utilitarian theory” emphasizes a welfare-maximizing principle, but in addition requires a separate justification for inequality of distribution of resources and goods. The justification for equitable rather than equal distribution of resources to children within a family must be based on age, gender, and/or sibling order differences in terms of needs, preferences, and capabilities. Justice is not conceived simplistically as guaranteeing equal treatment in the short run, but rather as demanding a justification for unequal treatment based on relevant differences between the people concerned. 7

Ross A. Thompson and Diana Baumrind

Thus, with regard to the relationship between parents and children, unequal treatment as it relates to liberty is justified on the ground that it will produce greater good in the long run because it is based on relevant differences in needs and capabilities, by contrast with equal treatment that disregards these differences. Children’s right to protection, support, and nurturance are greater and their right to selfdetermination correspondingly less than their parents. Liberty is recognized as a good but not as the primary good.

A Mixed Rule-Utilitarian Justification for Parental Authority and Children’s Liberty Until the 20th century, few questioned the justification for restricting children’s liberty in the family. Despite his romantic view of childhood, even Rousseau argued for authoritative rule in the family on the basis that parental rule “looks more to the advantage of him who obeys than to that of him who commands” (Rousseau, 1754/1952, p. 357). The proprietary interests of parents in their children’s welfare presumes an authority more benevolent than that of a disinterested third party. When parents are exploitative, cruel, or incompetent, their authority is thereby rendered illegitimate. In a similar vein more than 50 years later, Hegel (1821/1952, p. 61) wrote: The right of the parents over the wishes of their children is determined by the object in view—discipline and education. The punishment of children does not aim at justice as such; the aim is more subjective and moral in character, that is, to deter them from exercising a freedom still in the toils of nature and to lift the universal into their consciousness and will. Similarly, the rule-utilitarian John Stuart Mill (1859/1973) restricted the ideal of self-determination to individuals capable of assuming adult responsibilities, arguing that, although the adult generation is not perfectly wise and good with regard to the interests of the next generation, it is wiser and better in its judgments of what would benefit them than that generation is itself. From a different philosophical perspective but with comparable relevance to parenting, Aristotelean virtue ethicists justify parental authority because of the tutelage it provides to enable children to develop the practices and the practical wisdom necessary to the growth of virtuous character. Virtue ethics regards ethical conduct not as the proper application of universalizable rules nor as deriving from a consequentialist analysis, but rather as conduct that arises from virtuous character and practical wisdom, and in this regard they are in agreement with most parents that character development is foundational to socialized behavior. In the Aristotelean tradition, virtuous qualities develop through habituation—the practice over time of virtuous conduct that derives, in part, from the enduring efforts of parents to make such conduct habitual in children and thus ingrained in personality—combined with the socialization of practical rationality in the application of virtuous character. Although these influences begin early (Thompson and Lavine, 2016), a sustained period under parental guidance is necessary to the development of virtuous qualities. Parental authority, including the right to speak for their children and to discipline them, is rationally justified by children’s dependent status and relative incompetence, imposing on parents the obligation to protect, nurture, and train children, and the right to reward and punish them contingent on parents’ standards of desirable behavior. As parents do so, children learn to master the environment and to develop a stable sense of self. Self-determination becomes a conscious predominant value during adolescence with its constructive expression predicated on competence, an internal locus of control, and an understanding of moral reciprocity—all capacities developed through the socialization process, which includes parental limit setting. Unequal distribution of liberty is justified in the child’s mind, as in the adult’s mind, by recognition of the relevant age-related differences between them. Prior to the child’s acquisition of the ability to think logically and symbolically, parental authority is legitimated 8

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in the child’s mind by the fact that the child is weak and the parent is strong and by the child’s strong emotional attachment to the parent. The disciplinary encounter, including the use of reward and punishment, is a necessary part of the socialization process through which parents fulfill their obligations to their children. In families with normally assertive toddlers, parental correction and management of child behavior are frequent. Conflictual interactions between young children and their parents occur from 3 to 15 times an hour and even more often when children are defiant (Dix, 1991; Klimes-Dougan, and Kopp, 1999). Because it is rare for a single disciplinary encounter to alter a child’s motivated behavior permanently, periodic reinforcement and explanations are necessary. Properly handled, these recurring disciplinary encounters enable children to better understand the meaning of the request and its justification, internalize the expectation, and even learn the skills of negotiation and thus promote their future autonomy as well as immediate compliance. Because punishment is necessarily aversive, it can be justified only when aimed at maximizing the child’s long-term welfare. By preventing and reforming bad behavior and educating and encouraging good behavior, mild punishment, when indicated, is intended to advance the welfare of the family and the community, as well as of the child. Although parental use of power assertion is sometimes disparaged by developmentalists (Grolnick, 2003; Gershoff, 2002; Holden, 1997), it is important to distinguish confrontive from coercive parental power assertion and its effects on children (Baumrind, 2012). Coercive power assertion is arbitrary, preemptory, relies on threats and psychological control, and is the kind of power assertion that characterizes authoritarian parents. By contrast, confrontive power assertion is reasoned, negotiable, outcome-oriented, concerned with behavioral control, and is typical of authoritative parents. Both are demanding and forceful, but their effects on children are different. Consistent with earlier cross-sectional findings, for example, Baumrind, Larzelere, and Owens (2010) reported that the longitudinal effects of confrontive as opposed to coercive parental power assertion when children were preschoolers were beneficial: ten years later, adolescents showed greater cognitive competence and self-efficacy and fewer problem behaviors. Sorkhabi and Middaugh (2014) reported that parental use of coercive or confrontive power assertion was associated with differences in relational outcomes between adolescents and parents, with heightened affiliation when parents were confrontive but not coercive. The distinction between confrontive and coercive power assertion is important, because although power assertion can be readily contrasted with reasoning and other forms of inductive discipline for descriptive purposes, authoritative parents use both, and the combination promotes children’s constructive obedience and responsible conduct (Baumrind, 2004, 2012, 2013a). When enlisted by authoritative parents, power assertion is neither arbitrary nor harsh but marshaled to promote compliance in the context of a responsive relationship in which children’s dissent is heard and respected. Exercised in this manner, power assertion is consistent with parents’ ethical responsibility to socialize children’s conduct and promote their responsible membership in society.

The Child’s Best Interest Criterion for Determining Ethical Parenting: Protectionist, Liberationalist, and Developmental Perspectives Another way of understanding alternative constructions of children’s needs and rights, and the ethical responsibilities of parents, is to consider how best to define children’s “best interests.” It is incontrovertible that it is in children’s best interests to survive, develop fully, and be protected from harm. But advancing beyond these minima reveals significant differences in views of children’s needs and the responsibilities of adults as caregivers. Protectionists and liberationists view children’s best interests differently, especially with respect to children’s self-determination interests. Children’s rights advocates (Cohen, 1980; Kohn, 2005) adopt a liberationist view and claim that it suffices for children to have a rudimentary understanding of 9

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basic survival facts to entitle them to make their own decisions, whether or not they can do so wisely. This liberationist argument from justice, based on deontological thinking, gives primacy to the right to self-determination for everyone, including children, whereas the protectionist argument from a consequentialist framework encourages children’s personal agency not as a moral right, but rather as a developmental need to be weighed against other developmental needs. Wald (1979) distinguished among four categories of children’s rights, two of which may be viewed as protectionist and two as liberationist. The two protectionist rights are (1) “rights against the world,” which pertain to adequate nutrition, housing, medical care, and schooling, which should be assured by legislatures, not courts; and (2) “protection from inadequate care” by adults, especially parents, or what are typically regarded as abuse and neglect allegations. The two liberationist rights are (3) “adult legal status,” which would relieve children of status offenses or any other form of coercion that would be unconstitutional if attempted with adults, and—the most controversial—(4) “rights against parents,” which would enable unemancipated children to act independently of their parents and against parental wishes. From a justice perspective (which requires that like cases be treated alike), age must be shown to be morally relevant in apportioning either rights or responsibilities. Wald pointed out that granting children liberation rights is a mixed blessing at best. The disadvantage for children of having greater adult-like legal status has been the increasing tendency of the legal system to treat children as adults in the courts, thus holding them (as well as their parents) responsible for their criminal actions. If distinctions based on age in the granting of liberty rights are thought to be unjustifiable, then so are age-based distinctions granting children freedom from responsibility for criminal conduct based on their developmental limitations. Conversely, if children are to be subject to status offenses, then their age may entitle them to freedom from other kinds of criminal responsibility in the courts. There is, however, a third perspective to children’s best interests that is an alternative to protectionist and liberationist views. From a developmentalist perspective, age is a highly relevant justification for constraining children’s liberty. As is universally recognized, with increasing age children develop the cognitive capacities for perspective taking, complex reasoning, and a decentered sense of self that are relevant to the exercise of rights, including those related to autonomy. These and other cognitive skills also enable children to increasingly perceive themselves in the context of social units and society, to comprehend and willingly accept the responsibilities that come with citizenship, and to perceive their actions in terms of near- and long-term futures. With increasing age children and adolescents also acquire the capabilities necessary to function competently outside the family. Consequently, children’s best interests compel changes with age in parental responsibilities related to nurturance and protection (greater when the child is younger) and restrictions on children’s exercise of autonomy or selfdetermination rights (decreasing with children’s increasing age and competence). A developmentalist perspective is not only ethically justified and empirically sound, it is also consistent with how children themselves perceive their rights (Helwig, Ruck, and Peterson-Badali, 2014). When children ranging in age from 8 to 16 responded to a series of hypothetical stories in which parents (or other authorities) threatened to contravene a child’s nurturance or self-determination rights, at all ages children endorsed the story character’s nurturance rights (e.g., continued access to food and clothing), which were deemed parental responsibilities. By contrast, there were significant increases with age in children’s endorsement of self-determination rights for the story character (e.g., keeping a diary private), with children increasingly referring to that person’s rights as justification (Ruck, Abramovitch, and Keating, 1998). When mothers were interviewed about nurturance and selfdetermination vignettes, the results were similar, although mothers were also attentive to the maturity or capabilities of the story character to exercise self-determination rights (Ruck, Peterson-Badali, and Day, 2002). Children also endorse a developmentalist perspective in their everyday behavior. The imposition of authority, even against the child’s will, is perceived by most children (as well as by their parents) as 10

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age-appropriate during the first six years. This is especially so if disciplinary practices are consistent with what children perceive to be normative for their culture and social group (Lansford, Chang, Dodge, Malone, et al., 2005). During the preschool years, adult constraint—expressed as consistent contingent reinforcement and regularity—helps to promote the child’s sense of security and her or his belief that the world can be a safe, predictable place. Toddler compliance is most effective when the adult briefly explains the rule and provides a consequence if the child persists in disobeying, reserving longer explanations for when punishment is over (Blum, Williams, Friman, and Christophersen, 1995). Preschool children in middle-class American families broadly accept punishment as suitable across behavioral domains (moral, conventional, prudential), whereas by middle childhood children are more discriminating, viewing punishment for violations of moral and safety concerns as acceptable but for conventional transgressions as unacceptable (Catron and Masters, 1993). The importance of using reason to justify caregivers’ directives increases with age. By early adolescence, children are more likely to endorse parents who use reason rather than force or psychological control to justify their decisions and demands, even in cultures with normative use of psychological control (Helwig, To, Wang, Liu, and Yang, 2014). With increasing maturity, children distinguish between personal issues (such as what clothes to wear) and moral (such as bullying weaker children) or conventional issues (such as table manners), and by adolescence tend to regard parental directives pertaining to moral issues as legitimate, conventional or prudential issues (such as dietary injunctions) as somewhat less legitimate, and personal issues (such as dress) as not legitimate domains in which parents may assert their authority (Nucci, 1981; Smetana, 1988, 2019). As children approach adolescence their growing need for independence, as well as their capacities to think through their own best interests and to empathize with the needs of others, entitle them to a vote as well as a voice in matters that intimately affect them in the personal domain, such as custody disputes. In summary, a developmentalist perspective argues that what constitutes children’s best interests varies with the child’s age. The protectionist perspective emphasizes children’s need for nurturance and protection from danger, including parental and societal neglect and abuse, at all ages. The liberationist perspective emphasizes the child’s inherent right to self-determination, with liberty regarded as the primary “good” to which children and adults are equally entitled. From the developmental perspective that we endorse, however, the child’s age is a highly relevant justification both for restraining children’s liberty and for determining their rights to protection and nurturance. Justice, according to natural law, must take into account real differences in ability and need in determining the apportionment of privileges, responsibilities, and rewards. At each childhood stage the duties and rights of parents and children differ, finally approximating the balance that characterizes a mature adult–adult relationship. During the adolescent period the child gradually relinquishes the privileges and limitations of childhood and assumes the responsibilities of adulthood, and is rewarded with self-determination.

Parents’ Developmental Responsibilities: Shaping Children’s Character and Competence We have sought in this discussion to clarify the nature of children’s rights and parental responsibilities and, in particular, to provide an ethical justification for parental authority that is consistent with a mixed rule-utilitarian perspective and developmental science. But what are the purposes for which parental authority is exercised? What, in other words, are parents’ developmental responsibilities to offspring? The power to shape children’s character and competence is an awesome responsibility requiring conscious sustained and systematic commitment by dedicated caregivers. Parents are responsible for contributing substantially to the development of ethical character and competence in their children 11

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through their socialization efforts (Baumrind, 1998). Socialization is an adult-initiated process by which young persons through education, training, and imitation acquire their culture, as well as the habits and values congruent with adaptation to that culture. Children’s perspectives shape their understanding of parents’ socialization efforts, but their perspectives are strongly influenced by their parents’ perspectives, which are grounded in particular cultural contexts and instantiated in adult behavior. In this section, we focus particularly on the development of the dual essentials of socialization—character and competence—and then consider briefly the importance of culture in defining these essentials.

Character The abilities to know right from wrong and to regulate one’s own actions led Waddington (1960) to refer to human beings as “the ethical animal.” When its moral component is made explicit, character may be thought of as personality evaluated. Character constitutes the ethical estimate of an individual and refers to that aspect of personality that engenders accountability. These qualities of character have traditionally been deemed virtues. Character is responsible for persistence in the face of obstacles and inhibits immediate impulses in the service of some more remote or other-oriented goal. Character provides the structure of internal law that governs inner thoughts and volitions subject to the agent’s control under the jurisdiction of conscience. Within limits imposed by their competencies (cognitive, affective, and physical), circumstances, and cultures, ethical agents are able to plan their actions and implement their plans; to examine and choose among options; to eschew certain actions in favor of others; and to structure their lives by adopting congenial habits, attitudes, and rules of conduct. How may parents contribute to the development of a virtuous character in their children? Wilson (1993) contended that children are born with the moral sentiments of fairness, duty, sympathy, and self-control (see also Haidt, 2012). However, they also require cultivation of their moral sentiments by socializing agents. The child’s moral sentiments are cultivated most effectively by caregivers who have a clear sense of purpose; enforce their directives; and convey their messages simply, firmly, and consistently. Through the disciplinary encounter and other means, caregivers attempt to induce children to behave in accord with parental standards of proper conduct and to become aware that they have an obligation to comply with legitimate authority and to respect the rights of others. The short-range objective of the exercise of parental authority is to maintain order in the family, but this short-range objective is subordinated to parents’ ultimate objective, which is to further children’s development from a dependent infant into a self-determining, socially responsible, and moral adult. Becoming a moral agent is not simply conforming unreflectively to internalized expectations of authority but also constructing personal moral standards to guide conduct even when one is free from external inducements or surveillance, and which form the basis for self-conscious moral reflection. For parents who want their children to become autonomous moral adults, dispositional compliance—uncritical internalization of society’s norms—is thus not the preeminent long-range childrearing objective (Baumrind, 2013b). Rather, the objective is behavioral compliance combined with a capacity for responsible dissent: to question authority, negotiate, resist injustice, and make thoughtful, autonomous moral choices (Baumrind, 2004; Sorkhabi and Baumrind, 2009). Responsible dissent, a constructive form of noncompliance, can be contrasted with persistent oppositional defiance, which is unconstructive and unfocused general resistance and has negative consequences for children and the family (Eyberg, Nelson, and Boggs, 2008; Morrissey and Gondoli, 2012). Parents encourage the development of ethical agency in children by distinguishing between unconstructive and constructive noncompliance strategies, and by encouraging the latter by negotiating with a child who mounts a rational objection to a negotiable parental directive (Goodnow, 1994; Kuczynski and Kochanska, 1990). Provided that firm parental control has been exercised in childhood, far fewer rules will be required in adolescence, and family power can be distributed more symmetrically (Baumrind, 1983, 1987; Baumrind and Moselle, 1985; Kandel and Lesser, 1969; Perry and Perry, 1983). 12

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Disciplinary encounters are not the only—or even the primary—means by which parents influence the character development of their children. Of paramount importance is the manner in which caregivers live their own lives by acting in accord with their beliefs, modeling compassion and courage, engaging in physically and mentally healthy behaviors, and creating the family as a just institution (Okin, 1989). As Okin, following in the footsteps of John Stuart Mill (1869/1988) argued, the family is the first and most influential source of moral development. Justice in the family is modeled by attending carefully to everyone’s point of view, distributing resources and tasks equitably by taking into account preference, need, and ability, and establishing gender equity. If home responsibilities are inequitably distributed or distributed on the basis of gender without consideration of personal preferences and abilities, children learn injustice and gender-based inequality in power and access to resources. The mark of virtuous character differs somewhat in Eastern and Western thought. Personal integrity marks exemplary character in Western thought. Integrity implies both wholeness and honesty. Wholeness means that a person’s precepts and practices are consistent, that the same standards are applied to means and ends, and that the dichotomy between self and other is transcended in understanding true self-interest. Honesty preserves trust in human relationships. Rule-utilitarians place a high premium on truth telling and trust, although unlike Kantian deontologists, they do not claim that truth-telling is an unconditional duty that holds in all circumstances, even if a life is forfeited (Kant, 1797/1964). From a consequentialist perspective promise keeping and truth telling are, however, of sufficient utility in promoting the greatest good for the greatest number to justify an initial presumption against lying. Truth telling is such a difficult discipline to acquire, however, and the principle of veracity has such utility in social life, that parents need to act as models, especially when it is awkward or uncomfortable to tell their child the truth. (For a differentiated treatment of the subject of lying, see Bok, 1979; for a discussion of rule-utilitarian objections to deception research, see Baumrind, 1971b, 1972b, 1979, 1985, 1992, 2013c). The Eastern perspective on integrity differs from Western thought because the self is construed as context dependent so that its identity is allowed to change with circumstances and relationships. Jen, a cardinal Chinese virtue, is the ability to interact in a polite, decent, and sympathetic fashion and to flexibly change one’s behavior in accord with the requirements of a relationship (Hsu, 1985). Therefore, authenticity that requires people to focus their attention on their own inner feelings and convictions rather than on the reactions of others is not considered as important as not hurting others psychologically or disrupting harmonious interactions with them. In Eastern thought trust is based on goodwill rather than on telling the whole truth because it is understood that how one acts is a negotiated and shared social enterprise. Ethical personality evolves by successive forms of reciprocity in which the capacity develops for treating the other as someone like oneself rather than alien from oneself. From a young child’s dawning awareness of psychological states in others (i.e., theory of mind) emerges the earliest moral sensibility in a preschooler’s sensitivity to the feelings, beliefs, and goals of others (Thompson, 2012, 2015). By middle childhood, the child recognizes that stable social relationships, including those within the family, are based on the reciprocal maintenance of expectations by social partners as well as on appropriate feelings of gratitude or grievance. Consequently, children actively solicit approval from adults as well as peers and can understand the reasons for parental directives. Perceiving their peers as like themselves in status and nature, they can better extend toward them genuine concern and comprehend their antithetical position in an altercation (Allen and Loeb, 2015). By early adolescence, youth acknowledge reciprocity in their relationships with adults and adopt a considered view of existential obligations that embraces an understanding of one’s obligations to others (Matsuba, Murzyn, and Hart, 2014). By acts of compassionate regard and respect for the rights of others, one invites reciprocal acts of goodwill in time of need. As children develop intellectually, socially, and emotionally, their character becomes shaped by parental practices that include (1) the “scaffolding” of shared activity with the child that leads offspring 13

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to new patterns of behavior and thought (Damon and Colby, 1987; Pratt, Kerig, Cowan, and Cowan, 1988); (2) inclusion in family habits of hospitality, compassion, and generosity that are extended to the larger community (McIntosh, Hart, and Youniss, 2007); (3) direct training in role taking, sometimes through parent–child conversation about helping (Thompson and Winer, 2014); (4) parental use of induction and reasoning in preference to power; and (5) the child’s opportunities to observe loved adults acting consistently with their expressed moral beliefs (Colby and Damon, 1992; Oliner and Oliner, 1988). As a consequence, children become ethically sound by internalizing adult values of kindness, fairness, and respect; experiencing empathy and sympathy for others; developing habits of fair and considerate treatment of others; and forming personal standards of right and wrong that result in a sense of obligation to others. Perhaps most important, parental practices focused on the principle of compassionate regard for children will foster in children the ability to make inferences about how others feel and respect for those feelings (Thompson, 2014).

Competence Competence is effective human functioning in the attainment of desired and valued goals. The goals that are valued in a culture are those that enable individuals to pursue their personal objectives within the constraints imposed by the common good and by their social networks. The presence of virtuous character, intelligence, creativity, and determination enable many people to make substantial contributions to society. It takes virtuous character to will the good, and competence to do good well. Optimum competence as well as good character in Western society require both highly developed communal and agentic (self-assertive) attributes and skills, the two orthogonal dimensions of instrumental competence (see Baumrind, 1970, 1973; Baumrind and Black, 1967). In Western psychological literature (Bakan, 1966; Ryan and Deci, 2017), agency refers to the drive for independence, individuality, and self-aggrandizement, whereas communion refers to receptivity, empathy, interdependency, and the need to be of service and engaged with others. The social dimensions of status (dominance, power) and love (solidarity, affiliation), which emerge as the two orthogonal axes from many factor analyses of Western personality characteristics (Baumrind and Black, 1967; Lonner, 1980; Wiggins, 1979), are manifestations of agency and communion. Optimum competence requires a balance of highly developed agentic and communal qualities, and thus this is also a prized goal of childrearing. In practice, the integration of the two modalities is represented by actions that resolve social conflicts in a manner that is both just and compassionate and that promotes the interests of both one’s self and one’s community (Baumrind, 1982). The young child’s development of competence is the product of increasingly complex interactions of the developing child with socializing adults—primarily parents—who during the child’s early years have the power to control these interactions. How parents socialize their children through disciplinary encounters, conversational discourse, the examples provided by their own conduct, and other means predicts crucial aspects of children’s positive and negative interpersonal behavior and socioemotional and cognitive development. In the past, most socialization researchers implicitly assumed that internalization of society’s rules, represented by parental values, was the primary objective of childrearing. However, today fewer parents and educators make that assumption. Internalization by one generation of the rules of the preceding generation represents the conservative force in society, whereas the impetus to social change comes about by the challenges each generation presents to the accepted values, rules, and habits of the previous generation. Behavioral compliance and internalization of parental standards are necessary but not sufficient childrearing objectives. In addition, the development of moral autonomy and its constituents—including the ability to make reasoned, independent moral choices, to understand the justification for moral expectations, to identify oneself as a moral being, and to engage in responsible dissent—is also important. 14

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We do not attempt here to review the literature on socialization effects as these contribute to the development of competence of children (see the bibliographic references to Baumrind, 1966, 1968, 1996b, 1997a, 2013b; Maccoby and Martin, 1983). Instead, we describe the authoritative model, which has to date proven to be the most effective childrearing style in generating high levels of both agency and communion in European-American children. Authoritative parenting balances warm involvement and psychological autonomy with firm, consistent behavioral control and developmentally high expectations for social maturity and cognitive achievement. In contrast to authoritarian parents who are highly demanding (enlisting coercive power assertion) but not responsive, permissive parents who are responsive but not demanding, and unengaged parents who are neither demanding nor responsive, authoritative parents are both highly demanding and highly responsive. On the one hand, they provide firm control and high maturity demands, and on the other hand, they offer warmth, responsiveness, and encouragement of autonomy (Baumrind, 1966, 1975, 1978a, 1980). Authoritative parents emphasize the importance of well-timed parental interventions. They minimize intrusions on a toddler’s autonomy by proactive caregiving, such as childproofing, quality time-in, an abundance of positive attention and active listening; clear instructions; and progressive expectations for self-help. Authoritative parents are receptive to the child’s views but take responsibility for firmly guiding the child’s actions by emphasizing reasoning, communication, and rational discussion in interactions that are friendly as well as tutorial and disciplinary. The balanced perspective of authoritative parents is neither exclusively child-centered nor exclusively parent-centered, but instead seeks to integrate the needs of the child with those of other family members, treating the rights and responsibilities of children and those of parents as reciprocal and complementary rather than as identical. Authoritative parents endorse the judicious use of aversive consequences when needed in the context of a warm, engaged, and rational parent–child relationship. Because children have their own agendas that include testing the limits of their parents’ authority, disciplinary encounters are frequent, even in authoritative homes. At such times direct, confrontive power assertion that is just sufficient to control the child’s behavior and is preceded by an explanation most effectively reinforces parental authority concerning the standards that the child must meet. Studies that focus on the mechanisms that characterize the authoritative parent show how authoritative parents encourage moral internalization, self-assertion, prosocial behavior, and high cognitive performance. Their strategies include (1) scaffolding of children’s competence, including children’s social competence, through shared activity and conversations (Pratt et al., 1988; Tomasello, 2016); (2) reliance on person-centered persuasion rather than on coercion (Applegate, Burke, Burleson, Delia, and Kline, 1985; Thompson, Laible, and Ontai, 2003); (3) monitoring of offspring and the use of contingent reinforcement; (4) consistency with the “minimum sufficiency principle” (Lepper, 1983) of using just enough pressure to enlist child compliance; (5) instantiation of the ethical principle of reciprocity (Kochanska, 2002; Parpal and Maccoby, 1985); and (6) involved and engaged participation in the child’s life (Pomerantz, Ng, Cheung, and Qu, 2014; Rogoff, Moore, Correa-Chávez, and Dexter, 2015).

Cultural Considerations Converging findings support relations between the authoritative style of childrearing and instrumental competence in European-American middle-class children (Baumrind, 1971a, 1972a, 1983, 1989, 1991a, 1991b, 1991c, 1993, 1994, 1996a, 1996b, 1998, 2013b). Although alternative candidates for optimal parenting may exist in diverse cultural contexts, no study has shown authoritative parenting to be more harmful or less effective than any of the alternative parenting styles in promoting children’s competence and character. The literature suggests that optimal parenting in any culture is likely to have certain features that characterize authoritative parents—deep and abiding commitment to the parenting role, intimate knowledge of their child and her or his developmental needs, respect 15

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for the child’s individuality and desires, provision of structure and regimen appropriate to the child’s developmental level, readiness to establish and enforce behavioral guidelines, cognitive stimulation, and effective communication and use of reasoning to ensure children’s understanding of parents’ goals and disciplinary strategies. Just what combination of behavioral control, warmth, and psychological autonomy is optimal in advancing children’s competence and character, and how each of these outcomes should be operationally defined, is likely to be moderated by social context (Lansford et al., 2005). Cultures differ in their emphasis on the rights of individuals or their responsibilities to the polity (Whiting and Whiting, 1975). The ideals of equality and liberty inherent in the Anglo-American Western tradition and of social harmony, purity, and collectivity in hierarchical collectivist cultures such as India or Japan affect the parental attitudes and practices that are deemed desirable and the childrearing goals that parents set forth for themselves and their children. The emphasis on children’s rights to self-determination is predominantly a Western ideal. The Eastern sensibility of nonintrusive and harmonious social relationships contrasts markedly with rights-oriented competitive societies such as the United States. In the context, therefore, of cultural diversity in conceptions of human needs, rights and responsibilities, the roles of parents, and the goals of childrearing, a developmental orientation to parental responsibilities—especially with respect to the development of character and competence—leads to the conclusion that significant hallmarks of authoritative parenting are contributors to child competence. As a consequence, “the ethics of parenting” embraces both broadly generalizable (consistent with a rule-utilitarian framework) and culturally specific considerations. It could not be otherwise, respecting as we must the constructions of children’s needs and parenting responsibilities that characterize cultures and cultural groups. Moreover, the importance of culture increases as we broaden our discussion from parents and children to considerations of parents, children, and the state.

Parents, Children, and the State Although the emphasis of moral philosophy is on the reciprocal responsibilities of parents and children, the community also assumes a significant role in childrearing. Communities provide resources that can assist adults in ethically responsible parenting. Material resources include income support, affordable and high-quality childcare, and workplace practices that enable workers to be responsible parents. Human resources include access to networks of social support, whether in formal contexts (such as social services, parent support groups, or religious institutions) or the informal social support systems characterizing many extended families and neighborhoods (Thompson, 1995). Communities also advance ethical parenting by informally supervising and regulating parental practices to conform them to cultural norms and to ensure child well-being. That “it takes a village to raise a child” reflects the view that parenting is interpreted, supported, and monitored by others beyond the family, which raises significant questions about the relations between ethically responsible parenting and an ethically responsible society in which parenting occurs. These questions are the concern of this section. What is the role of society in promoting ethical parenting? Can the state ensure that parents fulfill their positive obligations toward offspring, or can it only sanction them when they do wrong? What can the state do to ensure that parents act in an ethically responsible manner? What are the justifications for the community’s intervention into family life? In what other ways can the state support ethical parenting? By addressing these questions, we may help to explain the complex and often troubled relationships between parents, children, and the state. Although parents bear ultimate responsibility for the care and treatment of their children, how the community treats families can make the responsibilities of ethical parenting either easier or more difficult for adults to fulfill.


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The State and the Family The state—defined as national, state, and local governing bodies and associated institutions—has considerable interest in the well-being of children. After all, children are citizens, as are their parents. But children are citizens with different qualities. Children’s developmentally limited capacities for thinking, judgment, and reasoning described earlier mean that children have different needs, capabilities, and circumstances compared with other citizens. This means, consistent with the foregoing arguments, that they require special protections and constraints on their liberty that are not offered other citizens, such as laws governing their economic support; restrictions on child labor, drinking, and driving; protections from sexual exploitation, abandonment, and corrupting influences; and alternative judicial procedures for the treatment of juvenile offenders. Developmental limitations in decision-making and reasoning also mean that, by comparison with adults as “persons” before the law, children have limited autonomy and self-determination, and many decisions (such as consenting to medical treatment and experimentation, and financial decisions) are made on their behalf (Cavanaugh and Cauffman, 2019). Many of these limits on autonomy are developmentally graded, as earlier noted, such that adolescents are legally entitled to exercise greater self-determination (e.g., privileges such as driving; independent judgments in certain circumstances related to medical care; opportunities to work) than are young children. The state adopts an attitude of beneficent paternalism toward its youngest citizens. Such an attitude neither demeans, disadvantages, nor exploits children (as is sometimes claimed by those adopting a liberationist view of children) but instead, by treating children as a “special” citizen group, affords special protections and restrictions suited to children’s unique characteristics and needs. The state’s approach is consistent with the mixed rule-utilitarian perspective we described earlier with respect to the ethical responsibilities of parents because each is based on a developmental orientation to the exercise of external authority in relation to children’s capabilities and needs. The state’s attitude of beneficent paternalism is deeply rooted in Western philosophical and legal traditions, including the distinction by Hegel (1821/1952) between the obligations of family membership and state citizenship. From these traditions has arisen the doctrine of the state as parens patriae—literally, “the state as parent.” Originally intended to protect the state’s interests in the property interests of dependent children, the doctrine indicates that the state may act in loco parentis (“in place of the parent”) to protect citizens who are unable to defend their own interests. The parens patriae doctrine has become well established in Western law, and is invoked particularly in situations when parents are unwilling, or unable, to protect the interests of offspring (Areen, 1975). In these circumstances and others, the parens patriae doctrine can justify removing children from the family and warrant other interventions into family life. The state has other reasons to be interested in the well-being of its youngest citizens besides their dependency needs. In particular, the maintenance of the community depends on children’s internalization of values that are consistent with public goals and values. These values may derive from the ideals of individualism, equality, competition, and liberty characteristic of the European-American Western tradition, or the ideals of social harmony, collectivism, deference to authority, and cooperation more characteristic of certain Eastern traditions. Children are expected to accept the values, customs, and responsibilities of community life and to acquire the skills necessary to contribute meaningfully to the community. These adaptive skills vary significantly according to historical time and location, but whether they concern mastery of agricultural skills, literary and numeracy skills, or technological competence, they constitute some of the essential capabilities valued for citizenship. Because of the state’s interest in these facets of early socialization, educational institutions outside of the family have become an almost universal feature of childhood (Crosnoe and Ressler, 2019). The state thus has significant interests in the well-being of its children-citizens and promotes these interests in a variety of ways that intrude on parents’ autonomy to rear children as they wish. In light


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of these important state interests, indeed, are families necessary? This is not a casual or unimportant question (Aiken and LaFollette, 1980; Houlgate, 1988). The ideal civic life envisioned in Plato’s (1979) Republic divorced procreation from childrearing to ensure that children reared communally would internalize the collective values and ideals necessary for social welfare and promote solidarity of interests among those responsible for collective well-being. Advocacy of collective childrearing has been found in various places, from the institutional childcare centers of the old Soviet Union to traditional Israeli kibbutzim, and from the Marxist critique of the bourgeois family (Engels, 1884/1962) to B. F. Skinner’s (1948) utopian vision of the community of Walden Two. If we claim that families are necessary for children’s well-being, however, then describing why they are necessary can help to define the unique features of family life that the state should, above all, be hesitant to violate or usurp. In moral philosophy as well as developmental science, three justifications for the family are typically offered (McCarthy, 1988; Wald, 1975). First, children thrive psychologically in the context of the intimate, unique, and enduring relationships they create with specific caregivers, and these relationships can best be found in family life. This view is a cornerstone of classical psychological theories of early personality development and is supported by a substantial empirical literature (Cummings and Warmuth, 2019; Thompson, 2006). Although families are often rent by separation and divorce, and family intimacy is threatened by stresses of various kinds, it is rare that collective care is capable of providing children with the kinds of warm, specific, reliable relationships with adults who know the child well that are typical in most families (Sagi, van IJzendoorn, Aviezer, Donnell, and Mayseless, 1994). In institutional contexts, turnover of caregivers and high staff caseloads typically militate against children developing enduring, secure attachments to those who care for them. Second, most parents are highly motivated by the love they naturally feel for offspring to advance children’s well-being. Children are precious to them because parents regard offspring as extensions of themselves biologically, socially, and personally, and thus parental nurturance is deeply rooted in species evolution (Trivers, 1985). Although caregivers outside of the family can be motivated by strong affectional ties to the children they care for, their motivational bases for childcare are nevertheless different from those of parents and may not be as compelling. Third, although they are all cultural members, parents rear their offspring with different values and preferences, which ensures considerable social diversity in childrearing goals and outcomes. One parent seeks to rear her or his child to be conscientious and responsible; another values creativity and imagination; a third seeks to foster individuality and leadership. Within the broad boundaries of acceptable parental conduct, these diverse parental practices ensure plurality in the attributes and characteristics of children that is essential to a democratic society that values and benefits from the diversity of its members. This is what John Stuart Mill (1859/1973, p. 202) called a “plurality of paths”: What has made the European family of nations an improving, instead of a stationary portion of mankind? Not any superior excellence in them, which, when it exists, exists as the effect not as the cause; but their remarkable diversity of character and culture. Individuals, classes, nations, have been extremely unlike one another: they have struck out a great variety of paths, each leading to something valuable. By contrast with the consistency in practices and goals that would necessarily characterize collective forms of childrearing, families afford societal pluralism in child outcomes that is a desirable feature of a creative, dynamic culture. These arguments from moral philosophy, supported by the findings of developmental science, confirm the unique contributions that parent–child relationships offer to children and, furthermore, justify special provisions to protect these relationships from outside interference. They underscore that respect for family privacy and parental autonomy in childrearing decisions should be protected 18

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by the same state that has considerable interest in children’s well-being and their appropriate socialization. This is because the unique qualities of family life—intimate relationships, individuality, and self-disclosure, a plurality of developmental paths—are violated by undue outside intrusions on the family. As Blustein (1982, p. 214) expressed it, “privacy is a precondition of intimacy.” Stated differently, the state’s interest in children’s well-being is advanced partly by its protection of family life against unnecessary intrusions from the outside, including intrusions from state authorities who may be motivated by the needs of children. There is thus a delicate balancing between the state’s interest in child welfare and the state’s interest in family privacy. This view is the basis for the long-standing legal deference to the preferences of parents in childrearing decisions. In U.S. Supreme Court decisions beginning nearly a century ago (see Meyer v. Nebraska, 1923; Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 1925), the Court has been clear that: [i]t is cardinal with us that the custody, care and nurture of the child reside first in the parents, whose primary function and freedom include preparation for obligations the state can neither supply nor hinder. . . . And it is in recognition of this that these decisions have respected the private realm of family life which the state cannot enter. ( Prince v. Massachusetts, 1944, p. 166) Absent a compelling state interest, therefore, family life and parental decision-making concerning the care of offspring are protected from the state’s intervention. Although this legal tradition and its philosophical foundations are commonly interpreted within a deontological universalist framework of parental rights (often contrasted with children’s rights and the “rights” of the state), a more constructive reading focuses on the long-range consequences for human welfare of consequentialist ethical rules protecting family integrity compared to rules permitting substantial intervention by outside authorities. From this mixed rule-utilitarian perspective, children are far more likely to thrive psychologically in families in which parents are permitted significant latitude in their childrearing practices and goals compared to alternative forms of collective care, and society in general (at least a society embracing democratic values) is also likely to be stronger when family privacy is safeguarded. Such an analysis does not ensure that all outcomes arising from this ethical perspective will necessarily be easy or satisfactory. The U.S. Supreme Court has, for example, struggled with the implications of its decisions concerning parental autonomy, affirming in one case (Wisconsin v. Yoder, 1972) the rights of Amish families to deny secondary school education to their children based on the adults’ religious beliefs and community norms, despite a stirring dissent emphasizing the needs of the children for secondary education. Nevertheless, we argue that an ethical rule protecting family integrity and parental autonomy provides the greatest benefits, in the long run, to children, parents, and the society in which they live.

Public and Private Ordering of “the Best Interests of the Child” Earlier in this chapter, we compared philosophically protectionist, liberationist, and developmentalist perspectives to determining children’s best interests in the exercise of parental authority. The state must also make judgments concerning “the best interests of the child,” but for many reasons it is less capable than parents of making the kinds of complex, individualized, multidimensional predictive judgments entailed in assessing children’s interests. This is why deference to parental decisions in these situations is also warranted. The state’s judgment concerning a child’s best interests is required in many legal decisions. Most commonly, these concern child custody when parents divorce, but grandparent visitation decisions (Thompson, Scalora, Castrianno, and Limber, 1992; Thompson, Tinsley, Scalora, and Parke, 1989) and other situations affecting children also require judgments of the child’s best interests. These judgments 19

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differ significantly from the kinds of judgments that judges and other authorities are well trained to provide. Most legal disputes, for example, focus on the documentation of facts. By contrast, judgments concerning children’s best interests entail less explicit and more subjective determinations of the relative quality and significance of relationships, the nature of parental care, the impact of different living circumstances, and related concerns. Statutory law, administrative policy, and judicial precedent usually provide significant guidance for legal and policy problems, but none of these is helpful for the individualized decisions required in determining a child’s best interests. The latter are person oriented rather than act oriented, are based on knowledge of the individual child’s characteristics and the circumstances of particular families, and require complex predictive rather than retrospective judgments involving future well-being rather than past actions. Finally, but perhaps most important, state decision-making in a democratic society typically involves the representation of all relevant parties and opportunities for each to express their views. By contrast, judgments concerning a child’s best interests entail the inferred but seldom directly expressed interests of the most important party to the case: the child. In short, the judgments required in determining a child’s best interests are different from those which administrative, judicial, or regulatory authorities of the state are well prepared to provide. Thus, it is unsurprising that most judges report that child custody disputes—in which judgments of children’s best interests most commonly occur—are among the most difficult cases to resolve (Whobrey, Sales, and Lou, 1987). As a consequence, when parents cannot agree on the postdivorce custody of their offspring and turn to the court for a resolution, judges often rely on their own value preferences and intuitive judgments of the determinants of a child’s future well-being (Mnookin, 1975, 2014). For example, some judges simply adhere to the traditional maternal presumption that had previously guided custody decisions—especially with younger children—despite the intended gender neutrality of the bestinterests standard (Lowery, 1981; Thompson and Wyatt, 1999). Others may use different criteria, such as judgments of each parent’s disciplinary style, warmth, or personality characteristics, as well as their relative earning power, residence, and future plans as the basis for their judgment, which means that the same family circumstances evaluated by two different judges may result in different outcomes (Chambers, 1984; Mnookin, 1975, 2014). This is contrary to justice principles, and in a society that accords parents considerable latitude in their styles of care and discipline, these criteria may inappropriately penalize parents when child custody decisions are made. Moreover, Mnookin (1974, 1975) and other scholars (Emery, Otto, and O’Donohue, 2005) have claimed that the expert testimony of forensic psychologists or developmental scientists rarely adds clarity to child custody decisions, given how difficult it is to make precise predictions of individual development. Perhaps this is why expert witnesses can typically be found on both sides of a custody dispute. Even when statutory language more explicitly defines the basis for determining a child’s best interests, significant problems remain in the application of these standards. For example, a legal presumption long advocated by legal scholars and social scientists is to award custody to a fit parent who is the child’s “primary caretaker” (Chambers, 1984; Maccoby, 1995, 1999). By ensuring the child’s continuing contact with the parent who has assumed the predominant role in parenting, it is argued, courts can reliably advance a child’s best interests. Although this approach has the appeal of providing a straightforward, valid, and readily evaluated means of distinguishing parenting roles, it is nevertheless often difficult to define the varied responsibilities of parenting and their evolving relevance to children’s changing developmental needs to determine who is the “primary caretaker” (Thompson, 1986, 1994). Physical care, play, instruction, gender socialization, academic encouragement, role modeling, and other responsibilities of parenting vary in their significance as children mature. Furthermore, determining who is the child’s “primary caretaker” is a retrospective approach to a prospective determination: The parent who assumed a predominant role in childrearing in the intact, predivorce family when children were younger may or may not be the best caregiver as a single parent as children mature (Thompson and Wyatt, 1999). 20

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Indeed, because postdivorce family life changes over time, it is unclear how well a custody judgment made by a court when parents divorce can ensure the future well-being of offspring. After parents divorce, children often change residence as parental circumstances change (including changing jobs and remarriage) and as children’s needs evolve, and these often provoke other changes in visitation and child support arrangements (Maccoby and Mnookin, 1992). Increasingly families find that courtroom decisions made at the time of a divorce settlement do not accommodate the rapidly changing life circumstances of all family members in postdivorce life. Parents are, of course, accustomed to making judgments of their children’s best interests. They know their children well and are experienced with the kinds of complex considerations involved in planning for the child’s future. Perhaps, therefore, the best role for the state in child custody disputes is to provide opportunities, incentives, and structure to foster parents’ own decisions about postdivorce parenting responsibilities and their continued responsibility for children’s well-being (Emery and Emery, 2014). Even if parents appeal to the state to decide a custody dispute that they have been unable to resolve, the judicial system may nevertheless insist on the private ordering of a decision that parents, not the state, are best capable of making. This judicial insistence can occur through mandatory mediation with a skilled counselor who can lead parents through the decision-making needed to thoughtfully plan postdivorce life for themselves and their children (Emery, 2011). It can also consist of the requirement that adults negotiate a parenting plan that identifies the responsibilities of each parent for maintaining a meaningful relationship with children, providing financial support, and renegotiating other aspects of postdivorce life with the former spouse as family circumstances change (Warshak, 2014). At the same time, the state can also create new ways to guide divorcing parents’ thinking about custody issues to help parents more thoughtfully “bargain in the shadow of the law” as they jointly plan postdivorce family life (Mnookin and Kornhauser, 1979). “Bargaining in the shadow of the law” recognizes that legal regulations are important in defining the options and opportunities within which family members negotiate, even if they never bring their dispute to a courtroom. Legal guidelines provide parameters for parental negotiations because each parent can estimate his or her chances of success if the dispute goes to court. The increase in joint legal custody and joint physical custody awards by the courts in the United States, for example, has given parents more to consider besides the “winner take all” orientation of past custody decisions in which one becomes the custodial parent and the other enters into a visiting relationship with the child. Joint legal and/or physical custody provide a better structure for both parents to anticipate meaningful roles in the child’s life (Thompson and Wyatt, 1999), and provisions for joint custody are nearly universal in the United States. As a second illustration, the American Law Institute (2002) proposed custody guidelines by which parents would each have postdivorce custody of the child in rough approximation to the portion of time each parent spent in caregiving activities with the child before separation (based on an earlier proposal by Scott, 1992), and this recommendation has also influenced custody decisions in many states (Bartlett, 2014). This approach enables each parent to assume a custodial role, and advocates in psychology and law have argued that it is clearer and more precise than the best-interests standard (Bartlett, 2014; Emery et al., 2005), whereas others believe that it is likely to provide misleading guidance to judges and parents (Riggs, 2005; Warshak, 2007). Finally, a third example of how changing legal standards alter parents’ “bargaining in the shadow of the law” is the increase in child support enforcement, beginning in the 1990s, that significantly improved many fathers’ postdivorce financial support of their children (Meyer, 1999). These provisions collectively remind parents that although divorce may end a marriage, it doesn’t end their responsibilities to children. This discussion of the public and private ordering of “the best interests of the child” illustrates the formal and informal ways that the state, through legal rules and regulations, can strive to enhance ethical parenting, even when parents are stressed by the end of their marriage. Legislatures and courts have introduced new provisions that explicitly encourage both parents to remain committed to their 21

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children’s well-being after divorce through meaningful care, financial support, and other ordering of postdivorce life with procedures that require them to negotiate and plan for the future. These changes in family law also illustrate the need for periodic revision in legal rules and continued flexibility in their application to accommodate changes in family life, particularly related to the changes that have occurred in recent years in parental roles and parent–child relationships (Lansford, 2009). Finally, this discussion also illustrates the influence of developmental science on the knowledge that legal authorities use when creating new standards and their application. In view of how typical modes of legal analysis are unhelpful to the individualized, complex, predictive judgments involved in a custody decision, developmental science can help frame these judgments in ways that are empirical rather than intuitive and take into account evidence of family processes and children’s development and the consequences of alternative custody arrangements. We shall later return to this theme.

State Intervention into Family Life Our discussion thus far has focused on ethical rules governing the relations between the state and parents that best foster children’s well-being. Our conclusion underscores an irony in public policy. The state has strong interests in ensuring the character development, competence, and well-being of its youngest citizens, but in doing so it must respect the boundaries of family privacy and parental autonomy that constitute the cornerstones of the child’s psychological development. Consequently, the state’s coercive power over the family must be secondary to the support, incentives, and structure it provides to enable parents to make wise choices on behalf of children while accepting the risk that, so long as parental decisions do not exceed clear thresholds of child harm, those choices may not always be optimal for the child’s interests. Nevertheless, in recognizing that family privacy and integrity ultimately create the greatest benefits for children, parents, and society, the state’s efforts to promote ethical parenting in family life are primarily a matter of enablement, not coercion. Family privacy and parental autonomy are not, of course, ends in themselves. They are means to the ultimate objective of advancing children’s well-being. As John Locke (1690/1965, Treatise 2, sec. 58) argued, the Power . . . that Parents have over their Children, arises from that Duty which is incumbent on them, to take care of their Offspring, during the imperfect state of Childhood. Because parental rights arise from the performance of parental duties to children, parental rights erode when parents fail to fulfill their legitimate obligations toward offspring (see Blustein, 1982). No parents who are manifestly abusive or neglectful, for example, can expect that the boundaries of family privacy will remain respected by a community that is concerned about children’s well-being. The same Supreme Court that has long deferred to parental preferences in childrearing decisions has also declared that parents are not “free . . . to make martyrs of their children” (Prince v. Massachusetts, 1944, p. 170). Although our discussion has focused on defining the boundaries beyond which the state cannot normally intrude into family life, there are circumstances in which the state must intervene. This section of our discussion is devoted to considering the nature of those conditions and their relevance to ethical parenting. There are several circumstances in which the state can legitimately intervene into family life (Wald, 1985). One is when the family itself is disrupted, such as by separation, divorce, or other circumstances that make it impossible for preexisting family relationships to be maintained. In these situations, the state must ensure that the renegotiation of family resources and relationships ensures fairness to all family members, especially to children. Even when state authorities strongly encourage the private ordering of these arrangements, parental decisions are regulated in light of laws in whose shadow parents conduct their negotiations, and in light of the judicial judgments required to ratify parents’ decisions. 22

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Another circumstance warranting the state’s intervention into family life is when there are threats to the health, safety, or well-being of children, which is the state’s most important commitment to ensuring ethical parenting. This is both a negative obligation—ensuring that children are not harmed—and a positive obligation—ensuring that children receive adequate care and training to become productive members of society. The state may intervene in these circumstances to protect children and remediate their harm, correct parental misconduct, and/or express the consensual value preferences of the community through punitive action. Thus, the ethical obligations of the state’s intervention into family life are both specific (e.g., ending a child’s physical abuse and preventing its recurrence) and broad (e.g., prosecuting child sexual exploitation as inappropriate adult conduct, regardless of its specific harms to children). How should the state define the conditions warranting its coercive intervention into family life? The tasks of defining in specific terms the ensurance that children are “not harmed” and that they “receive adequate care and training” are challenging because of the varieties of harms that children can experience, the varieties of care that they require, and the need to balance the risks and benefits that children derive when state authorities intervene into family life to protect them. The latter is a particularly important consideration from a utilitarian analysis. When authorities intervene into the family because of a report of suspected child maltreatment, for example, there is an upheaval in the child’s life that can have long-term consequences (Thompson, 1993). At the most extreme, children who are rescued from physically or sexually abusive homes are placed in a temporary foster home for an indefinite period, with periodic transitions to other temporary arrangements if a permanent placement is unavailable or cannot be negotiated, or if family reunification cannot be achieved (Mnookin, 1974). Even if the child remains in the home as social services are provided to address family problems, the child has become the locus of family disruption that alters family relationships significantly. Thus, the costs as well as the potential benefits to children of state intervention into family life are important to consider. An additional consideration is research raising considerable doubt that foster care, social services, or the other interventions typically provided by child protection agencies can effectively alter the family problems that led to maltreatment or can ensure the child’s future wellbeing, especially given the limited resources of social service agencies in the face of growing numbers of reports of child abuse or neglect (Huntington, 2014; U.S. Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect, 1990). Indeed, for children who are left for years in temporary foster care placements or who remain in severely troubled families that receive inadequate services, the important question is whether they are helped or hindered by the intervention of state authorities. The troubling ethical problem governing state intervention into family life for purposes of child protection, therefore, is defining the forms of child harm that are sufficiently severe that, on balance, the actions of state authorities are likely to yield greater benefit than harm to children. Moreover, principles of justice require further that the standards for state intervention in family life are sufficiently clear and explicit such that there is no doubt about the parental conduct warranting intrusion into family life. This ensures that parents have fair warning of legally prohibited behavior and guards against subjective, potentially arbitrary legal judgments about what conduct is abusive or not. Consequently, a rule-utilitarian analysis favors narrowly conceived, explicit standards governing state intervention into family life, with an emphasis on evidence of child harm resulting from parental practices. Doing so ensures that a high threshold for intervention is maintained and, consistent with the costs and benefits that must be considered in permitting state intervention into family life, focuses on the consequences to the child. One such standard was proposed by Wald (1982, p. 11): [C]oercive intervention should be permissible only when a child has suffered or is likely to suffer serious physical injury as a result of abuse or inadequate care; when a child is suffering from severe emotional damage and his or her parents are unwilling to deal with the problems without coercive intervention; when a child has been sexually abused; when a child is 23

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suffering from a serious medical condition and his or her parents are unwilling to provide him with suitable medical treatment; or when a child is committing delinquent acts at the urging or with the help of his or her parents. Although Wald’s standard may be unduly narrow in some respects (for example, it excludes neglect due to inadequate nutrition, clothing, shelter, or supervision), it reflects the emphasis on narrowly defined, clear, and child-centered standards that we believe are supported by the mixed rule-utilitarian analysis of this discussion. Are there other forms of parental misconduct warranting concern by state authorities? Parents may be psychologically abusive to offspring, for example, by their threats, denigration, isolation, or exploitation of their children. Some have argued that state authorities should intervene into such families to protect children’s emotional well-being (Hart, Germain, and Brassard, 1987; McGee and Wolfe, 1991). Consideration of the risks and benefits of doing so, however, reveals several difficulties (Melton and Thompson, 1987; Thompson and Jacobs, 1991). The first concerns the lack of clarity of the standard for intervention with terms like “exploiting” and “isolating” children. Can a parent who requires children to help with farm chores expect to be accused of “exploiting” the child? Is homeschooling an example of “isolating” a child? In these and other situations, there is insufficient clarity concerning what constitutes psychological maltreatment to ensure that judges will be guided by well-defined legal guidelines. Second, by contrast with other standards of child maltreatment that focus on child harms, most standards of psychological maltreatment focus on parental behavior rather than child outcomes. But doing so is the wrong focus because the complex effects of parental conduct on children are moderated by the child’s temperament, the behavior of the other parent, and other family processes. Finally, because the intervention of state authorities into family life is itself psychologically threatening to children, it is important to weigh these potential costs to children against the expected benefits achieved by actions intended to combat psychological maltreatment. For many children, the costs of intervention are unlikely to outweigh its benefits. The troubling ethical dilemma for state intervention for child protection is defining the forms of child harm that are sufficiently severe that the actions of state authorities are likely to yield greater benefits than harm to children. Narrow definitions of child harm curb the risk of excessive or arbitrary intrusions into family life, but they also reflect limitations in the state’s capacity to provide benefits for children in difficulty so that interventions are focused on the children in greatest peril. As we note in the following section, there are many ways that the state is capable of providing noncoercive family assistance, even to the most troubled families (Baumrind, 1995), and intervention science continues to generate a larger variety of evidence-based programs for parents who need help (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2016). But the resources of child protection agencies are typically so meager that effective interventions to provide family support cannot readily be mobilized on behalf of children (Huntington, 2014). Viewed in this light, the capacity of the state to support ethical parenting is contingent on the state devoting the resources and generating the will to act ethically on behalf of the dependent children who are also its citizens by providing the resources necessary to its parens patriae responsibilities. Adequate resources devoted to the maintenance of an effective, child-focused foster care system, and the implementation of evidence-based programs to improve the parenting skills of troubled adults, would seem to be at the core of the state’s ethical responsibility. At present, those conditions do not exist in most jurisdictions of the United States.

Family Assistance One conclusion arising from the preceding analysis is that although the state has a significant responsibility to support ethical parenting, the authority of the state is a very blunt instrument for doing so. There are, however, other ways the state influences family life apart from its coercive or punitive 24

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power. The state orders relationships within the family (and assists when these relationships must be reordered, such as in divorce), regulates the institutions affecting family members, provides enablements that support parents in their caregiving functions, creates institutions (such as schools and public health programs) that directly support children, and constructs out-of-home and in-home forms of assistance when families are troubled. The state also has an expressive function by which, through formal and informal avenues, it conveys beliefs and expectations about children and families that both reflect and instantiate changing social values. In many respects, the most important ways the state promotes ethical parenting is through these supportive, provisioning, enabling functions, even though they are often the least recognized forms of state intervention. Legal and regulatory authorities help to order family life, for example, by defining the roles and responsibilities of family members, such as in statutes governing marriage, parenting, procreation, adoption, child custody, and defining the obligations (including financial responsibilities) of spouses and parents. These statutes help to ensure that the reciprocal obligations of adults are clearly understood as they enter into family relationships and that their responsibilities to children are fulfilled. As in the case of parental divorce, moreover, the state is mandated to intervene to help family members reorder their relationships and responsibilities when the family is disrupted, especially to ensure that children’s needs are safeguarded. In addition, state regulation of institutions affecting children, such as pediatric practices and childcare programs, help to ensure the safety and health of those who attend. Perhaps the most important indication of how the state benefits children and families is public education. Indeed, mandatory education requirements are perhaps the most coercive state regulation on family life because parents are compelled to attend to the education of their children—most often to comply with compulsory school attendance—for a sustained period throughout childhood and adolescence. Yet the inherent coerciveness of this regulation is not apparent to most families because public education has become institutionalized in national culture and worldwide, and because of the clear benefits of school attendance for most children. There are other noncoercive avenues by which the state assists families. The state provides enablements that make it easier for parents to fulfill their responsibilities to children. Many enablements in the United States, for example, are direct financial subsidies, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), the Child Tax Credit, and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF). Some are nutritional supports, such as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps), and the national school lunch program. The Affordable Care Act significantly expanded the range of health care supports available to children and families, and was preceded by the Child Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Housing programs also provide vouchers and other kinds of assistance. Finally, a range of educational enablements, beginning with the family-based Early Head Start and Head Start programs, are either targeted to the most needy children and families or (as in public education programs) are universally available. This list only focuses on programs of the U.S. federal government, and many states and localities in the United States supplement these with other forms of family support. In addition, through the financial incentives it offers businesses, the state can encourage the development of workplace practices (such as family leave) that make it easier for adults to be better parents, and it can provide economic assistance to childcare programs that are willing to invest significantly in improved facilities, teacher training, and developmentally appropriate programs. In these and many other ways, the state strengthens the support and resources that parents can enlist as they provide nurturing environments for children. This portrayal of a broad range of supportive forms of family assistance starkly contrasts with the limited coercive latitude of the state for regulating family life. It suggests that although the state can do little to compel parents to do good for their children, and the grounds for state intervention are narrowly tailored to address only the most serious forms of child harm, there are many avenues by which the state can enable and provision parents to do better for their children. These forms of state 25

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“intervention” into family life are often overlooked because they are incorporated into the fabric of family life and are noncoercive, so they are readily accepted. But these may be the most significant avenues by which the state supports ethical parenting. In the end, moreover, the hortatory power of the state should not be overlooked. The values that are explicitly recognized in the formal and informal regulations influencing family life, and which the state implements in its provisions for the family, speak volumes. This is because legal, administrative, and regulatory reforms not only reflect the changes that occur in family life and help to express and institutionalize those changes. The expressive function of laws affecting families (Bartlett, 1988) is reflected, for example, in divorce and custody statutory reform that implicitly encourages parents to recognize that although they may end a marriage, they can never end their responsibilities as parents. The law’s expressive function is reflected in changes in child protection laws that are increasingly and explicitly child-focused in their assessments of the harms of parental conduct and the remedies the state can implement. The expressive function of the law is most broadly revealed in the extent to which the state either regards children as a liability and a burden or as a social resource of shared responsibility.

Conclusions The ethics of parenting begin, we have argued, with the assumption of responsibility for children by parents. Although parents do not alone have responsibility for the welfare of children—the state, as we have seen, also has important obligations to children—parental responsibilities are first and foremost. Within our mixed rule-utilitarian, developmentalist framework, children and adults have complementary, not equal, rights that arise from their very different capabilities and the mutual obligations they share within the family. A child’s right to self-determination is limited, for example, by the exercise of parental authority that functions legitimately to promote the healthy development of offspring. We have described the parental responsibilities that legitimize the exercise of parental authority, particularly the adult practices that shape the development of character and competence in children. As children mature and acquire more mature capacities for reasoning, judgment, and self-control, their autonomy increases and parenting responsibilities subside, consistent with a developmental orientation to understanding children’s best interests. We argue that a developmental orientation is preferable to either liberationist or protectionist approaches because it recognizes the changing mutual obligations shared by parents and children with the growth of children’s competencies and judgment. Our theory of ethical parenting underscores that responsible parenting is not solely a family obligation but a responsibility shared by the community. The community’s values, resources, and social supports make it easier (or more difficult) for parents to fulfill their responsibilities to offspring, and we have focused on the role of the state, and of public policy, in fostering ethical parenting. Our analysis has highlighted that the state has significant interests in the well-being of its youngest citizens, but that in most cases it promotes children’s welfare best by respecting family privacy and parental autonomy in childrearing decisions. From a consequentialist perspective, respect for parental autonomy protects the features of family life that contribute to children’s well-being and minimizes unnecessary intrusions into family life that can undermine children, even when motivated to advance their best interests. Consequently, we have advocated limited, clear standards warranting the state’s coercive intervention into the family to protect children’s physical and emotional well-being and emphasized the value of the support, resources, and structure the state can provide parents to make their own wise decisions on behalf of offspring. This is because coercive public policy is a very blunt instrument for altering family life, and thus the state can most effectively assist children through incentives rather than coercion. Our analysis of the ethics of parenting has drawn on classic and modern ideas within moral and political philosophy, ethical theory, and developmental science. We close with additional comments about the latter, because we are each developmental scientists. The integration of developmental research into arguments drawn from ethics and moral philosophy shows that scientists, whether 26

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applied or not, have an important contribution to offer in supporting ethical parenting. Fallible and necessarily limited as our knowledge is, we believe that developmental scientists should and do contribute to the resolution of ethically saturated disputes about what constitutes a child’s best interests by providing relevant information about the probable psychological and social consequences of contrasting social policies. In doing so, however, the information provided must be unbiased and based on firm empirical evidence. Scientists have a responsibility not only to contribute to public discourse in their professional roles but also to base their recommendations on scientifically derived knowledge. Scientific knowledge is distinguished from ordinary knowledge by the systematic use of procedures that protect against bias due to personal values, conformity to received wisdom, or misleading surplus meaning in the measurement of theoretical constructs. The scientific method is intended to provide information that is systematic, public, and replicable. Critical thinking instilled by scientific training consists of asking the right questions and asking them in the right way. Consensual rules of objectivity, exemplified by the double-blind experiment, were formulated to protect against subliminal as well as intentional confirmatory biases. Hypotheses make explicit investigators’ partiality or research biases so that they may then attempt to probe, not prove, their hypotheses. When policymakers consult with social scientists in an effort to better inform their legislative or judicial efforts to address social problems, they assume that the social scientists whom they consult are objective, impartial reporters of their own and others’ findings rather than intentionally biased advocates, motivated by self-interest or a political cause. Robert Merton (1973) articulated four norms of science that are widely accepted by scientists (Koehler, 1993) and laypersons. Merton’s norms require scientific information to be (1) publicly shared; (2) judged by objective rather than personal criteria; (3) unbiased by personal values or interests; and (4) available to the scientific community to scrutinize through established procedures of peer review, replication, and challenges by rival hypotheses. Unlike lawyers or politicians, research scientists may not ethically suppress disconfirming data and must acknowledge the existence of alternative hypotheses and explanations of their findings, as well as the degree of certainty that should be attached to their findings. However well intentioned, biased interpretation of research results by social scientists undermines public trust in our perceived objectivity and impartiality, and thus our capacity to contribute to ethical parenting (MacCoun, 1998; Thompson and Nelson, 2001). Public debates about the nature and consequences of parenting, and policymaking affecting families, require the thoughtful and informed contributions of scientific experts. Because of their unique expertise, developmental scientists are well qualified to transform scientific knowledge into “usable knowledge” that is thoughtfully and responsibly relevant to the public questions under discussion, including those discussed here related to ethical parenting (Lindblom and Cohen, 1979; Thompson, 1993). Ethical parenting is the responsibility of parents and the state, and of developmental scientists who seek to understand family life. By appreciating the unique roles and responsibilities of each partner for advancing children’s well-being, adults offer children the best opportunities to develop the character and competence that lead to successful adult life.

Note 1

Diana Baumrind’s passing as this chapter was being completed brought to an end a rich collaboration that I valued, and in which many elements of Diana’s lifetime contributions were brought together: a generative program of research on parenting, a deep commitment to the highest ethical values, especially in research and its applications, and a view of families in cultural, community, and policy contexts. She will be missed.

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2 PARENTING AND CHILDREN’S SELF-REGULATION Wendy S. Grolnick, Alessandra J. Caruso, and Madeline R. Levitt

Introduction There is a burgeoning area of research on the development of children’s self-regulation. Such research focuses on a number of constructs, including children’s behavior regulation, effortful control, emotion regulation, and executive functioning, to name just a few. One of the reasons for this intensifying focus is acknowledgment of the crucial role of self-regulation in children’s motivation, learning, and adjustment. The sequelae of children’s self-regulation are evident across multiple domains, including their functioning at school, at home, and with peers. Given this understanding, it is crucial to identify the determinants of children’s self-regulation. As children’s most important socializers, parents are key contributors to the development of children’s self-regulation. Thus, this chapter explores what we know about the contributions of parenting to children’s developing self-regulation. In exploring this issue, we consider multiple forms of self-regulation. However, in doing so, we recognize that the “self ” in the term self-regulation can be interpreted differently. In the most general sense, self-regulation can refer to any behavior or emotion that the person emits in response to an environmental demand. However, within a motivational framework, the self is more than just a location from which behavior is initiated. In particular, such a theory of motivation considers the experience of the initiator, asking, for example, does the person engage in the behavior because of external contingencies (e.g., rewards, deadlines) or pressure, or does she or he engage in the behavior willingly, out of a sense of its importance or value? Thus, a motivational framework considers compliance and obeying directives as different from internalized responses that are more volitional or endorsed. Importantly, the quality and persistence of these different types of self-regulated behavior are likely to be quite different. In this chapter, we consider parenting in relation to self-regulation in the broader sense of exerting self-control and using strategies that help individuals to meet environmental demands (Posner and Rothbart, 2000), but also in the more limited motivational sense of autonomously or volitionally regulating one’s behavior (Deci and Ryan, 1985). In doing so, we use Self-Determination Theory (Deci and Ryan, 1985, 2000) as a framework for understanding how behaviors move from being motivated by external contingencies (i.e., compliance) to being more autonomously regulated. We also use this theory to organize our discussion of parenting into three dimensions that theoretically should conduce toward children’s self-regulation: involvement/warmth, autonomy support, and structure. We begin the chapter by defining self-regulation and the key constructs that we will cover in the chapter. We then turn to a discussion of the three dimensions of parenting as delineated by


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Self-Determination Theory: involvement, autonomy support, and structure. From there, we review studies on parenting that have been found to facilitate and undermine children’s self-regulation in the areas of behavior regulation, internalized self-regulation in younger and older children, and emotion regulation. Finally, we conclude the chapter with ideas for some areas that need attention to further our understanding of how parenting facilitates self-regulation, including specifying directionality in our studies; delineating the contributions of mothers and fathers; and considering how culture, ethnicity, and socioeconomic circumstances might shape the role of parents as facilitators of self-regulation. First we begin with a definition of self-regulation and constructs that fall under this, including behavior regulation, internalized self-regulation, and emotion regulation.

Self-Regulation Defined Self-regulation, defined many ways, is a broad rubric covering multiple constructs. Perhaps most comprehensive is Posner and Rothbart’s (2000) definition of self-regulation as the process of individuals modulating behavior and affect given contextual demands. With such a broad definition, selfregulation can include behavior, emotion, and cognition. Within the area of self-regulation, several constructs have been employed. Some theorists use the term behavior regulation. Behavior regulation includes behaviors that comply with environmental demands such as following rules, paying attention, resisting temptation, and inhibiting impulsive behaviors (Calkins, Smith, Gill, and Johnson, 1998). A related construct is effortful control, which has been defined as attentional processes that enable individuals to shift and focus their attention to suppress inappropriate behavior and perform behaviors that are required or appropriate in response to behavioral demands (Evans and Rothbart, 2007). The concepts of behavior regulation and effortful control clearly overlap, but effortful control has often been conceived as a temperamental dimension, although affected by the environment (Evans and Rothbart, 2007). The related concept of executive functioning is often conceived as the cognitive aspect of self-regulation, or higher-order attentional and cognitive processes that support a range of competencies (Ursache, Blair, and Raver, 2012). The measurement of executive functions typically includes three aspects: the ability to hold information in working memory; attentional control, or the ability to resist distractions or temptations; and cognitive flexibility, or the ability to flexibly shift attention. Finally, emotion regulation concerns the ability to manage one’s states of arousal and has been defined as processes that initiate, inhibit, avoid, and maintain or modulate emotions to achieve individual goals (Eisenberg and Spinrad, 2004). Emotion regulation is considered a goal-directed process that includes cognitive, emotional, and behavioral components (Cole, Martin, and Dennis, 2004). Self-regulation has been conceptualized as a developmental process. Kopp (1982), for example, discussed stages of the regulation of behavior. In the neurophysiological stage (2 to 3 months), behavior is regulated largely by arousal states aided by the caregiver. In the sensorimotor stage (3 to 9 months), the child is able to adjust behavior in accord with immediate environmental events and stimuli. The child between 9 and 18 months exhibits control by showing awareness of social and task demands and acting accordingly. However, it is not until the middle of the second year that the child can act in accord with social expectations in the absence of external monitoring or, in other words, can display self-control. Kopp postulated a final stage of self-regulation (36 months plus) in which a more flexible and adaptive control of behavior is possible, largely because of increasing capacities for representation and symbolic functioning. Several studies have supported the increasing capacity of children between 18 and 48 months to delay (Golden, Montare, and Bridger, 1977; Vaughn, Kopp, and Krakow, 1984) and use adaptive strategies while waiting (Van Lieshout, 1975), supporting a developmental model of behavioral self-regulation. Although the development of self-regulatory skills begins within the first year, such skills and abilities grow dramatically during the preschool years, becoming increasingly important beyond the second year (Eisenberg et al., 2005) and becoming moderately stable into the preschool years (Carlson,


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Mandell, and Williams, 2004). Thus, it is not surprising that many developmental studies of parenting in relation to behavior and emotion regulation focus on the toddler and preschool years. Each of the self-regulation constructs described here has been found to be important to children’s adaptive functioning. Behavioral and emotion regulation are critical to school functioning, as children must follow rules, function in groups, and cooperate with others, requiring them to inhibit disruptive and inappropriate behavior and modulate strong emotions (Graziano, Reavis, Keane, and Calkins, 2007). They also need to use attentional control (e.g., ignoring distractions, sustaining focus on challenging tasks) and cognitive mechanisms (e.g., keeping directions in working memory) to follow directions, engage in learning activities, and complete tasks (Blair, 2002; McClelland et al., 2007). Thus, it is not surprising that each of these self-regulatory processes has been associated with a range of adaptive outcomes. Behavior regulation has been associated with school achievement across diverse age groups (McClelland et al., 2007; Weis, Heikamp, and Trommsdorf, 2013). Similarly, executive function skills predict math and literacy achievement in preschoolers and kindergarteners (Blair and Razza, 2007; Bull and Scerif, 2001; McClelland et al., 2007). Emotion regulation has been associated with higher levels of achievement in early elementary school (Howse, Calkins, Anastopoulos, Keane, and Shelton, 2003) even after controlling for IQ (Graziano et al., 2007), as well as positive interactions with peers and teachers (Hamre and Pianta, 2001). Clearly, these aspects of self-regulation are intertwined. For example, children who are better able to modulate their strong emotions will more likely be able to focus attention on tasks. Conversely, children who are able to withdraw their attention from upsetting events will likely be able to selfsoothe more easily (Raver, 1996). Thus, the concomitants of one set of processes likely apply to the others. However, self-regulation from a motivational perspective involves more than merely complying with rules and controlling one’s behavior or emotions. A motivational perspective considers the initiation of the behavior. For example, a different level of self-regulation is in evidence when a child adheres to a stated rule or guideline when it is demanded of her or him than one who does so spontaneously (e.g., the child who cleans her or his room or helps another child after being yelled at to do so compared with the child who cleans her or his room without being asked or helps another child unprompted). A level of self-regulation beyond compliance is also in evidence in situations when the caregiver or other authority is not present. For example, does a child alone in the kitchen refrain from eating a cookie when she or he knows it is almost dinnertime? Third, in considering selfregulation from a motivational perspective, it is important to consider not just the behavior itself but also the person’s experience of the initiation of her or his behavior. Does the child experience herself or himself as engaging in the behavior volitionally or autonomously, without a sense of pressure or coercion, or is she or he having to push herself or himself, experiencing an inner conflict with the behavior? The construct of locus of causality (deCharms, 1968) can be used to distinguish between these different experiences. In particular, behaviors with an internal locus of causality are experienced as volitional, whereas those with an external locus of causality are experienced as coerced, either from without or within. Of course, determining how autonomous the child feels in engaging in a behavior or emotion is difficult to ascertain from the behavior itself because, from an outward perspective, the behavior may look similar. Creative ways to assess the type of regulation in younger (Kochanska and Aksan, 1995) and older (Ryan and Connell, 1989) children have been developed and will be discussed in the next sections. Relatedly, emotion regulation is not just suppression of emotion. From a functionalist perspective, emotion is adaptive and communicates important messages to others and the self about the state of the organism (Campos, Campos, and Barrett, 1989). Thus, the ability to curtail strong emotions in the service of one’s goals or of situational demands is critical for social development and learning, and it is also important to be able to experience and express emotions. Emotion regulation can thus be differentiated from emotion suppression and control, and the flexible management of both the experience 36

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and expression of emotion is in line with a perspective valuing the experience of autonomy and inner cohesion. Clearly, the identification of parenting factors that facilitate compliance and display of desired behavior and acceptable emotion in children is an important task. However, in considering the socialization of children, many of the goals parents have for them go beyond mere compliance. A major goal of socialization is for children to take on themselves the regulation of their own behavior and emotion—meaning to act without explicit directives or demands, to engage in socially prescribed behaviors in the absence of adult supervision, and to do all of this in a flexible, nonconflictual manner (Grolnick, Deci, and Ryan, 1997). Thus, explicating the socialization of more internalized or autonomous self-regulation is a key goal of parenting and will be discussed as a major section of this chapter. In summary, the rubric of self-regulation includes a number of constructs, including executive functions, effortful control, and emotion regulation. The concept of self-regulation goes beyond children exhibiting self-control but also their internalizing the regulation of their own behavior and emotion such that they engage in desired behaviors spontaneously and flexibly. The chapter addresses the relations of parenting to both behavior regulation and more internalized self-regulation across a range of child ages.

A Self-Determination Theory Perspective on Self-Regulation From a Self-Determination Theory (SDT) perspective, individuals have three innate needs: those for autonomy, or to feel volitional or the owner of one’s actions; competence, or to feel effective; and relatedness, or to feel loved and valued (Deci and Ryan, 2000). These needs underlie development more generally, as well as the persistence in exercising one’s capacities and building competence more specifically. Thus, when these needs are satisfied, individuals will most likely persist in challenging behaviors for the pure pleasure of exercising their competencies, which is termed intrinsic motivation. The needs also underlie development toward more autonomous self-regulation for those activities that are not inherently interesting. These extrinsically motivated behaviors (i.e., behaviors engaged in for some goal or purpose other than pleasure and enjoyment) can be seen as lying along a continuum of autonomy ranging from those that are more externally motivated to those that are more autonomously regulated. Self-Determination Theory posits multiple types of self-regulation lying along this continuum. At the least autonomous end is external regulation, whereby individuals regulate behavior around contingencies (i.e., rewards or punishments in the environment). For example, children might do their homework because they would get in trouble if they did not. Further along the continuum is introjected regulation. This type of regulation involves regulating behavior around a contingency, yet the contingency is administered by the self rather than some outside agent. Thus, children might behave because they would feel bad or guilty if they did not. With introjected regulation, the behavior stems from within but the person does not experience a sense of choice or volition, and there is conflict between the individual’s natural tendencies and the regulation. Still further along the continuum is identified regulation, which involves a sense of autonomy. At this point, the child identifies with or takes on the value of the behavior or regulation and behaves in accord with it. No longer is there a perceived conflict between the regulation and the self. Children who clean their rooms because they like them neat so they can find their belongings are regulating through identification. At the final point on the continuum, identifications have been integrated or assimilated with other aspects of the self into a coherent system of values, goals, and motives, resulting in integrated regulation. Because this form of self-regulation is developmentally advanced and therefore not characteristic of children and adolescents, we do not focus on integrated regulation in this chapter. How do children move along the continuum toward a greater sense of autonomy or self-regulation for behaviors that are originally externally regulated? According to SDT, individuals move along the autonomy continuum through the process of internalization. Internalization is the process through 37

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which originally externally regulated action becomes increasingly taken in by the person and made a part of the self (Deci and Ryan, 1985). The process of internalization is proposed to be a natural one in which children actively engage. Thus, provided the environment does not interfere too much, children naturally and spontaneously take on regulations, values, and behaviors around them as part of their intrinsically motivated growth and development. A corollary of the theory is that, as an intrinsically motivated process, internalization itself is energized by the same three needs as intrinsic motivation: to feel autonomous, competent, and related to others. Furthermore, factors that facilitate intrinsic motivation should also facilitate the active process of internalization. Within the SDT tradition, the degree of autonomy in children’s self-regulation has often been measured by asking children about the reasons they engage in various behaviors—for example, children might be asked why they do their homework, clean their rooms, or keep a promise. These reasons provide a window into the degree of autonomy in their behaviors. This type of measure has also been used to assess the degree of autonomy in children’s use of emotion regulation strategies (e.g., suppressing emotions). There is evidence that at what point along the autonomy continuum children’s regulation of behavior falls makes a difference in terms of their adjustment and achievement. For example, more identified regulation of school-related activities is associated with more positive affect and proactive coping with school setbacks, whereas less autonomous styles (i.e., external, introjected) are associated with negative affect and maladaptive coping (Ryan and Connell, 1989). Using a scale that examined the regulation of prosocial behaviors, Ryan and Connell (1989) found that identified regulation was associated with higher empathy and more mature moral reasoning. Researchers have extended the investigation of regulatory styles in children across a number of areas, including sports and overall well-being. To assess type of self-regulation in young children, Kochanska, Aksan, and Koenig (1995) focused on the quality of children’s behavior—differentiating between situational compliance and committed compliance, with committed compliance being a precursor to internalization. In situational compliance, the child is cooperative and complies but lacks a sincere commitment to the compliance behavior. To sustain the compliance, the child requires reminders and parental control techniques. By contrast, committed compliance is more self-regulated. Here, the child appears to embrace, endorse, and accept the parent’s agendum as her or his own. The child does not require prompts or reminders to maintain the behavior and does so enthusiastically. Committed compliance thus can be likened to the more autonomous self-regulation discussed earlier. Supporting the developmental nature of committed compliance, Kochanska and Aksan (1995) found that committed compliance increases with age. Supporting the hypothesis that it is a precursor to internalization, these authors found that committed compliance in the toddler years was associated with indices of internalization in the preschool years, such as doing a requested activity in the absence of the mother, and an unwillingness to succumb to enticements to cheat. Situational compliance was not so related to internalization. SDT thus outlines the processes through which individuals move from more external regulation of their behavior toward more autonomous self-regulation. The internalization process is hypothesized to be a natural one through which individuals progress as they meet innate needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness. We now turn to environments that facilitate or thwart the internalization process.

Facilitating Environments—Parenting From an SDT Perspective From an SDT perspective, environments that support the needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness, respectively, autonomy support, structure, and involvement, should facilitate greater intrinsic motivation and movement along the internalization continuum toward more autonomous 38

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self-regulation. We delineate these dimensions as well as their links to constructs in the parenting literature. Autonomy support is a broad construct that includes taking people’s perspectives, supporting their initiations, and providing choice and input into decision-making and problem-solving. By contrast, controlling environments, which pressure people toward specific outcomes, solve problems for them, and prohibit input and dissension, should undermine individuals’ experience of autonomy. Within the parenting literature, autonomy support versus control is linked to dimensions such as psychological control (Barber, 1996), harsh parenting (Melby and Conger, 2001), and intrusive parenting (Egeland, Pianta, and O’Brien, 1993), though in many cases researchers only focus on the controlling end of the continuum rather than the autonomy supportive end. A second dimension, structure, supports the need for competence. When environments are structured, they contain the information individuals need to effectively guide their behavior (Grolnick and Pomerantz, 2009). Within parenting, structure includes providing clear rules, expectations, and guidelines; consistent consequences for meeting or not meeting expectations; and feedback on how the person is doing in following the guidelines (Farkas and Grolnick, 2010; Grolnick et al., 2014). The dimension of structure is related to that of behavioral control, which has been defined as managing children’s behavior (Barber, 1996). Finally, meeting the need for relatedness is the dimension of involvement. Involved environments provide resources that individuals need, such as time and attention. It also includes love and affection that make individuals feel valued and loved. The rubric of involvement can include acceptance (Schaefer, 1965), warmth (Rohner, 1986), and overall support (Eisenberg et al., 2005). The SDT conceptualization is closely related to Baumrind’s (1967, 1971) parenting typology, which differentiates three types of parents. The authoritative parent encourages verbal give and take, provides rationales for actions, and solicits input into decisions. This parent also firmly enforces rules and demands mature behavior from children. The authoritarian parent, similar to the authoritative, has rules and guidelines for action. However, in contrast, this parent discourages individuality and independence. Finally, the permissive parent imposes few demands and accepts the child’s impulses. Similar to the authoritative parent, the permissive parent encourages independence. Seen from a motivational framework, the authoritative parent would be high on autonomy support and structure, the authoritarian parent high on control and structure, and the permissive parent low on structure and high on autonomy support. Similar to theoretical arguments underlying Self-Determination Theory, Baumrind (1973) suggested that both the authoritarian and the permissive styles would undermine children’s internalization because both of these styles shield children from opportunities to struggle with and assume responsibility for their own behavior. The authoritarian parent does so by preventing the child from taking initiative. Thus, the child does not have the opportunity to be responsible for her or his own behavior. Permissive parents shield children by not demanding that they confront the consequences of their own actions. Children of each of these types of parents should, then, be lower in self-regulation than those of authoritative parents. The SDT conceptualization looks at each parenting dimension separately so that the contribution of different behaviors and strategies can be understood. In addition to the theoretical value of explaining why certain aspects of parenting are beneficial for children, we believe that using the three parenting dimensions of autonomy support, structure, and involvement is a useful way to organize the literature to be reviewed on parenting in relation to selfregulation. However, a number of parenting constructs receiving attention in this literature cross these dimensions. For example, sensitive parenting, originally defined by Ainsworth as the parent’s ability to notice the child’s signals, interpret them correctly, and respond to them promptly and appropriately (Ainsworth, Bell, and Stayton, 1974), includes aspects of autonomy support, structure, and involvement. Sensitivity will be discussed in the involvement section. Scaffolding, a construct emerging from the sociocultural theoretical perspective (Vygotsky, 1978), involves parents gearing or tailoring 39

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task-oriented interventions toward the child’s ability. As such, it includes aspects of both structure and autonomy support. It will be discussed under the structure section. In our review of the literature on parenting and the development of children’s self-regulation we focus on three broad rubrics of self-regulation as discussed earlier: behavior regulation, internalized self-regulation, and emotion regulation. We begin each section with research on young children and move to that on older children. Within each section, we utilize the SDT parenting framework to organize relevant research. In some cases research on one of these dimensions is not available. Where studies focus on all three of the dimensions, we save their discussion until the end of the section.

Behavior Regulation Involvement/Support A number of studies with roots in an attachment perspective have examined maternal sensitivity in relation to children’s behavior regulation. The reasoning for examining such a relation is that when a caregiver is sensitive, children are most likely to develop a secure attachment (Cummings and Warmuth, 2019). A secure attachment, then, would allow the child to explore her or his environment, developing competencies such as are evident in behavior regulation skills. A secure attachment would also allow the child to focus her or his attention on tasks and skill development rather than the whereabouts of caregivers. Furthermore, caregivers’ ability to support children’s behavior and serve as regulators of their children’s behavior when needed allows them to gradually build regulatory capacities (Calkins, 2007). Consistent with these ideas, several studies have utilized the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Childcare and Youth Development (SECCYD) to examine aspects of early caregiving associated with behavior regulation. This study included codings of maternal sensitivity from play as well as ratings of the caregiving environment using the Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment (HOME; Caldwell and Bradley, 1984), which measures the quality of stimulation and support in the home environment, when children were 15 and 36 months old. To assess children’s behavior regulation, they were administered a delay task to measure inhibition, a continuous performance task to measure sustained attention, and a Stroop task to measure impulsivity when they were 54 months old. Using the SECCYD data set, Birmingham, Bub, and Vaughn (2017) found that both maternal sensitivity and home quality were related to children’s behavior regulation. Furthermore, consistent with attachment theory and other studies of links between attachment and behavior regulation (Fearon and Belsky, 2004; Gilliom, Shaw, Beck, Schonberg, and Lukon, 2002), quality of attachment mediated the relations between both parenting measures and behavior regulation, such that higher sensitivity was associated with more secure attachment, which then predicted better self-regulation. Similarly, Russell, Lee, Spieker, and Oxford (2016) showed that both higher maternal sensitivity and ratings on the HOME predicted lower levels of children’s inattention. Using similar measures of behavior regulation but a different sample, Zeytinoglu, Calkins, Swingler, and Leerkes (2017) showed that higher maternal support during problem-solving interactions at 4 years predicted both children’s behavior regulation and executive functions at 5 years. In a longitudinal study of children’s inhibitory control from ages 2 to 4, Moilanen, Shaw, Dishion, Gardner, and Wilson (2009) showed that higher levels of supportive parenting were associated with faster growth in inhibitory control. Thus, there is ample evidence that a supportive, sensitive environment is associated with children’s better behavior regulation. Findings on maternal sensitivity and general support are important, but it is difficult to know which aspects of these broad qualities are facilitative and just how they result in greater self-regulation skills. Research on autonomy support and structure hone in further on some parenting behaviors that may be active agents in facilitating behavior regulation. 40

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Autonomy Supportive Versus Controlling Parenting When parents are autonomy supportive, they provide children with the opportunity to solve problems on their own or with assistance rather than having the problems solved for them. There is evidence that when parents are more autonomy supportive, children’s motivation for engaging in tasks is enhanced. Therefore, children would be more motivated to sustain engagement on challenging tasks. These experiences of persistence would give children practice in building their emerging self-regulatory skills. Thus, several researchers, working with both younger and older children, have studied relations between autonomy support and children’s developing behavior regulation. Bernier, Carlson, and Whipple (2010) coded maternal autonomy support, which was defined as intervening according to the infant’s needs, adapting tasks to create challenge, encouraging the child in pursuit of the task, taking the child’s perspective, following the child’s pace, and ensuring the child takes a role in the task, during mother–child interaction. Autonomy support at 12 to 13 months predicted children’s executive functioning using laboratory tasks at 26 months. This effect was in evidence controlling for maternal sensitivity. Using SECCYD data, Bindman, Pomerantz, and Roisman (2015) showed that ratings of mothers’ autonomy support coded during parent–child play at four time points (6 to 36 months) predicted behavior regulation (EF) at 54 months. Furthermore, high levels of executive functioning predicted higher achievement in elementary and high school. Weis, Trommsdorff, and Munoz (2016), focusing on fourth-graders in Germany and Chile, used mothers’ and teachers’ ratings of children’s hyperactivity to index behavior regulation. They used parent report questionnaires to assess parents’ restrictive parenting, which was measured as punishment and demands for compliance without the use of reasoning. Both samples showed negative relations between restrictive parenting and behavior regulation. Results across a broad age range support the importance of parental autonomy support for the development of children’s behavioral self-regulation. When parents give children the opportunity to be proactive and to exercise their emerging abilities in a supportive context, regulatory skills are enhanced. The next section on structure focuses on the specific types of support parents can provide to help build children’s regulatory skills.

Structure Relative to the other dimensions of parenting, there has been less focus on structure as conceptualized within the SDT framework and no studies that we know of specifically related to behavior regulation. Related to structure, however, is the concept of scaffolding, a term first coined by Wood, Bruner, and Ross (1976) to describe how more experienced individuals gear their interventions to the learner’s competence in the “zone of proximal development,” which is just above the learner’s ability to complete the task on her or his own. The concept involves the leader adjusting the level of intervention— increasing their support when the child has trouble and decreasing the level of help when the child succeeds. This tailoring to the learner denotes that scaffolding includes elements of autonomy support as well as the organization and management entailed in the construct of structure. Studies have examined parental scaffolding in relation to young children’s behavior regulation. Landry, Miller-Loncar, Smith, and Swank (2002) coded verbal scaffolding as parents’ informational content that provided hints or prompts to control their children’s attention, as well as verbalizations that “provided conceptual links between objects, person, activities, and functions” (p. 21). Verbal scaffolding at 3 years was associated with children’s executive functioning skills at 4 years. Hammond, Müller, Carpendale, Bibok, and Liebermann-Finestone (2012) coded scaffolding on a 5-point scale, taking into account a number of characteristics, including providing helpful structure, such as suggestions when the child is frustrated and not interfering when the child is successful. They 41

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showed that scaffolding at age 2 was associated with executive functioning at age 4 by facilitating verbal ability at age 3. In summary, there is evidence that structuring behaviors that support children’s emerging competencies are associated with the development of behavioral self-regulation. Clearly more research is needed on this construct, especially that which disentangles autonomy support and structure.

Internalized Self-Regulation Internalized Behavioral Self-Regulation in Younger Children The development of self-regulation in toddlerhood and the early precursors of more internalized behavior in older children have been addressed by Kochanska, Coy, and Murray (2001), as well as other researchers. These authors have conceptualized self-regulation as developmental in nature, with behavior moving from more externally to internally regulated as children’s attention, control, and recognition of parental expectations mature (Karreman, van Tuijl, van Aken, and Deković, 2006). Defining and measuring internalization in toddlers and young children pose unique methodological challenges for empirical study. Because researchers are unable to directly ask young children why they engage in or inhibit certain behaviors, researchers must extrapolate from children’s actions. For instance, when a toddler complies with a parent’s request to clean up toys or refrain from touching an attractive object, is she or he fulfilling this task willingly or due to feeling coerced? In their developmental conceptualization, Kochanska and her colleagues (Kochanska et al., 1995; Kochanska, Tjebkes, and Fortnan, 1998; Kochanska et al., 2001) posit that compliance with caregivers’ requests serves as an early indicator of toddlers’ self-regulation, as compliance necessitates the child’s initiation, suppression, or modification of behaviors in accordance with parental demands. Kochanska et al. (1998) argued that compliance is heterogeneous, differentiating between situational compliance and committed compliance. In situational compliance, a child will cooperate with parental demands, but will do so “half-heartedly” and without genuine interest in the parent’s agendum; this child requires reminders and parental intervention to maintain behavior. By contrast, in committed compliance, the child enthusiastically embraces, endorses, and accepts the parent’s agendum as her or his own, proactively engaging in tasks without need for prompts or control from the parent. To measure a child’s committed versus situational compliance, Kochanska et al. (2001) videotaped interactions between mothers and their children during various “do” and “don’t” tasks in the laboratory. In the “do” context, mothers were instructed to ask their children to withstand unpleasant or boring behaviors, such as cleaning up toys and returning the items into a designated basket after a free play session. In a “don’t” context, mothers asked their children to suppress a desired behavior, such as refraining from playing with attractive toys. Committed compliance was denoted in the “do” context if the child enthusiastically picked up toys and placed them in their appropriate baskets, moved from one pile of toys to the next without maternal directives, and/or clapped her or his hands after putting away the toys; in the “don’t” context, committed compliance was coded if the child looked at but did not touch the attractive toys, muttering statements to the effect of “no-no toys” or “no touch” (Kochanska et al., 2001, p. 1095). Situational compliance was coded in the “do” context if the child cooperated reluctantly or due to maternal prompting, without which the child would become distracted or disengaged from the task. In the “don’t” context, a child observed to be hovering closely around the attractive toys or relying heavily on maternal control to refrain from touching the toys would be coded as displaying situational compliance. Kochanska and her colleagues also gauged young children’s internalization by observing toddlers’ initiation or suppression of behaviors without external surveillance by their caregiver, or the extent to which toddlers complied with their caregivers’ requests when their parents left them unattended, for 42

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example, to finish putting away toys on their own (do) or refrain from playing with attractive toys (don’t) (Kochanska et al., 2001). Finally, to further examine how young children internalize rules, values, and standards of behaviors, Kochanska (2002) explored morality and conscience development, defining conscience as “a reliable internal guidance system that regulates conduct without the need for external control” (p. 192). To study this process, Kochanska and Aksan (2006) examined moral emotions (e.g., guilt, discomfort following wrongdoing) and moral conduct (e.g., adhering to rules and standards without surveillance), for example, by examining children’s affect after being told they had damaged an important item belonging to the experimenter (Kochanska, Gross, Lin, and Nichols, 2002), by whether children touched toys deemed prohibited by their mothers, and by whether they cheated during a game to win a prize. What parental qualities may facilitate the development of committed compliance and conscience in children? Kochanska and colleagues developed the construct of mutually responsive orientation (MRO; Kochanska, 1997, 2002), defined as a “positive, mutually binding, and mutually cooperative relationship that evolves in some parent–child dyads” (Kochanska, Aksan, Prisco, and Adams, 2008, p. 30). Based in attachment theory, MRO portrays a warmth and eagerness between parent and child to cooperate and respond to one another’s cues. Aksan, Kochanska, and Ortmann (2006) developed the Mutually Responsive Orientation Scale to identify four components of MRO in parent–child dyads: (1) coordinated routines, in which the parent and child have mutually agreed-on expectations for the organization of daily activities; (2) harmonious communication, in which the parent and child display effective, warm, and back-and-forth flow of conversation; (3) mutual cooperation, in which the parent and child display a vested interest in and cooperation with each other; and (4) emotional ambience, in which the parent-child relationship is mutually characterized by positive affect, joy, and humor. MRO is bidirectional and transactional, and includes parental involvement, with parents providing their children with time, affection, support, and love, as well as parental autonomy support, with parents taking children’s perspectives and being responsive to their initiations and wishes. Kochanska and Aksan (1995) also examined parenting on dimensions of negative control and guidance or gentle control. In negative control, a parent uses forceful discipline, such as threats, harsh physical discipline, or negative commands to achieve compliance goals, whereas gentle guidance entails a parent directing her or his child through reasoning, polite requests, positive feedback, and suggestions—a construct very similar to that of autonomy support. Kochanska et al. (2008) further divided negative control into categories of assertive control¸ in which the parent controls her or his child in a firm manner with direct commands and prohibitions (e.g., “Do not play now” and “These are only to look at”), and forceful control, in which a parent uses threats and anger to enact control (e.g., “We won’t go to the pool until it’s all done” or “What did I tell you?”). Kochanska and her colleagues investigated relations among MRO, parental power assertion, and children’s self-regulatory capacities through measures of committed compliance. Kochanska and Aksan (1995) proposed that the MRO established between a mother and her child may foster an interactive environment in which a child’s eager enactment of her or his mother’s requests promotes internalization. Observing mothers and their 26- to 41-month-old children, Kochanska and Aksan (1995) found that the higher the MRO in the dyad, the more children demonstrated committed compliance and self-regulation when alone with prohibited toys. In turn, the more likely mothers were to use gentle guidance and the less they were to resort to negative control, the more children displayed committed compliance. Conversely, mothers of children exhibiting situational compliance were more likely to use any form of control to manage their children’s behavior, including negative control. Kochanska and Aksan (1995) argued that the need for a mother to assert power diminishes or becomes unnecessary when her child enthusiastically endorses her or his mother’s agendum. The directionality of the relation between parental power assertion and children’s committed compliance, however, cannot be established, as inherent in the concept of MRO is the parent–child dyad sharing reciprocal qualities and evolving dynamics. 43

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Findings of Kochanska et al. (2008) further support the importance of MRO for the development of self-regulation. Mother–child and father–child MRO were measured at 7, 15, and 25 months, and parental power assertion was observed in discipline contexts both in the home and laboratory at 38 months. Children’s self-regulation was observed at 52 months in tasks requiring the child to delay gratification, slow motor activity, and lower her or his voice, among other contextual demands. Children who had experienced a highly mutually responsive relationship with their mothers and fathers during their first two years of life demonstrated greater self-regulation at 52 months. Mothers and fathers who relied more heavily on power assertion at 38 months had children with less developed self-regulation at 52 months. Furthermore, reduced maternal power assertion mediated the effects of the mother–child dyad’s MRO on children’s internalized behavior, presumably as mothers need not forcefully discipline their children who are already in tune with and responsive to their cues. However, these associations were not significant in father–child dyads. Kochanska et al. (2008) present various explanations for why the relations were in evidence in mothers but not fathers, suggesting differences in mothers’ responsiveness, affective expression, and greater time spent with their children in comparison to fathers as potential explanations. Researchers have since expanded on the work of Kochanska and her colleagues to explore how relations between parenting and children’s committed compliance may relate longitudinally to adaptive outcomes for the child. Spinrad and colleagues (2012) examined maternal sensitivity, warmth, and MRO through free play and teaching tasks in a sample of 30-, 42-, and 54-month-old toddlers. These authors hypothesized that children whose parents were high on warmth and sensitivity would be eager to adopt their parents’ goals and rules (i.e., committed compliance) in the “do” and “don’t” paradigms previously developed by Kochanska and colleagues (1995, 2001). Effortful control (EC), defined as the ability to quell a dominant response to activate a subdominant behavior, was also assessed through the Early Childhood Behavioral Questionnaire (Putnam, Gartstein, and Rothbart, 2006) measuring children’s ability to focus and shift attention and control behaviors. Effortful control has been found to mediate associations between parenting and child outcomes in previous research (Spinrad et al., 2007), as parental warmth is thought to facilitate EC through providing a comfortable environment in which the child learns how to navigate behaviors effectively with her or his parent providing feedback (Feldman and Klein, 2003). Through path modeling, Spinrad and colleagues (2012) provided evidence that maternal warmth and sensitivity predict higher effortful control and that 30- and 42-month effortful control predict higher committed compliance over one year, even when controlling for earlier outcomes. It appears as though warm and sensitive parenting may facilitate children’s effortful control over time, as children’s ability to control attention and behavior may in turn produce greater cooperation and willingness to engage in their parents’ requests. The researchers also found that early sensitive parenting predicted low impulsivity in children a year later. These results strengthened Spinrad and colleagues’ (2007) previous findings in which effortful control was found to mediate the relation between maternal observed sensitivity and warmth and children’s low levels of externalizing problems, separation distress, and social competence both at 18 and 30 months of age. However, it may be that these early parent–child interactions and outcomes persist beyond childhood and continue throughout even the early adolescent years. Eisenberg and colleagues (2005) have shown that children’s effortful control, measured throughout a three-wave longitudinal study with children ages 9, 11, and 13 years, may serve as the mediator between parental warmth and children’s lower externalizing problems in adolescence. Examining parental facilitation of the conscience and moral development of young children is also vital to understanding how children come to internalize rules as standards of moral conduct. As previously described, guilt following a transgression is an important function of behavior regulation, as children learn from the emotional repercussions of their behaviors to navigate future situations. Kochanska, Forman, and Coy (1999, 2002) found that children of power-assertive mothers who use negative control to force compliance are less likely to show guilt following transgressions in mishap 44

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paradigms. Furthermore, observations of maternal responsiveness and high MRO among parent–child dyads in the first two years of life predict greater guilt at preschool age. High MRO between parents and children has also been associated with children’s internalized conduct (i.e., refraining from playing with prohibited toys when unsupervised and following the rules of a game without cheating) concurrently and longitudinally from the toddler through preschool years and measured through laboratory observations and parental report (Kochanska and Aksan, 2006). According to Kochanska and colleagues, a history of high MRO instills in children a sense of excitement for their future interactions with their parents, which in turn facilitates children’s cooperation and internalization of their parents’ rules. This internalization of rules and standards of conduct, in turn, is associated with positive child outcomes, as Kochanska, Koenig, Barry, Kim, and Yoon (2010) found that toddlers’ and preschoolers’ out-of-sight compliance with parental requests was related to the children’s competent, adaptive functioning and few antisocial problems at early school age. These findings highlight the importance of positive parenting styles and features of the parent–child dyad in promoting early moral development in young children. In summary, studies of young children support the importance of involvement and autonomy support in facilitating children’s self-regulation. The findings using the concept and measure of MRO highlight the bidirectional and transactional nature of parenting and children’s developing self-regulation. These studies go beyond children developing compliance and self-control to understanding how children begin to internalize the regulation of their own behavior, a process crucial to both children’s competence and well-being.

Behavioral Self-Regulation in Older Children Studies of behavior regulation in older children reviewed examine whether or not children engage in various desired behaviors. However, they did not look further to determine why children did what they did, which according to SDT is the core of self-regulation. From an SDT perspective, self-regulation concerns more than compliance; it is in evidence when children engage in behavior according to their own values or goals and without the prompting or coercion of adults. As children grow older, there are increased opportunities to measure self-regulation because they can be asked directly why they do what they do and can be observed in situations without their parents. One key method to assess self-regulation is children’s reports of their reasons for engaging in various behaviors, which, because they are not inherently fun or enjoyable, would need to be internalized (Ryan and Connell, 1989). The reasons children endorse for engaging in behaviors, such as homework or chores, are used to determine where their behavior falls on the internalization continuum (i.e., how autonomous they feel while performing them). Another way to measure selfregulation is to observe whether children engage in certain desired behaviors or show evidence that they have internalized parental communications when their parents or other caregiving adults are not present. Therefore, studies reviewed in this section focus on outcomes that address children’s more versus less autonomous regulation of their behavior. As described previously, some children comply or adhere to their parents’ directives immediately or after a short delay—behaviors known as compliance (Whiting and Edwards, 1988). However, as children develop, and particularly as they enter adolescence, the hope is that they move towards more autonomous self-regulation, or that they behave appropriately not because they are explicitly asked to but because they want to. Accordingly, an important question is: Do the same parenting factors facilitate child compliance and self-regulation? There is evidence in the literature that certain parenting styles are more or less conducive towards children’s compliance. For example, both Baumrind (1967) and Steinberg and his colleagues (Steinberg, Elmen, and Mounts, 1989) have found that, whereas children of authoritarian (controlling) parents may be competent on certain outcomes (e.g., academic achievement) and conforming (i.e., low 45

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levels of deviant behavior), they also lack self-reliance and initiative, factors that are more related to autonomous self-regulation. Addressing the issue of compliance, Chen, Soenens, Vansteenkiste, Van Petegem, and Beyers (2016) had adolescents read vignettes depicting mothers requiring them to study for a test using a generally controlling (demanding), psychologically controlling (guilt-inducing), or autonomy supportive style. When asked how they would respond to the requests, adolescents reported that in response to the two types of control they would display high levels of compulsive compliance (i.e., complying due to pressure though the request is not meaningful) and defiance or rebellion. Compulsive compliance has been shown to be negatively related to children’s well-being, leading to feelings of guilt and resentment towards parents (Roth, Assor, Niemiec, Ryan, and Deci, 2009). By contrast, when the mother’s request was autonomy supportive, adolescents reported that they would try to negotiate with their mothers. Thus, when parents are controlling, children may comply, but only because they feel pressured to do so, or they may defy their parents’ requests altogether. Because children’s autonomous self-regulation goes beyond engaging in appropriate behaviors or refraining from deviant behaviors purely because they must, most studies reviewed in this section examine the relations between parenting and outcomes that go a step further than child compliance— examining why children are engaging in various behaviors. According to SDT, children’s movement along the internalization continuum towards autonomous self-regulation should be facilitated by their parents’ tendencies to be involved, autonomy supportive, and provide structure. The next section reviews studies of these parenting dimensions.

Autonomy Support Versus Control and Self-Regulation Research from an SDT framework has examined relations between autonomy supportive parenting and children’s self-regulation. In one study, Grolnick and Ryan (1989) examined relations between autonomy supportive parenting and children’s autonomous regulation of school behaviors. Children completed the Self-Regulation Questionnaire (Ryan and Connell, 1989), on which they endorse reasons why they engage in homework, classwork, and other activities. Reasons represent the four types of self-regulation: external (e.g., Because I don’t want the teacher to yell at me), introjected (e.g., Because I’d feel guilty if I didn’t do my homework), identified (e.g., Because I want to learn the material), and intrinsic (e.g., Because it’s fun). Subscale scores are weighted and combined to form a Relative Autonomy Index, which represents the degree of autonomy in children’s self-regulation. The authors interviewed mothers and fathers of third- through sixth-grade children (8- to 11-year-olds) regarding the ways in which they motivate their children to engage in school-related activities like homework. Interviews were rated for the degree of parental autonomy support to control. Greater use of parental autonomy support was associated with children’s reports of more autonomous regulation of their school-related activities, as well as with teacher ratings of students’ competence and adjustment and children’s school grades. Furthermore, parents who were more autonomy supportive had children who were less likely, by teacher report, to both act out in school and to exhibit learning difficulties. Soenens and Vansteenkiste (2005) examined the relations between parental autonomy support and adolescents’ self-regulation in the school, friendship, and job search domains. The more adolescents (ages 15 to 22) perceived their mothers to be autonomy supportive in the school and friendship domains, the higher were their reports of autonomous motivation for doing schoolwork and engaging with friends. Furthermore, in both domains, more autonomous motivation for these behaviors in turn predicted increased school competence, grades, and social competence. In the job search domain, adolescents’ perceptions of their fathers’ autonomy support were related to their more autonomous motivation in searching for a job. Similarly, adolescents’ autonomous regulation mediated the relation between father autonomy support and adaptive functioning in the job search. These results revealed unique associations for mother autonomy support in the friendship and school domains and father 46

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autonomy support in the job search domain, perhaps indicating the areas in which each parent is more likely to be involved. These findings suggest that when parents are autonomy supportive, the adolescent is able to approach these areas with more self-determined motives and take on the importance of these behaviors on their own, which makes them more likely to thrive in the given area. Whereas the previous two studies used children’s own reasons why they do things to measure selfregulation, other studies observe how children behave when their parents are not present or examine whether they internalize newly learned information. Grolnick, Gurland, DeCourcey, and Jacob (2002) asked mothers and their third-grade children to work on school-like tasks together. Mothers were observed interacting with their child after being placed in either a high-pressure (“ensure your child performs well enough”) or low-pressure (“there is no particular level at which [your child] needs to perform”) condition. Videos were coded for how controlling versus autonomy supportive mothers were towards their children during the task. Children were then asked to do similar tasks on their own after their mothers left the room. Children performed more poorly on the task alone when their mothers had been more controlling, and better when mothers had been more autonomy supportive. According to SDT, when children are given the opportunity to master a task without interference, they are more likely to internalize the information than when they feel pressured or controlled to do it. This result is in line with the findings of an experimental study (Grolnick and Ryan, 1987) demonstrating that in a more pressuring condition (learning for a grade), children showed less conceptual understanding of information than in a less pressuring condition (learning for interest). Thus, autonomy support can enhance children’s internalization of information and consequentially their ability to apply their new knowledge when their parents are not present. Employing a related method, Davidov and Grusec (2006) observed children’s behavior when left alone to clean up toys. The authors assessed mothers’ willingness to cooperate with their child, a construct similar to autonomy support that included mothers’ openness to being influenced by their children and their willingness to cooperate with their children’s reasonable requests (e.g., “I allow my child to give input into family rules”). Mothers were told to ask their 6- to 9-year-old child to clean up a playroom and then left her or him alone to do so. The child’s response to the request to clean up (whether or not she or he protested) and the mother’s reactions to the protest were coded for the level of conflict and responsiveness. Results showed that mothers’ general willingness to cooperate with their child predicted children’s compliance with their mother’s request to clean up, but only in the absence of conflict. When the mother’s request resulted in more conflict (i.e., child protested, mother was unresponsive to the complaint), the mother’s willing cooperation was not linked to child compliance, likely because this conflict undermined the child’s motivation to comply. These findings indicate that more autonomy supportive parenting practices in which mothers are open to their child’s input can result in child compliance even when the mother is absent, a practice that indicates the child has internalized the regulation of their behavior.

Involvement and Self-Regulation The following studies examine relations between parental involvement and children’s self-regulation. However, as SDT asserts, parental involvement should have the most positive effect on children’s selfregulation when it is implemented in an autonomy supportive way (e.g., children are given a choice in how they spend time with their parents, and parents communicate openly with their child and acknowledge her or his feelings). Thus, we review studies that examine the unique relation between parental involvement and children’s self-regulation and those that look at the relation between how autonomy supportive parents are when they are involved and children’s self-regulation. Xu, Kushner Benson, Murdey-Camino, and Steiner (2010) examined whether various parental involvement practices around school, including their knowledge of children’s school-related activities and active participation in homework and school-related events, were associated with fifth-graders’ 47

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self-regulated learning (SRL), in which students take a purposeful and eager role in the learning process. The more parents helped with their children’s homework, the lower was children’s use of SRL strategies. However, higher parental educational expectations (how far parents think their child will go in school) and school involvement (attending school-related events) were associated with greater use of SRL. SRL also mediated the relation between parental involvement and student reading achievement, indicating that the positive relation between parental school involvement and academic outcomes is a function of children’s increased SRL. Grolnick and Slowiaczek (1994) also found an association between parental school involvement and 11- to 14-year-old children’s academic selfregulation. Mothers’ and fathers’ personal involvement (knowledge about child’s school life) and behavioral involvement (attending school-related events) predicted children’s more autonomous selfregulation of school behaviors such as doing homework and classwork. These studies show that parental involvement can take many forms. Through showing they are there for their child, having confidence that they will succeed, and being present for important school events, parents can encourage children to take on the importance of working hard in school. Two studies examined the effects of parent involvement and autonomy support on self-regulation during school transitions. Stressful events such as school transitions, which can involve changes in school, peers, and academic expectations, can undermine children’s academic motivation and competence. Thus, the availability and support of parents in these situations take on special importance for children’s autonomous regulation. Ratelle, Guay, Larose, and Senécal (2004) examined how parental autonomy support and involvement influenced adolescents’ motivation to pursue higher education during the transition from high school to college. Adolescents completed questionnaires about their parents’ autonomy support and affective involvement in the process of choosing a college program and their own motivation for pursuing higher education, ranging from intrinsic motivation (e.g., “for the pleasure and satisfaction of learning new things in the program”) to external motivation (e.g., “because the program will allow me to get a lucrative job later”). The measure of affective involvement included parents having open discussions with their children and acknowledging their feelings, an autonomy supportive way to show involvement. Higher parental affective involvement and autonomy support were related to adolescents’ more autonomous motivation around choosing a college program. Niemiec et al. (2006) also examined relations between parents’ behaviors that support children’s needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness and adolescents’ self-regulation in planning to attend college. Parents’ need supportive behaviors were measured by combining reports of parents’ provision of autonomy support and relational support. Adolescents’ perceptions of their parents as providing more autonomy support and relational support (involvement) were associated with more autonomous self-regulation for continuing their education in college. Autonomous regulation was, in turn, related to adolescents’ greater well-being. Taking this relation between autonomy support and involvement a step further, Katz, Kaplan, and Buzukashvily (2011) examined parents’ own motivation to be involved in their children’s homework process. In a sample of fourth-grade Israeli children and their parents, parents’ more autonomous motivation for being involved in their child’s homework was associated with more need supportive behavior, which was measured by combining parents’ and children’s reports of parents’ autonomy supportive behavior and involvement in homework. Parents’ level of need supportive behavior was then related to children’s more autonomous motivation for doing homework. Thus, when parents are involved in their children’s homework process because they find it to be enjoyable and valuable, they are likely to approach it with a more positive attitude and less stress. This positive approach likely increases parents’ ability to behave in ways that support their child’s needs for relatedness, competence, and autonomy, such as by showing empathy, giving choices, and taking their children’s perspectives, all of which result in greater self-regulation. In summary, stressful events, such as school transitions, can undermine adolescents’ academic motivation and competence, and thus the availability and support of parents in these situations take on 48

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increased importance for keeping students on course towards autonomous regulation of school behaviors, and ultimately better competence, psychological health, and life satisfaction. When parental involvement is implemented in an autonomy supportive way and parents show a genuine interest in wanting to help their children in this stressful process, adolescents’ motivational outcomes are more autonomous.

Parental Conditional Regard and Self-Regulation A form of psychological control often discussed in the literature is parental conditional regard, in which parents alter their attention or affection towards their child according to the child’s good or bad behavior. Positive conditional regard is when parents give more attention/affection when their child exhibits desired behaviors, and negative conditional regard is when parents withdraw attention/ affection when their child does not (Roth et al., 2009). Rogers (1951) theorized that parents’ conditional regard undermines children’s self-esteem and self-regulation, and object relations theorists such as Miller and Ward (1981) suggested that when children learn they are not loved unconditionally, they behave in ways they believe will bring about their parents’ love. Thus, children may perform the desired behaviors of their parents, but the children are not behind or satisfied with the behaviors. The following studies examine relations between parental conditional regard and self-regulation. Roth et al. (2009) compared how parental conditional positive regard (PCPR), parental conditional negative regard (PCNR), and autonomy support related to ninth-grade Israeli adolescents’ introjected versus identified regulation of academic and emotion control behaviors. Greater use of PCPR was associated with adolescents’ more introjected regulation, or feelings of internal compulsion or pressure to perform behaviors, which in turn predicted their more constricted behaviors—pressured, gradefocused studying and suppressed regulation of negative emotions. PCNR was associated with higher resentment towards parents, which undermined adolescents’ capacity to regulate their emotions and their school engagement. Adolescents’ introjected regulation mediated the relation between PCPR and emotion dysregulation; thus, parents’ use of PCPR to encourage adolescents to suppress negative emotions led to adolescents’ inability to regulate these emotions. In contrast, parental autonomy support predicted feelings of choice or autonomous motivation in adolescents, which in turn predicted less constricted behaviors—integrated regulation of negative emotions and interest-focused academic engagement. Thus, parental conditional regard is not an effective means of encouraging adolescents towards willingly behaving and making choices in these domains. Similarly, Assor, Roth, and Deci (2004) examined associations between college students’ perceptions of their parents’ use of conditional regard and the internalization of their behavior in the academic, sports, prosocial, and emotion control domains. In all four domains, students’ perception of their parents’ conditional regard was associated with their introjected self-regulation, as indicated by their feelings of internal compulsion to perform the target behavior. Feeling compelled led students to behave only due to internal pressure, which was related to their negative well-being and poor parent–child relationships. Even though parental conditional regard can encourage students to behave in certain ways, there are sequelae in terms of negative emotional experience following the behavior. Roth (2008) examined how college students’ perceptions of their parents’ use of conditional regard and autonomy support related to the students’ self-oriented versus other-oriented prosocial behavior and self-regulation. Autonomy supportive parenting was positively related to more other-oriented forms of helping and identified and integrated regulation of helping behavior, whereas parental conditional regard was related to more self-oriented helping (helping others to serve oneself ) and introjected regulation of helping behavior. These studies reveal that, as with psychological control, parental conditional regard undermines children’s autonomous self-regulation and encourages children to engage in behaviors because they feel pressured or worry about losing their parents’ approval, rather than engaging in them more volitionally or willingly. 49

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Structure and Self-Regulation The relation between the final dimension of SDT, structure, and self-regulation is less explored. A study by Griffith and Grolnick (2014) examining sixth-grade students in Barbados found that parental structure was related to students’ identified and intrinsic motivation in school. In another study, Grolnick, Raftery-Helmer, Flamm, Marbell, and Cardemil (2015) focused on parental provision of academic structure and children’s school motivation during the transition to middle school, a challenging transition that can often undermine students’ intrinsic motivation. The more parents provided structure in an autonomy supportive manner (involving children in the process of setting up the rules and regulations, allowing for input, opinion exchange, and choice), the more children showed autonomous motivation for school behaviors. However, when structure was provided in a more controlling manner (e.g., using pressure or coercion to implement rules; not allowing children to express opinions regarding the rules), children reported more introjected motivation, indicating they were pressuring themselves to succeed. Parental provision of structure positively predicted students’ intrinsic motivation over this school transition, suggesting that provision of structure can buffer against decreases in students’ intrinsic motivation that is common during this time. Thus, parents’ provision of structure is similarly important to encouraging children’s autonomous regulation of their behaviors. More research is needed to examine relations between structure and self-regulation in other domains.

Emotion Regulation Self-regulation of emotion concerns the child’s active modulation of emotional processes. Just as was argued for behavior regulation, emotion regulation requires the support of caregivers as children develop nascent strategies that become increasingly autonomous. Children need to be exposed to effective strategies through adult guidance and modeling for these strategies to be internalized, and children must be able to practice these strategies, first with the support of their caregivers and later on their own under conditions in which emotions are mildly or moderately strong. The modulation of very strong affect without assistance is an excessively difficult task for young children. Children must thus have the opportunity to autonomously modulate affect, and this can only take place when the regulatory task is within the capacity of the child. In other words, an autonomy supportive, structured, and involved environment should facilitate the internalization of the regulation of emotion.

Involvement/Sensitivity/Support Consistent with the earlier argument, responsive, affectionate, and sensitive parenting should help children to develop the capacity to modulate emotions by supporting them and “coregulating” emotion until children can do so on their own (Tronick, 1989). The external soothing that parents provide while children are developing would help them to cope with distress within a range that they can handle. One way of conceptualizing this responsiveness is that parents are available to help their children when distress becomes unmanageable, resulting in maladaptive functioning. Keeping affect within tolerable limits allows the child to take steps toward self-regulation. One way parents facilitate their children’s emotion regulation is by acting as resources for their children. This is the assumption of work on social referencing (Sorce and Emde, 1981). In this work, it is posited that regulation involves an appraisal process in which primary emotional reactions are modulated by the meaning ascribed to the situation. Caregivers’ facial and vocal expressions are important sources of meaning in ambiguous situations. Several studies have found that when mothers are available for referencing in fear-inducing situations, children show less distress and more engagement with the stimulus than when she is unavailable (Diener, Mangelsdorf, Fosnot, and Kienstra, 1997; Sorce and Emde, 1981). Kogan and Carter (1995) found that emotional availability, empathy, and contingent responsiveness to 50

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a child’s emotion are associated with less avoidance and resistance upon maternal reengagement after a still-face task, indicating good ability to regulate emotion. Raver (1996; Raver and Leadbetter, 1995) conceptualized parental responsiveness as periods of social contingency or collaborative joint attention. More time in such bouts during free play is associated with more successful emotion regulation strategies (less time seeking comfort from mothers and more time distracting themselves with other objects) during a delay task (Raver, 1996). Halligan et al. (2013) studied a sample of mothers beginning in pregnancy. These authors measured children’s emotion regulation at 10 days and 4 weeks and then at 12 and 18 months and 5 years. The 12- and 18-month measures were observer ratings during the Bayley assessment and a laboratory task where an attractive toy was taken away and children’s affect and emotion regulation strategies (e.g., self-soothing) were assessed. At 5 years, emotion regulation was assessed as children’s affect and behavior during a challenging task. Maternal sensitivity (warm, responsive, and accepting behavior) was coded during parent–child interaction, and behavior problems were measured at 12 and 18 months and 5 years. Higher maternal sensitivity was associated with higher concurrent and subsequent emotion regulation from 12 weeks to 5 years. Emotion regulation mediated the relation between sensitivity and behavior problems. The authors found stronger support for parent-to-child than child-to parent relations. The studies reviewed here show the importance of overall responsive and sensitive parenting to children’s emotion regulation development. Next we delve into studies that address the parenting processes that more specifically facilitate emotion regulation.

Autonomy Supportive Versus Controlling Parenting Several studies have related parenting on dimensions similar to that of autonomy support to control during interaction to the development of emotion regulation capacities in children. In two studies, Calkins (1997; Calkins and Johnson, 1998) examined parents’ styles of interacting with their children in play situations. From these interactions, parents’ behaviors were coded for the extent to which they used positive guidance, which included praise, affection, and encouragement, and negative control, which included scolding, restricting, and directing the child. Children’s use of three strategies in situations requiring emotion regulation (e.g., delay), were coded: orienting to the task, distraction, and aggression. In a study of 24-month-olds, mothers who engaged in more negative control had children who spent more time orienting to the focal object, used less distraction, and had lower levels of vagal suppression, a physiological index of emotion regulation. Maternal styles were not correlated with children’s level of reactivity (i.e., distress) to the situations—only the strategies children used to modulate emotion. Because reactivity likely has a strong temperamental component (Calkins and Johnson, 1998), it is less likely to be subject to socialization styles. Rather, the modulation of emotion, as indexed by emotion regulation strategies, is the component of emotion regulation that is more amenable to and vulnerable to parental styles. In a study of 18-month-olds, positive guidance was associated with greater use of distraction and constructive coping in emotion-inducing situations. Furthermore, an additional maternal variable, preemptive interference, defined as mothers’ actions that precluded the child from doing an activity herself or himself, was associated with more use of anger as a regulatory strategy. Mathis and Bierman (2015) coded mothers interacting with their prekindergarten children for warmth/sensitivity and directive/critical behavior. Emotion regulation was rated by the teacher and attentional control by both the teacher and through a number of laboratory tasks. Mothers’ more directive and critical interacting was associated with children’s lower attention control and emotion regulation. By contrast, there were no effects of mothers’ warmth/sensitivity. This study highlights the specific role of autonomy support in helping to build children’s use of successful emotion regulation strategies. 51

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Cui, Morris, Criss, Houltberg, and Silk (2014) had adolescents report on their parents’ psychological control (i.e., their use of parenting that is emotionally manipulative and coercive through the use of such tactics as love withdrawal and guilt induction). Adolescents also reported on their abilities to regulate anger (e.g., “I can stop myself from losing my temper”) and sadness (e.g., “I stay calm and don’t let sad things get to me”). Higher levels of psychological control were associated with lower anger regulation, although there were no relations for regulation of sadness. In addition, anger regulation mediated relations between psychological control and adolescents’ depressive symptoms. Several studies have specifically examined parents’ autonomy supportive versus controlling behavior in regard to the regulation of emotion per se. Grolnick, Kurowski, McMenamy, Rivkin, and Bridges (1998) examined the ways mothers helped their children regulate mild distress. Twelve-, 18-, 24-, and 32-month-olds waited to obtain a present or eat some goldfish crackers. In one of these situations (parent-active), the mother was allowed to be active in helping her child. In the other (parent-passive), she was asked to refrain from initiating interaction with her child (although she could respond). Of interest were relations between the ways mothers interacted with their children in the parent-active situation and the children’s abilities to modulate distress on their own in the parent-passive situation. Six strategies used by the mother were coded: active engagement, redirecting attention, reassurance, following the child, physical comfort, and focus on the desired object. In addition, the authors coded whether the strategy was mother-initiated, child-initiated, or ongoing from a previous episode. Mothers who used more ongoing active engagement in the parent-active situation had children who were more distressed in the parent-passive situation (controlling for distress in the parent-active situation). This finding did not occur for mother-initiated active engagement, indicating that it is not mothers’ responses per se (which tend to be reactions to child distress), but the maintenance of activity despite decreases in distress that appears to undermine children’s active self-regulation. Thus, mothers who take responsibility for regulating children’s distress above and beyond what is called for by their distress levels appear to undermine children’s abilities to regulate emotions on their own. A similar result was found with fear as the emotion to be regulated. Nachmias, Gunnar, Mangelsdorf, Parritz, and Buss (1996) examined the strategies that mothers used to help their wary children deal with a mildly fear-inducing stimulus. Mothers who forced their children to focus on a novel event had children with higher postsession cortisol levels, indicating less effective regulation and possible interference with the children’s own attempts to regulate proximity and contact with the arousing stimulus. With older children, Gottman, Katz, and Hooven (1996) showed that parents who dismiss negative emotions have children who have difficulty managing emotions on their own. Children of parents who are aware of their children’s emotions and support their expression themselves show more well-regulated physiological reactions. These authors also described parents’ beliefs and thoughts about their own and their children’s emotions as their “meta-emotion philosophy” (Gottman, Katz, and Hooven, 1997). Two philosophies have been identified. Parents who have an emotion-coaching philosophy are aware of their own and their children’s emotions. They see emotional expressions as opportunities for teaching and attempt to assist their children with emotions of anger and sadness, much like an emotion coach. By contrast, parents who subscribe to an emotion-dismissing philosophy deny and ignore emotions in themselves and their children. They try to get rid of emotions and convey to their children that emotions are not important and will not last. They view their job as trying to change and minimize emotions. Gottman et al. (1997) demonstrated that children from homes with an emotion-coaching philosophy were better regulated physiologically and had a greater ability to focus attention and better social skills than those from homes with an emotion-dismissing philosophy. Similarly, Eisenberg et al. (1999) examined parents’ reactions to children’s negative emotion. Parents who were more punitive and minimizing of emotion had children who, in the short term, decreased in emotion expression but in the long term showed more externalizing negative emotion (parent 52

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ratings of children overreacting when angry, being hostile, and irritable). In this study, Eisenberg was also able to identify bidirectional patterns in which externalizing negative emotion predicted parental reports of more punitive negative reactions. Roberts (1999) examined parents’ childrearing practices, children’s competence in preschool, and parents’ emotional socialization practices. Parents’ comforting and nonpunitive reactions to emotional distress were related to boys’ resourceful active engagement in preschool and friendly, nonaggressive relationships with peers. There was evidence, however, that emotion control, including pressure for control of emotion expression, was also positively associated with friendly behavior with peers in the preschool. These findings held even controlling for general parenting style (e.g., authoritarian versus authoritative). Tolerant and nonpunitive responses to emotion at 4 years also predicted increases in friendliness and resourcefulness at age 7 (Roberts, 1999). Parent practices that emphasized control of emotions were uncorrelated or correlated negatively with resourcefulness at 7. These results suggest that, in the short run, there may be some positive effects of pressuring children to suppress emotion. However, in the long term, tolerant responses that help children work through their emotions facilitate adaptive self-regulated behavior. In both Eisenberg’s and Roberts’s work, one strategy parents used was to ignore or dismiss emotion. How can this strategy be categorized in terms of an autonomy support to control dimension? Some might say that this strategy allows emotion to run its course and so is not controlling. Roberts and Strayer (1987) provided another perspective. These authors suggested that parents who ignore emotion make clear their demand for control because access to the caregiver is denied at a time when approach tendencies are high. The indirect message to the child is that expression of emotions is not acceptable. As such, this strategy would be categorized as controlling of emotion. These studies show that both general parenting styles and parents’ specific responses to emotions play a role in children’s developing self-regulation. When parents allow for and assist in supporting children’s attempts to regulate their emotions without dismissing them or controlling their responses, children are more likely to develop and use strategies for regulating their emotions.

Structure As with behavior regulation, fewer studies address the role of parental structure in emotion regulation. However, work on scaffolding has addressed this issue. Hoffman, Crnic, and Baker (2006) coded 3-year-olds’ emotion dysregulation during waiting and problem-solving tasks. In addition, they coded three types of maternal scaffolding during laboratory tasks: technical scaffolding (the ability to structure tasks to children’s capabilities so they can complete them with support), motivational scaffolding (the ability to help children initially become engaged and maintain their engagement), and emotional scaffolding (the ability to make the task a positive experience). Higher levels of all three types of scaffolding when children were 3 years predicted lower levels of emotion dysregulation in children at 4 years. In addition, less effective maternal scaffolding at 3 years predicted higher levels of child behavior problems at 4 years. In summary, emotional self-regulation is facilitated by involved, responsive, and structuring parenting and by styles that tolerate and support emotional expression and allow the child opportunities to autonomously regulate emotions.

Facilitating Internalized Emotion Regulation From an SDT perspective, successful emotion regulation involves more than suppressing emotions or even being able to express them in a socially appropriate manner. Roth and his colleagues (2009) used this theory to delineate the quality and depth of processing and the regulation of emotions. These authors differentiated three emotion regulation styles: emotional integration, suppressive regulation, and dysregulation. Emotional integration involves an openness whereby the individual takes interest 53

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in her or his emotional experience and allows this experience to guide behavior. In emotional integration, the individual uses a variety of regulatory strategies with a sense of choice about whether to express or withhold emotion. Suppressive regulation involves the avoidance or minimization of emotional experience. Individuals typically feel pressure to downplay or dismiss their emotions. Finally, with dysregulated emotion regulation, the individual is overwhelmed by emotions such that they either express emotions unintentionally or experience intense emotions. Both suppressive and dysregulation of emotions are associated with maladaptive outcomes and ill-being (Gross, 2013). SDT researchers have examined parenting in relation to these styles of emotion regulation. Roth and Assor (2012) studied the relation between parents’ use of positive conditional regard (PCR) and emotion regulation styles. These authors asked college students how much their parents used PCR as well as autonomy support (i.e., acknowledging the child’s perspectives and feelings) in relation to their expression and suppression of emotions when they were growing up. They also reported on their integrated, suppressive, and dysregulated styles of emotion regulation. Higher autonomy support was associated with more integrated regulation. By contrast, PCR for expression of emotions was associated with more dysregulation, whereas PCR for suppression was associated with more suppressive regulation. In a related study with 9- to 14-year-olds, Brenning, Soenens, Van Petegem, and Vansteenkiste (2015) measured parents’ autonomy support around emotion, which they measured as parents taking an interest in the child’s emotions, accepting them, and encouraging children to explore their emotions. Autonomy support around emotion regulation was related to higher levels of integration and lower levels of suppression. Cross-lagged analyses showed that autonomy support was associated with increases in integration and decreases in suppression over a one-year period. Countering the hypothesis that these relations represent parents reacting to emotion regulation styles, cross-lagged analyses showed no evidence that emotion regulation styles predicted parenting over time. In summary, autonomy support appears to facilitate more internalized regulation of emotion, as well as the integrated experience of emotion such that it can be used to facilitate adaptive responses.

Challenges in the Study of Parenting and Children’s Self-Regulation The research cited earlier provides a rather consistent picture of the parenting characteristics associated with self-regulation in children, but the study of parenting and self-regulation holds a number of challenges. We discuss three of these next.

Specifying Directionality A key challenge for work on parenting and self-regulation is that the directionality of parenting effects cannot be definitively established. It is certainly the case that children who initiate their own behavior and who take responsibility for themselves might elicit less control from their parents and make it less likely that the parents feel the need to resort to power-assertive techniques. Furthermore, such children increase the likelihood that interactions with parents will be pleasant and satisfying, potentially increasing parents’ involvement. There is strong evidence for the child-to-parent hypothesis. Clearly, temperament plays a role in how controlling versus autonomy supportive parents are. Lee and Bates (1985), for example, found that toddlers with difficult temperaments were more resistant to maternal attempts to exert authority and their negative behavior was more likely to be met with coercive responses by their mothers. Rutter and Quinton (1984), in their four-year longitudinal study of children of mentally ill parents, showed that children who have difficult temperamental characteristics, including negative mood and low malleability, were more likely to elicit parental criticism and hostility, and Scaramella and Leve (2004) showed that children with difficult temperaments (poor self-control, high emotional reactivity) 54

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elicited more harsh parenting than those with easier temperaments. Grolnick, Weiss, McKenzie, and Wrightmen (1996) showed that mothers who saw their adolescents as more difficult were rated by observers as more controlling with them than mothers who saw their adolescents as easier. This result did not hold for fathers; fathers who perceived their adolescents as difficult tended to withdraw from interactions with them rather than becoming controlling. It is likely that this differential response is due to the greater latitude fathers have in becoming involved with their adolescents. Behavioral genetics (Ge, Conger, and Stewart, 1996; Plomin, Reiss, Hetherington, and Howe, 1994) has suggested that the level of control provided by parents is at least partially due to genetic factors. Researchers have attempted to address the issue of directionality in a number of ways. First, the concept of bidirectionality and transactional processes can be inherent in the concepts being explored. For example, Kochanska’s concept of mutually responsive orientation is a relational concept that involves the attitudes and behaviors of both parents and children. Another strategy involves the use of longitudinal data. For example, several of the studies cited in this chapter have shown longitudinal effects of parenting from infancy to toddlerhood (Bernier et al., 2010), from toddlerhood to preschool (Halligan et al., 2013), and even from preschool to high school (Bindman et al., 2015). Particularly compelling are studies that suggest that the short- and long-term consequences of parental behaviors can be at odds. For example, Roberts and Strayer’s (1987) data, reviewed in the section on emotion regulation, showed that pressure to control emotions can have a short-term consequence of greater social success but a long-term consequence of lower resourcefulness. Additional methods of demonstrating that the development of children’s self-regulation is influenced by parenting practices involves the use of statistical techniques to attempt to account for children’s behavior in understanding parents’ actions and their repercussions. For example, Grolnick, Kurowski, McMenamy, Rivkin, and Bridges (1998) controlled for children’s levels of distress in asking about parent strategies that facilitate the development of children’s self-regulation. Several researchers have used cross-lagged analyses with varying conclusions. Bridgett et al. (2009) showed that parents whose infants increased rapidly in self-regulation from 4 to 12 months showed lower levels of negative parenting at 18 months. In an older sample, Moilanen, Rasmussen, and Padilla-Walker (2014) examined 11- to 16-year-olds’ reports of parenting styles in relation to parents’ reports of children’s emotion regulation over a one-year period. Neither authoritative nor permissive styles predicted changes in self-regulation over time, but authoritarian parenting predicted decreases in emotion regulation. Furthermore, low levels of emotion regulation predicted increases in both permissive and authoritarian parenting over the year. The authors concluded that child-to-parent effects are stronger at this point in development wherein parenting styles may have had effects much earlier. Finally, Brenning et al. (2015) found that in a sample of young adolescents, maternal autonomy support predicted increases in adaptive emotion regulation. In addition, increases in emotion dysregulation predicted decreases in autonomy support. These studies suggest the complexity of possible bidirectional relations between parenting and selfregulation, which may vary as a function of child age and the parenting and self-regulation constructs examined. No doubt, the study of parenting and children’s self-regulation will require creative and tenacious approaches to address the issue of directionality.

Specifying the Roles of Mothers and Fathers Although most research in child development has focused on mothers, there is increased emphasis on the differential roles of mothers and fathers in facilitating children’s development. The researchers whose work was reviewed earlier have taken different approaches to their studies of parenting effects on children. Most studies of self-regulation included only mothers, some (e.g., Liew, Kwok, Chang, Chang, and Yeh, 2014) average results for mothers and fathers, and some use reports of “parents.” 55

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Because of the dearth of studies, conclusions on the differential roles of mothers and fathers in facilitating self-regulation cannot be made at this time. Research in the area of children’s behavior problems more generally has included fathers and gives reason to believe that it is crucial to include fathers in studies of children’s self-regulation. Research supports focusing on both quantitative and qualitative measures of fathering. On the quantitative side, children of more involved fathers have been found to display more positive affect and task orientation during problem-solving (Goldberg and Easterbrooks, 1984) and less acting-out behavior (McCabe, Clark, and Barnett, 1999). On the qualitative end, more sensitive father–child interactions have been associated with positive task behavior and better socialization skills (Goldberg and Easterbrooks, 1984; Kelley, Smith, Green, Berndt, and Rogers, 1998). More restrictive, harsh, and punitive styles in fathers have been associated with low cognitive and social development and low academic performance (Feldman and Wentzel, 1993; Kelley et al., 1998; Pettit, Bates, and Dodge, 1993). The studies of self-regulation reviewed that included mothers and fathers support the earlier findings. There are mean level differences in fathers’ levels of involvement as compared with mothers (Grolnick and Ryan, 1989), but fathers’ styles appear to be associated with outcomes in similar ways to those of mothers (Grolnick and Ryan, 1989; Pratt, Kerig, Cowan, and Cowan, 1988; Roth and Assor, 2012). Others show differences. For example, Moilanen et al. (2009) showed that there were relations between mothers’ but not fathers’ authoritarian parenting and poor emotion regulation. Furthermore, for both mothers and fathers, lower self-regulation was associated with more permissive parenting. In contrast, poor emotion regulation was associated with increased authoritarianism only in mothers. The authors concluded that because mothers tend to take on more responsibility for their children, they have more opportunities to respond to their children’s dysregulated behavior. In addition, they may be the primary disciplinarians of their children. As we work toward inclusion of fathers in all studies, the questions we ask in our research will need to become more complex. For example, do fathers make independent contributions to the development of children’s self-regulation? Do mothers and fathers play different roles in the onset versus stability of self-regulation difficulties? Does the role of fathers differ for sons and daughters? These and other questions await answers in the field of self-regulation.

Conceptualizing the Role of Parents in Cultural/Ethnic and Socioeconomic Contexts Are the patterns we described supporting the importance of autonomy support, structure, and involvement for the growth of self-regulation applicable to all cultural and socioeconomic groups? Work using SDT and other theories has begun to address this issue. Perhaps the most controversial and well-studied issue concerns the effects of the parenting dimension of autonomy support versus control. Some have argued that in cultures that value interdependence rather than individualism and/or possess hierarchical relations among individuals rather than egalitarian ones, autonomy support would be at odds with those values and not associated with positive outcomes. In contrast to this view, when autonomy is defined as being volitional rather than as independent, controlling parenting has been associated with maladjustment in the United States as well as collectivistic-oriented cultures, including China (Vansteenkiste, Zhou, Lens, and Soenens, 2005), Korea (Soenens, Park, Vansteenkiste, and Mouratidis, 2012), India, and Palestine (Barber, Stolz, and Olsen, 2005). With regard to self-regulation per se, parental autonomy support is associated with more autonomous self-regulation in Russia (Chirkov and Ryan, 2001), Belgium (Soenens and Vansteenkiste, 2005), Barbados (Griffith and Grolnick, 2014), and Ghana (Marbell and Grolnick, 2013). Although these cross-culture similarities are evident, there is also evidence for differences in the strengths of relations between autonomy support and self-regulation in various groups and cultures, as well as in the behaviors children experience as supporting autonomy. Lamborn, Dornbusch, and Steinberg (1996) found stronger relations between nondemocratic decision-making and poor 56

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adjustment in European-American adolescents than in African-American adolescents, and Wang, Pomerantz, and Chen (2007) found stronger relations between psychological control and motivation in U.S. adolescents in comparison to Chinese adolescents. With regard to the experience of specific parent behaviors, Marbell and Grolnick (2013, in press) showed that although certain types of autonomy support, in particular, perspective taking and opinion exchange, are associated with self-regulation in both the United States (an individualist culture valuing independence) and Ghana (a collectivist culture valuing interdependence), other aspects, including allowing children’s decision-making and choice, were associated with positive outcomes only in the United States. Similar questions can be asked regarding the influence of socioeconomic advantage and disadvantage on parenting and self-regulation. There is evidence that the stress associated with socioeconomic disadvantage affects parents’ ability to promote adaptive regulatory strategies in their children (Arnold, O’Leary, Wolff, and Acker, 1993). Further, children from low-socioeconomic status (SES) environments have more self-regulatory difficulties (Raver, 2004). There is evidence that sensitive and responsive parenting has similar effects on self-regulation in the context of disadvantage and high-risk populations as in low-risk populations (Landry, Smith, Miller-Loncar, Swank, 1997). However, there are some ways in which context may moderate the effects of parenting. There is some evidence that in difficult contexts the effects of facilitative and undermining parenting are magnified (Raver, 2004). For example, controlling parenting is more associated with child depression in dangerous as opposed to safer neighborhoods (Levitt, Grolnick, and Raftery-Helmer, 2018). Although complex, exploration of the ways in which parenting influences self-regulation will clearly need to consider the nuanced ways in which culture and context shape parenting and its effects. Clearly this is an area that merits future research.

Including Multimethod Assessments of Parenting and Self-Regulation The studies on parenting and self-regulation reviewed have included a variety of methods, including parent self-report, child self-report, observations of parents’ and children’s behavior, and reports of others, such as teachers. However, these methods are often used more exclusively with some age ranges than others. For example, most assessments of parenting in young children utilize observational methods, whereas most measures of parenting in older children utilize parent or child report. Further, behavior regulation (including executive functioning and emotion regulation) is often measured in young children through lab measures but more often measured by self-report for older children. It would be important for studies to cross these boundaries so that meaningful comparisons across developmental periods could be made. Furthermore, there is often a fine boundary between self-regulation measures and the outcomes that they are hypothesized to predict. For example, in some studies attention problems are measured as an aspect of self-regulation (e.g., Weis et al., 2016) and in others an outcome of it (e.g., Halligan et al., 2013). It would be important for researchers to explicate their rationales for such choices and to tease apart these constructs where possible. Finally, inclusion of multiple measures of parenting is important to elucidate the effects of particular parenting strategies. For example, Mathis and Bierman (2015) found that warm, sensitive, and directive-critical parenting was associated with emotion regulation and attention control, but only directive-critical parenting was uniquely associated with these outcomes.

Conclusions With accumulating evidence of the importance of children being able to regulate their behavior, whether indexed by their abilities to control their attention, suppress impulsive and inappropriate behavior, or modulate strong emotion, it is imperative to identify the factors that promote such 57

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capacities. However, the goals of socialization are more than simply having children comply with their parents’ wishes. Growth toward maturity requires children to take an active role in initiating and regulating their own behavior. Self-Determination Theory provides a framework for understanding how children develop toward increasingly autonomous self-regulation. This theory suggests that internalization of values, behaviors, and attitudes in the social surround is a natural and spontaneous process, part of the organism’s innate propensity toward mastery. However, the process is also subject to the facilitating or undermining effects of the social context. Three contextual dimensions—autonomy support, structure, and involvement—have been identified as key facilitators of intrinsic motivation and the internalization process. In this chapter, this three-dimensional social contextual framework was used to organize data on three issues relevant to self-regulation: behavior regulation, internalized self-regulation, and emotion regulation. In each of these areas, parenting research that corresponded to this dimensional framework was identified. Within different areas, the parenting dimensions have received different levels of attention. Within work on behavior regulation, the importance of parental sensitivity, with its roots in attachment theory, is emphasized, although other work supports the importance of both autonomy support and structure. Work on internalized self-regulation in younger children employs the concept of a mutually responsive orientation, which incorporates autonomy support and involvement within a bidirectional framework, as well as autonomy support and overall general responsiveness. With regard to internalized self-regulation in older children and adolescents, there is support for all three dimensions. Several studies emphasize that the way involvement and structure are provided, whether in an autonomy supportive or controlling manner, is crucial to its effects. Within the area of emotion regulation, parental responsiveness has been stressed. In addition, particular types of parental control that involve the manipulation of emotion, such as parental conditional regard and psychological control, have been emphasized. Clearly, the foci in these different areas are in part a function of the age range of the children being included in the research. However, it is interesting to consider whether the three dimensions have differential salience or centrality for different self-regulatory issues as well. Despite emphasizing different dimensions, there is consensus across areas of self-regulation that all three dimensions are important. In emotion regulation, the presence of a responsive parent who tailors her or his interventions to the child and actively models regulatory strategies in a nonintrusive way appears to facilitate self-regulation. Clearly, tolerating and working through, rather than dismissing, emotions is key. Work in behavior regulation, although widely divergent in focus, supports the notion that involved parents who provide rules and guidelines, who foster individuality by involving children in decisions and helping them to solve problems, tend to be higher not just on measures of compliance but also on self-regulation. This chapter focused on parenting, but it is clear that parents are not the only individuals who play a role in children’s development of self-regulation. Clearly, teachers vary in their involvement, autonomy support, and structure and are likely to have a major influence on children. Peers, of course, cannot be ignored. Piaget (1932/1977) originally hypothesized that peers, not parents, play the most significant role in children’s moral development. Research, however, gives parents an important role in helping children to deal with moral issues (Walker and Taylor, 1991). In the self-regulation literature, it is assumed that parents play the major role. However, it is likely that peers determine opportunities for self-regulation and present some of the regulatory challenges children need to negotiate. The individual and interacting roles of parents, teachers, and peers are clearly an area for future research. What are the implications of this work for professionals working with parents? Working with parents to help their children build regulatory skills through their support and conveyance of useful strategies without controlling and pressuring children’s behavior is a difficult line to walk and requires understanding the differences between involvement, autonomy support, and structure. In addition, professionals need to understand that it is not enough to help parents learn to increase child compliance. When socialization is successful, desired behaviors will not merely be undertaken in response to 58

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direct demands, but autonomously, as a result of personal endorsement of an activity, value, or belief. The development of self-regulation is a goal that necessitates different parenting strategies. Professionals in parenting and child development need to go beyond teaching about rewards and contingencies to a broader curriculum of socialization efforts that affect children’s self-regulation. Our research team has developed a preventive parenting intervention called the Parent Check-In, which teaches parents the tenets of SDT. It also provides strategies that parents can practice to facilitate their children’s selfregulation in the target areas of their choosing. A recent evaluation of a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of the program supports its effectiveness (Allen, Grolnick, and Cordova, 2017). We hope that more interventions to facilitate parenting that increases children’s self-regulation will be forthcoming.

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Wendy S. Grolnick et al. Russell, B. S., Lee, J. O., Spieker, S., and Oxford, M. L. (2016). Parenting and preschool self-regulation as predictors of social emotional competence in 1st grade. Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 30, 153–169. http:// dx.doi.org/10.1080/02568543.2016.1143414 Rutter, M., and Quinton, D. (1984). Long-term follow-up of women institutionalized in childhood: Factors promoting good functioning adult life. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 18, 225–234. Ryan, R., and Connell, J. (1989). Perceived locus of causality and internalization: Examining reasons for acting in two domains. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57(5), 749–761. Scaramella, L. V., and Leve, L. D. (2004). Clarifying parent–child reciprocities during early childhood: The early childhood coercion model. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 7, 89–107. doi: 10.1023/B:CCFP. 0000030287.13160.a3 Schaefer, E. S. (1965). 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Introduction Parents are tasked with many responsibilities in rearing their children to be competent, wellfunctioning members of society. These responsibilities include providing for children’s physical needs and protecting them from harm, as well as providing for socioemotional and cognitive needs by offering love and stimulation. One of the most important ways that parents shape their children’s behavior is through the use of proactive discipline to encourage desired behavior in the future and reactive discipline to respond to misbehavior after it occurs. This chapter focuses on parents’ use of discipline to socialize desired child behaviors. The chapter begins by situating the study of parenting and child discipline in historical context and then presents central issues in this area of research. The chapter next turns to major theories that have guided our understanding of discipline. The bulk of the chapter then reviews research on predictors of different forms of discipline, child outcomes associated with different forms of discipline, how discipline is situated within the overall climate of the parent–child relationship, and moderators and mediators of links between parental discipline and child outcomes. Then the chapter reviews practical information including interventions, laws, and policies that have attempted to alter parents’ discipline. Finally, the chapter offers suggestions for future theoretical and research directions as well as concluding comments.

Historical Considerations in the Study of Parental Discipline The study of parental discipline has a long history within the field of psychology. Early psychological writings on parental discipline stemmed from the theoretical tenets of behaviorism. For example, Watson, the father of behaviorism, provided childrearing advice that emphasized how parents should structure their children’s daily routines in ways to prevent misbehavior and to minimize punishment (Watson and Watson, 1928). Many ideas about parents’ use of rewards and punishments to shape children’s behavior likewise stem from behaviorism (e.g., Skinner, 1938). Parents’ use of different forms of discipline has been subject to scientific inquiry at least since the publication of Sears, Maccoby, and Levin’s (1957) Patterns of Childrearing. This book detailed discipline techniques used by European-American parents in the Boston area in the 1950s, including why parents used particular discipline strategies and how discipline is related to children’s behavior. Prior to this study, researchers generally hypothesized that more parental control would be associated


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with better child behavior, but the Sears et al. study demonstrated the opposite. This early research set the stage for subsequent research that has now tested relations between different types of parental discipline and different aspects of child development, using increasingly complex conceptual models, increasingly diverse samples, and increasingly sophisticated analyses that incorporate mediators and moderators of links between discipline and child outcomes.

Central Issues in Understanding Parental Discipline Distinguishing different forms of parental discipline and methodological approaches that have been used to study parental discipline are central issues in the understanding of parental discipline.

Different Forms of Parental Discipline Parental discipline can be broadly categorized as being either reactive, responding to misbehavior that has occurred already, or proactive, focusing on preventing misbehavior from occurring in the future. An overarching framework for understanding a wide range of specific forms of discipline includes three main categories of discipline (Hoffman and Saltzstein, 1967): power assertion (which involves parents’ exertion of power and authority over the child), love withdrawal (which involves parents’ manipulation of children’s negative emotions, often through expressing anger or disapproval), and inductive reasoning (which involves discussing how other people are affected by children’s behaviors). Of these three categories, inductive reasoning has been found to be the most optimal type of discipline, predicting more positive child outcomes than either power assertion or love withdrawal (Hoffman and Saltzstein, 1967). Inductive reasoning helps children to understand how their actions affect other people and provides explanations about why certain behaviors are wrong or right. Thus, inductive reasoning is proactive in trying to affect children’s future behavior rather than merely reactive in punishing children’s past misbehavior; indeed, moral development, empathy, and perspective taking are all enhanced by the use of inductive reasoning (Hoffman, 1977). Furthermore, mothers at high risk for physically abusing their children use less inductive reasoning, more verbal and physical power assertion, and evaluate power assertion as being more appropriate than do mothers at low risk for physically abusing their children (Chilamkurti and Milner, 1993). In contrast to the widely accepted benefits of discipline involving inductive reasoning, powerassertive discipline has been more controversial and encompasses a range of specific forms of discipline that may vary in effectiveness. Baumrind (2012) distinguishes between coercive and confrontive forms of power assertion. Parents use coercive discipline in a domineering and arbitrary way to establish their authority. By contrast, parents use confrontive discipline in a negotiable way to bring about particular child behaviors rather than merely establishing parental authority. Although coercive discipline is related to negative child outcomes, confrontive discipline might help children to regulate their behavior constructively. Within the overarching categories of power assertion, love withdrawal, and inductive reasoning, parents use a number of specific forms of discipline, such as removing privileges, rewarding desired behaviors, implementing time-outs, and spanking, to name a few. Monitoring children’s behavior, talking with children, using distraction, and modeling desired behaviors were the most common discipline strategies in a longitudinal study of U.S. parents’ use of ten different forms of discipline with preschoolers; corporal punishment was one of the three least common strategies with preschoolers (Socolar, Savage, and Evans, 2007), who are more likely to be corporally punished than either younger or older children (Straus and Stewart, 1999). In other countries, parents show similar patterns of use of different forms of discipline. In a study of mothers’ reports of discipline experienced by their 2- to 4-year-old children in 24 low- and middle-income countries, the most common type of discipline was explaining why something was wrong, with 80% of mothers reporting that someone had 66

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explained to their child why something was wrong in the last month (Lansford and Deater-Deckard, 2012). Across the 24 countries, 63% of mothers reported that their child had experienced corporal punishment in the last month (Lansford and Deater-Deckard, 2012). Thus, although it is reassuring that the most commonly reported form of discipline is inductive reasoning, 20% of 2- to 4-year-olds across the 24 countries did not receive explanations in the last month of why something was wrong. Furthermore, although reasoning was more common than corporal punishment, the majority of children, across countries, still experienced corporal punishment in the last month. Some types of discipline appear to be common in particular cultural groups but not others. For example, Chinese parents use a form of discipline Fung (1999) described as “shaming” to teach children right from wrong. Parents of 2- to 4-year-olds in an ethnographic study used both verbal and nonverbal interactions with their children to instill shame after misbehavior, with the goal of teaching children moral behavior and socializing them to “confess and repent” after wrongdoing (Fung, 1999, p. 201). However, in a sample of children ages 7 to 14 in China and Canada, although shaming was perceived as being more common in China, with age, children in both countries increasingly perceived shaming as being detrimental to children’s self-worth and psychological well-being (Helwig, To, Wang, Liu, and Yang, 2014). Children in China and Canada evaluated inductive reasoning more favorably than shaming or love withdrawal. Parents do not use just a single form of discipline but instead vary their responses depending on the child’s misbehavior and contextual features of the situation. In open-ended, in-depth responses to hypothetical vignettes depicting common child behavior problems, mothers in Hong Kong and Taiwan were found to consider a wide range of disciplinary responses (Fung, Li, and Lam, 2017). Mothers endorsed different forms of discipline depending on the setting in which the misbehavior occurred (at home versus in public), who was present at the time (immediate family members versus strangers versus an acquaintance), which rules or conventions were violated (safety, health, social-conventional, or moral), possible outcomes (e.g., harm to self, inappropriate behavior), and how much conflict was involved. Furthermore, depending on contextual features of the misbehavior and situation, mothers endorsed a single disciplinary strategy, simultaneous strategies with multiple forms of discipline, contingent strategies with a particular response dependent on factors related to the child or situation, or ratcheting up when the mothers’ first strategy failed so mothers reported they would be more encouraging or harsher in a subsequent attempt (Fung et al., 2017). Thus, parents use a number of types of discipline, which may depend on families’ cultural context and features of situations in which children misbehave. To summarize, effective discipline is characterized by being proactive rather than reactive, using reasoning to help children understand the effects of their actions on other people, and avoiding corporal punishment. Particular forms of discipline are more common in some countries than others, although reasoning is generally used more frequently than corporal punishment across countries. Parents do not use just one form of discipline but rely on a number of different strategies used simultaneously or sequentially.

Methods of Study of Parental Discipline Parental discipline is usually assessed via self-reports of the frequency with which parents have used particular types of discipline in the last month, 6 months, or year. Commonly used measures include the Parent–child Conflict Tactics Scale (Straus, Hamby, Finkelhor, Moore, and Runyan, 1998), the Dimensions of Discipline Inventory (Straus and Fauchier, 2011), and the Discipline Interview (Huang et al., 2012; Lansford et al., 2005). An advantage of self-report measures is that it is possible to ask about a range of low-frequency behaviors that would be difficult to witness or that are unlikely to occur during naturalistic or laboratory-based observations. A disadvantage, however, is that selfreports are subject to imperfect recall and social desirability biases, with the potential for parents to 67

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underreport behaviors they perceive as being socially undesirable or overreport behaviors they believe would be self-enhancing (Morsbach and Prinz, 2006). To overcome these limitations, social desirability biases are sometimes statistically controlled in analyses (Bornstein et al., 2015). In addition, triangulating responses from multiple respondents (mother, father, and child) can provide different perspectives on whether and how often parents have used particular kinds of discipline. As a variation on self-report measures in which parents report on their actual behavior, propensity to use particular kinds of discipline is also sometimes assessed using analog methods, such as presenting parents with images, videos, or text depicting hypothetical vignettes involving a child’s misbehavior and asking parents what they would do to respond to each situation (e.g., Russa and Rodriguez, 2010). Responses can involve either closed-ended options for parents to select or open-ended questions that are then coded into categories, such as corporal punishment, manipulation of privileges, or inductive reasoning (Bombi, Di Norcia, Di Giunta, Pastorelli, and Lansford, 2015; Pettit, Bates, and Dodge, 1997). An advantage of using hypothetical vignettes is that the type of misbehavior, setting, and other situational factors can be manipulated to examine whether parents’ reported disciplinary responses vary by these factors (Fung et al., 2017). A disadvantage of using hypothetical vignettes is that parents are not being asked whether and how often they use particular forms of discipline with their own child. More rarely, parents are observed interacting with their children, and discipline encounters during the interactions are recorded and coded. An advantage of observations is that they can be coded by objective researchers to avoid social desirability biases that can be associated with self-reports. Disadvantages of observations are that they are time consuming and expensive to conduct, and lowfrequency forms of discipline may not be observed, even if they are salient to the parent–child relationship when they do occur. In a study in which audio recorders were worn by mothers of 2- to 5-year-old children for up to six nights, instances of corporal punishment were heard in almost half of the families (Holden, Williamson, and Holland, 2014). After 73% of the instances of corporal punishment, children were misbehaving again within ten minutes. The audio-recorded instances and self-reported instances of corporal punishment corresponded in 81% of the cases. Discipline can also be studied in the context of experiments. For example, boys with conduct disorder were paired either with mothers of conduct-disordered sons or with mothers of sons without conduct disorder. These boy–mother dyads were then observed engaging in three laboratory tasks; each mother completed the tasks with her own son and with two other boys. Mothers who were interacting with boys with conduct disorder were found to behave more negatively, whereas mothers interacting with boys without conduct disorder were found to behave more positively (Anderson, Lytton, and Romney, 1986). Boys with conduct disorder were found to be more noncompliant and to elicit more negative responses from both their own and other mothers, providing evidence for the importance of child effects in shaping the kinds of discipline they experience. Other experiments demonstrate that changes in parenting predict changes in children’s aggression (Patterson, Dishion, and Chamberlain, 1993) and that parents’ management strategies can be experimentally manipulated (Webster-Stratton, 1990). Finally, intervention studies offer an additional method for studying parental discipline. For example, families who were randomized to an intervention that improved positive parenting practices reduced young children’s behavior problems, whereas children’s behavior problems did not change in the families randomized to a control group (Dishion et al., 2008). In a different intervention designed to improve outcomes for children following their parents’ divorce, mothers who were randomized to the intervention rather than control group were found to improve in their use of positive discipline strategies, which, in turn, decreased children’s externalizing behavior problems (Tein, Sandler, MacKinnon, and Wolchik, 2004). Because laboratory experiments and randomized interventions manipulate exposure to different types of experiences, both methods offer the potential for rigorous testing of links between different forms of discipline and children’s behavior. 68

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Primary methods of studying parental discipline include self-reports, analog measures such as asking parents how they would respond to hypothetical vignettes, parent–child observations, experiments, and intervention studies. Each method has benefits and drawbacks that must be weighed when determining which approach to use for any given study. Converging evidence from several methods contributes to scientific rigor and increased confidence in findings, beyond what any method could do alone.

Theory in Parental Discipline Theories relevant to understanding parental discipline take a variety of forms, including distinguishing between parenting practices and parenting styles, delineating the role of parents’ and children’s emotions in discipline situations, and describing how observing and modeling others’ behavior affects parents’ and children’s behavior. Theories related to parental discipline differentiate parenting practices and parenting styles, referring to what parents do and how they do it, respectively. Many classic parenting theories describe parenting practices and styles in relation to dimensions that are broadly construed in terms of what parents do to control children’s behavior (most relevant to discipline) and the overall emotional climate of the parent–child relationship (which can affect how children receive and respond to discipline; see Rudolph, Lansford, and Rodkin, 2017). These theories have characterized major dimensions of parenting in terms of dominance versus submission and rejection versus acceptance (Symonds, 1939), hostility versus warmth and involvement versus detachment (Baldwin, 1955), strictness versus permissiveness and warmth (Sears et al., 1957), hostility versus love and control versus autonomy (Schaefer, 1959), and hostility versus warmth and permissiveness versus restrictiveness (Becker, 1964). All of these theories emphasize that parenting involves both behavioral (e.g., control, restrictiveness, permissiveness) and emotional (e.g., warmth, acceptance, hostility, rejection) dimensions (see Darling and Steinberg, 1993). As characterized well in Baumrind’s (1967) framework, behavioral and emotional dimensions of parenting may operate somewhat independently. Baumrind’s theoretical model described three types of parents: authoritarian, authoritative, and permissive. Authoritarian parents are high on the control dimension but low on the warmth dimension. Permissive parents are low on the control dimension but high on the warmth dimension. Authoritative parents are high on both the control and warmth dimensions. However, unlike authoritarian parents who expect children to follow their directives without question, authoritative parents provide more explanations and opportunities for children to voice their opinions. Children whose parents are authoritative have been found to be more socially competent and higher achieving academically than children whose parents are authoritarian or permissive (Baumrind, 1971). Others have theorized that it is not high levels of control but rather children’s freedom to negotiate rules and communicate openly with their parents in authoritative families that contributes to children’s social and academic competence (Lewis, 1981). Maccoby and Martin’s (1983) theory of parenting built on Baumrind’s theory by conceptualizing parenting within a two-by-two matrix characterized by high versus low demandingness, control, and supervision on one axis and responsiveness, warmth, and acceptance on the other. As in Baumrind’s theory, authoritative parents were high on both dimensions, whereas authoritarian parents were high on demandingness but low on responsiveness. Whereas in Baumrind’s theory, permissive parents were characterized just by being low on demandingness (regardless of their responsiveness), in Maccoby and Martin’s theory, neglecting parents were low in both demandingness and responsiveness, but indulgent parents were low on demandingness but high on responsiveness. Baumrind (1991) subsequently revised her theory to add a rejecting-neglecting parenting style characterized by low demandingness and responsiveness and to differentiate demandingness of authoritarian parents (which is highly restrictive) versus authoritative parents (which is not highly restrictive yet still exerts firm control). 69

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Dix (1991) proposed a theoretical model of how emotions can either undermine parenting or promote sensitive, responsive parenting depending on whether emotions are too strong, too weak, or inappropriate for a given situation. This emotion-focused model of parenting describes three processes: activation, engagement, and regulation. Activation refers to which emotion is experienced, as well as when and how strongly the emotion is experienced. Engagement refers to how individuals orient to events in ways that are consistent with their emotions and affects how they respond to events cognitively, physiologically, and behaviorally. Regulation refers to how individuals express, understand, and control their emotions. Emotions in parent–child interactions often depend on whether parents’ short-term (e.g., get the child’s teeth brushed) and long-term (e.g., promote the development of morality) goals are being thwarted or advanced. Emotions in parent–child interactions are generally more positive when parents’ and children’s goals and behaviors are aligned than when they are divergent. When parents’ and children’s goals and behaviors diverge, parents can respond with cooperative strategies (e.g., reasoning, negotiating), empathic strategies (e.g., going along with children’s wishes), or forceful strategies (e.g., imposing the parent’s will through physical force). Children are more likely to resist forceful strategies because they do not take children’s perspectives and desires into account, so use of force may undermine parents’ future attempts to gain children’s compliance. According to Dix’s model, parents’ perceptions of the stability, controllability, and importance of events determine the strength of the emotion induced. If parents experience emotions too strongly, they may react too harshly or intrusively, whereas if parents do not experience emotions strongly enough, they may not engage or respond to children sufficiently. It is important for parents to be able to regulate their emotions so that they appropriately match them to parenting situations and do not display emotions that are counterproductive. Parents are most likely to respond empathically to children when parents’ own concerns induce weaker emotions than children’s concerns. Understood in this emotion-focused framework, one reason that corporal punishment and other forms of harsh discipline may be ineffective is that harsh discipline induces negative emotions in children and parents, which undermines parents’ socialization attempts. Children will be less open to parents’ socialization attempts in the face of negative emotions, and such emotions can also shift attention and processing away from the parents’ message. This focus on children’s willing compliance is also a hallmark of Grusec, Danyliuk, Kil, and O’Neill’s (2017) conceptual model of discipline, which delineates how parents can use consistency, autonomy support, perspective taking, and parental acceptance of the child in discipline situations to facilitate children’s openness to parents’ socialization attempts. Together these models suggest that parents are most successful at fostering children’s moral development when they offer explanations and reason with children about the merits of particular behaviors and when the affective context of the parent–child relationship facilitates children’s motivation to attend and respond to parents (Smetana, 1999). As in Dix’s model, emotion plays a central role in the emotional security hypothesis proposed by Davies and Cummings (1994), which incorporates two clusters of parenting problems: poor child behavior management and parental rejection. Poor child behavior management can be either because parents’ supervision and discipline are too lax or because discipline is too harsh, both of which are related to more child externalizing and internalizing problems. Parental rejection can encompass negative emotions, intrusiveness, and withdrawal, all of which are related to children’s own anger, dysphoria, withdrawal, and noncompliance. Poor child behavior management and parental rejection can both compromise children’s emotional security and capacity to regulate their own emotions and, in turn, problematic behaviors that might stem from negative emotions. Thus, in Davies and Cummings’s model, the association between parenting and child outcomes is mediated by children’s emotional security. Parental rejection also plays a central role in Rohner’s (2004) interpersonal acceptance-rejection theory, which argues that children’s adjustment is determined largely by whether children perceive their parents as being accepting or rejecting of them. The theory has been supported empirically in 70

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a large number of studies in many countries (e.g., Khaleque and Rohner, 2002; Rohner and Lansford, 2017). Consistent with the theory, corporal punishment is related to child adjustment in part through children’s perceptions of their parents’ rejection (Rohner, Kean, and Cournoyer, 1991). The link between children’s perceptions of the justness and harshness of their parents’ use of corporal punishment and children’s psychological adjustment was mediated by children’s perceptions of their parents’ rejection versus acceptance (Rohner, Bourque, and Elordi, 1996). Thus, interpersonal acceptancerejection theory emphasizes that parents’ specific discipline behaviors are related to child outcomes in part because of the messages parents’ behaviors convey about love and acceptance of the child, on the one hand, versus rejection and hostility, on the other. Coercion theory is a useful framework that helps account for the development of externalizing behavior problems (Patterson, Capaldi, and Bank, 1991). In bidirectional coercive cycles, children’s aversive behaviors, such as whining, yelling, and hitting, are reinforced by parents’ withdrawal of discipline, and parents’ ineffective discipline, such as yelling or hitting, is reinforced when children temporarily stop behaving aversively. A prototypical example would be if a child asks for candy at the store, the parent says no, the child repeats the request more forcefully, the parent says no more firmly, the child throws a temper tantrum, and the parent gives in and buys the candy to avoid a scene or the parent smacks the child so the child stops making the request. In either scenario, aversive behavior has been reinforced (the child’s temper tantrum in the former or the parent’s use of corporal punishment in the latter). Over time, these coercive cycles escalate and generalize to other contexts such as peer relationships as children learn that they can get what they want through aggressive and antisocial behaviors (Dishion, 2014). Social learning theories also help account for links between parents’ use of corporal punishment and the development of children’s aggressive behavior problems. That is, as children observe their parents using aggression to handle interpersonal problems, they may imitate and model their own behaviors on their parents’ behavior over time (Bandura, 2016). Likewise, children develop normative beliefs about aggression through their experiences in parent–child relationships (Huesmann and Guerra, 1997). If parents use corporal punishment, children are more likely to perceive aggression as a legitimate and acceptable way to treat others, and they are deprived of opportunities to learn nonviolent ways of dealing with interpersonal conflicts. Normativeness theory has been proposed as a way of accounting for how and why child behaviors associated with particular forms of discipline might differ depending on the broader cultural context in which families live (Deater-Deckard and Dodge, 1997). A hypothesis derived from normativeness theory is that if parents use a form of discipline that is accepted and common in their cultural context (i.e., normative), then it will be related to more positive (or less negative) child outcomes than if parents use a form of discipline that is not normative in their cultural context (Lansford et al., 2005). If children perceive that their parents are behaving in a way that is consistent with the way other parents are behaving, then they may be more likely to regard their parents’ discipline as being acceptable. Children’s perceptions of the fairness and reasonableness of discipline are associated with its effectiveness (Grusec and Goodnow, 1994). Children are more likely to internalize parents’ socialization messages if they believe that their parents are behaving in an appropriate way. In addition, if parents perceive that they are behaving in a normative way, they may use a given form of discipline in a more planned and consistent rather than impulsive and unregulated way, which in turn would be less likely to make children anxious and fearful (Holden, Miller, and Harris, 1999; Straus and Mouradian, 1998). However, a caveat exists suggesting that an extreme position on cultural relativism should not be adopted. For example, in societies where corporal punishment is more normative, other forms of violence and aggression are also more normative (Lansford and Dodge, 2008). This suggests that even if at an individual level, corporal punishment is not as strongly related to worse child outcomes in societies in which it is normative as in which it is non-normative, at a societal level, corporal punishment is related to higher levels of aggression in the population as a whole (Lansford and Dodge, 2008). 71

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To summarize, theories relevant to understanding parental discipline often incorporate elements of parenting practices (what parents do in discipline situations) as well as parenting styles (the overall emotional climate of the parent–child relationship); parenting styles can affect how children interpret parents’ behaviors. Parenting practices often correspond to the control dimension and parenting styles to the warmth dimension of classic parenting theories. Many theoretical models give prominent placement to the role of parents’ and children’s emotions. Social learning frameworks and normativeness theory emphasize how observing others’ behavior affects what one perceives as being acceptable and desirable for one’s own behavior.

Classical and Modern Research in Parental Discipline This section provides an overview of classical and modern research in parental discipline by reviewing predictors of different forms of discipline, consequences of different forms of discipline, how discipline is situated in the broader context of parent–child relationships, and moderators and mediators of links between parental discipline and child outcomes.

Predictors of Discipline Parents’ use of particular forms of discipline is predicted by a range of individual- and communitylevel factors, such as family stress (Whipple and Webster-Stratton, 1991), poverty (Knutson, DeGarmo, Koeppl, and Reid, 2005), and parents’ negative attributions regarding children’s behaviors (Berlin, Dodge, and Reznick, 2013). In a longitudinal study of parents in nine countries, variance in parents’ use of corporal punishment was predicted by both individual-level (e.g., child externalizing behaviors) and community-level (e.g., norms about corporal punishment) factors (Lansford et al., 2015). Likewise, other forms of parental discipline also are predicted by both individual- and community-level factors. Individual characteristics of both children and parents predict the forms of discipline that parents use. Overall, parents are more likely to use a wide range of types of discipline as well as harsher forms of discipline with children who have characteristics that make their behavior more difficult to control (Larzelere, 2000). For instance, compared to children whose behaviors are easier to manage, children who have problems with conduct (Lytton, 1990), attention (Alizadeh, Applequist, and Coolidge, 2007), and noncompliance (Patterson, 2002) are more likely to experience harsh discipline. Likewise, children who have high levels of negative emotionality and irritable temperaments are less likely to comply with parents’ socialization efforts and more likely to elicit parents’ hostile and inconsistent discipline (Bates, Schermerhorn, and Petersen, 2014). Reciprocal, bidirectional, and transactional processes unfold over time so that children with these difficult characteristics elicit harsher discipline, such as corporal punishment, but harsher discipline also increases children’s risk for subsequent externalizing behavior problems (Lansford et al., 2011; Patterson, 1982). Specific types of child misbehavior also have been found to elicit different types of discipline. For example, children’s antisocial behaviors tend to elicit punishment, whereas failures to act prosocially tend to elicit other-oriented inductive reasoning (Grusec and Kuczynski, 1980). Other child characteristics in addition to behavior problems can increase the likelihood that parents will use harsh discipline. One mechanism that can account for this pattern is that characteristics of children that are challenging and salient evoke parental distress, which then leads to frustrated, angry, reactive discipline (Deater-Deckard, 2004). Consistent with this perspective, parents use harsher discipline with children who have disabilities than children without disabilities (for reviews, see Stalker and McArthur, 2012; Westcott and Jones, 1999; but for caveats see Leeb, Bitsko, Merrick, and Armour, 2012). Parents of children with disabilities may experience high levels of stress because of additional time and energy they must expend to manage the disability as well as stigma related to the disability 72

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(Deater-Deckard, 2004; Whittingham, Wee, Sanders, and Boyd, 2011). Parents of children with disabilities also may be more likely to react impulsively with corporal punishment rather than more deliberative forms of discipline if they are less confident in themselves as parents (Alizadeh et al., 2007; Jones and Prinz, 2005). Particularly if children’s disabilities involve communication difficulties, parents may be more likely to use corporal punishment if they do not feel able to communicate with the child verbally using explanations and reasoning (Knutson, Johnson, and Sullivan, 2004). However, children with all kinds of disabilities (not just those involving communication difficulties) have been found to be at greater risk for corporal punishment and less likely to experience only nonviolent discipline (Hendricks, Lansford, Deater-Deckard, and Bornstein, 2014). Focus group discussions with parents of children with disabilities suggest that extra time related to taking children to medical and therapy appointments, extra tasks related to managing the child’s disability, being in the spotlight when the disability draws attention, trouble distinguishing between behaviors that the child can and cannot control, and difficulty determining what behaviors are appropriate for their child given that standards for typically developing children may not apply (see also Weisleder, 2011) all increased parents’ stress and likelihood of using harsh discipline (Whittingham et al., 2011). Parents’ stress increases their use of harsh and inconsistent discipline through physiological, emotional, and cognitive mechanisms (Deater-Deckard, 2004). Physiologically, high levels of stress affect brain structure and function in ways that impair psychological functioning (see Lupien, McEwen, Gunnar, and Heim, 2009, for a review). High levels of stress also increase parents’ negative emotions such as anxiety and anger, as well as decrease parents’ capacity for regulating their emotions (DeaterDeckard, 2004). Cognitively, high levels of stress contribute to hostile attribution biases and other deficits in processing social information (Pinderhughes, Dodge, Zelli, Bates, and Pettit, 2000). In turn, physiological arousal, negative emotionality and dysregulation, and cognitive biases all decrease parents’ ability to discipline consistently and effectively. Unlike parents of children with externalizing problems or with disabilities, parents of children with internalizing problems, such as anxiety and depression, are less likely to use corporal punishment (Grogan-Kaylor and Otis, 2007), although parents’ use of corporal punishment predicts the subsequent development of internalizing problems (Gershoff, 2002; Lansford et al., 2014). Parents are likely responding in part to how they perceive their children as receiving different forms of discipline. As corporal punishment and other forms of discipline high in power assertion have been found to jeopardize the internalization of parents’ socialization attempts for children who are anxious and fearful (Kochanska, Aksan, and Joy, 2007), parents may respond by reducing their use of harsh discipline with such children. Parents’ characteristics, in addition to child characteristics, also predict parents’ use of different forms of discipline. For example, lower-SES parents are more likely to use corporal punishment and less likely to use inductive reasoning than higher-SES parents (Ryan, Kalil, Ziol-Guest, and Padilla, 2016). Parents who themselves experienced corporal punishment as children are more likely to use corporal punishment with their own children (Wang, Xing, and Zhao, 2014). Parents who hold social-cognitive biases that favor aggression, including making hostile attributions in ambiguous situations and positively evaluating aggressive responses, are more likely to use corporal punishment than are parents without these biases (Lansford et al., 2014; Milner, 2000). Parents who have an external locus of control and believe their child is responsible for parent–child interactions are more likely to have a harsh, angry disciplinary style compared to parents who believe they are responsible for parent– child interactions (Rodriguez, 2010). Some predictors of parental discipline are not related to individual child or parent characteristics but rather community-level factors. One of the most important of these factors involves community norms and expectations about advisable forms of discipline. In nationally representative samples of parents of 2- to 4-year-old children in 24 low- and middle-income countries, country of residence accounted for 27% to 38% of the variance in whether parents reported believing it was necessary 73

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to use corporal punishment to rear a child properly, 11% to 18% of the variance in whether parents reported using severe forms of corporal punishment (hitting on the head or beating with an implement), and 11% to 18% of the variance in parents’ reports of nonviolent forms of discipline, such as offering explanations or giving the child something else to do (Lansford and Deater-Deckard, 2012). To illustrate this range, 93% of parents in Syria reported believing it was necessary to use corporal punishment to rear a child properly in contrast to only 4% of parents in Albania. Forty percent of parents in Mongolia and Yemen reported that their child had experienced severe forms of corporal punishment in the last month compared to only 1% in Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine. No parents in Mongolia reported that their child experienced only nonviolent discipline in the last month, whereas 49% of parents in Albania did so. Country-wide differences in attitudes about and use of particular forms of discipline can be attributed in part to national laws and policies regarding childrearing. For example, as of October 2018, 54 countries had outlawed all forms of corporal punishment (Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children, 2018). In some countries, attitudes about the acceptability of corporal punishment began declining even before the legal ban and then continued to decline after the ban (e.g., in Sweden, which was the first country to outlaw corporal punishment, see Durrant, 1999), but in other countries, legal bans have been passed with the goal of changing parents’ attitudes as well as behaviors (see Zolotor and Puzia, 2010). Some cultural groups are more tolerant or even encouraging of different forms of violence than others (e.g., Nisbett and Cohen, 1996). For example, cultural groups with higher levels of warfare, aggression between adults, and socialization of aggression in children are also characterized by harsher and more frequent corporal punishment than cultural groups with less endorsement of violence at a societal level (Lansford and Dodge, 2008). Thus, community-level factors can shape parental discipline. To summarize, both individual-level and community-level factors predict parents’ use of different types of discipline. At an individual level, harsher forms of discipline are predicted both by characteristics of children, such as conduct problems or disabilities, that make them more difficult to parent and by characteristics of parents, such as low levels of education or stressful life events, that leave them with fewer material or psychological resources to cope with difficult child behavior. At a community level, cultural norms regarding the appropriateness of particular forms of discipline as well as laws and policies shape how individual parents respond to their children’s misbehavior.

Consequences of Discipline Specific forms of discipline are generally related to a diverse set of child outcomes. For example, reviews and meta-analyses have demonstrated that corporal punishment predicts more child externalizing problems, internalizing problems, and academic difficulties as well as poorer relationships with parents, internalization of values, and moral development (e.g., Gershoff and Grogan-Kaylor, 2016). Regardless of how corporal punishment was operationalized, a rigorous meta-analysis found that 94% of effect sizes showed detrimental child outcomes associated with corporal punishment (Gershoff, 2002). Features of study designs did not moderate the links between corporal punishment and poorer child outcomes (Gershoff and Grogan-Kaylor, 2016). Likewise, the severity of corporal punishment and parents’ perceptions of its justness have not been found to moderate links between parents’ use of corporal punishment and children’s subsequent externalizing behaviors (Alampay et al., 2017). That is, more child externalizing behaviors are longitudinally predicted by more frequent corporal punishment, even if parents believe themselves to be justified in their use of corporal punishment and do not perceive it as being too severe. More research has focused on consequences of corporal punishment than other forms of discipline. However, research suggests that other forms of discipline, such as inductive reasoning, are related to positive child outcomes in many domains rather than a mixture of positive and negative outcomes. 74

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In a meta-analysis of how preschoolers’ self-regulation is related to different types of parenting, better child self-regulation was related to positive control (which included features of inductive reasoning, such as teaching, encouraging, and guiding the child) and to less negative control (which included power assertion; Karreman, van Tuijl, van Aken, and Deković, 2006). Other-oriented induction is especially important for promoting moral and prosocial behavior (e.g., Krevans and Gibbs, 1996). Adolescents’ perceptions of their mothers’ love withdrawal and power assertion are unrelated to adolescents’ moral identity (operationalized as adolescents’ ascribing moral qualities, such as kindness and fairness to themselves, more than nonmoral qualities, such as athleticism and intelligence), but mothers’ use of induction predicts higher moral identity (Patrick and Gibbs, 2012). Adolescents responded with more guilt as well as positive emotions to inductive discipline than to love withdrawal or power assertion and also regarded induction, including focusing on harm caused to other people and disappointment in expectations, as being a more appropriate form of discipline (Patrick and Gibbs, 2012). Across a number of outcomes, corporal punishment is related to more problematic child behaviors, emotions, and relationships, whereas inductive reasoning is related to more adaptive child behaviors, emotions, and relationships. One explanation for these consistent patterns of findings across several outcomes is that corporal punishment causes pain and models an aggressive response to an interpersonal conflict. By contrast, inductive reasoning increases empathy and prosocial behavior by focusing on how a child’s behavior affects other people.

Overall Parent–Child Relationship Climate Consistent with the idea from theoretical models that parenting practices and parenting styles are distinct, parental discipline (as a parenting practice) is situated in the overall context of the parent–child relationship, which may be shaped by a particular parenting style. The overall climate of the parent– child relationship affects how receptive children are to parents’ attempts to socialize them through particular forms of discipline (Grusec and Goodnow, 1994). If the overall parent–child relationship is warm and loving rather than hostile or neglectful, children will be more motivated to obey their parents, making discipline attempts easier and more effective. The overall parent–child relationship context may therefore moderate links between specific discipline attempts and child outcomes (e.g., Fletcher, Walls, Cook, Madison, and Bridges, 2008). For example, for children who were securely attached to their parents at 15 months, there was no association between parents’ later power assertion and the development of children’s antisocial behavior and resentful opposition between 25 and 67 months, links that were significant only for children who were insecurely attached at 15 months (Kochanska, Barry, Stellern, and O’Bleness, 2009). The question of whether links between corporal punishment and negative child outcomes are attenuated in the context of a generally positive parent–child relationship has been controversial and yielded mixed research findings. Some studies have shown that corporal punishment is unrelated to negative child outcomes if the parent–child relationship is generally warm and loving (McLoyd and Smith, 2002). Others have shown that even if the parent–child relationship is generally warm and loving, corporal punishment is still related to negative child outcomes (Stacks, Oshio, Gerard, and Roe, 2009). Still other studies have suggested that corporal punishment has even more negative effects in the context of a generally warm parent–child relationship (Lansford et al., 2014), perhaps because children have a difficult time resolving discrepancies in parents’ behaviors and feel uncertain from moment to moment about how parents will treat them. Parental discipline encompasses specific behaviors, but these behaviors are situated within the overall climate of the parent–child relationship. There is evidence that parent–child relationships that are loving and supportive are more conducive to the internalization of messages parents try to convey 75

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in their discipline responses. However, corporal punishment may have detrimental effects even in the context of generally warm parent–child relationships.

Main Effects and Moderators of Links Between Parental Discipline and Child Behavior Child gender, parent gender, child age, temperament, and culture or country have been examined both as main effect predictors of different forms of parental discipline and as potential moderators of links between parental discipline and children’s adjustment. Each will be considered in turn.

Child Gender The most consistent main effect of child gender on parental discipline reported in the literature is that sons are more likely to be disciplined with corporal punishment and harsh verbal responses than are daughters, but the effects are generally small and often inconsistent, with many studies reporting no gender differences (Jansen et al., 2012; Lytton and Romney, 1991; MacKenzie, Nicklas, BrooksGunn, and Waldfogel, 2011). Using nationally representative samples of families with 2- to 4-yearold children in 32 low- and middle-income countries, girls were found to experience less corporal punishment than boys, but the effect sizes were so small as to be trivial (Deater-Deckard and Lansford, 2016). Taken together, there is more evidence for similarities than differences in sons’ and daughters’ discipline by parents. Even if parents discipline sons and daughters in similar ways, gender might moderate links between parental discipline and child outcomes. In a meta-analysis, links between parents’ use of corporal punishment and children’s externalizing behavior outcomes were stronger if the sample included more boys than girls (Gershoff, 2002). One possibility is that boys who experience corporal punishment develop aggressive and antisocial behaviors, whereas girls who are corporally punished are more likely to develop internalizing problems, such as anxiety and depression (Gershoff, 2002). There is little evidence in the literature regarding whether child gender moderates links between parents’ use of other forms of discipline and children’s outcomes.

Parent Gender Studies that have examined the main effects of parents’ gender on their use of different forms of discipline generally find no differences between discipline used by mothers and fathers (e.g., Feldman and Klein, 2003) or that mothers use more of all types of discipline than do fathers (e.g., HallersHaalboom et al., 2016). In a study of mothers and fathers of 8-year-olds in nine countries, mothers reported using corporal punishment more frequently than fathers in seven of the countries (Lansford, Alampay, et al., 2010). In the other two countries (Sweden, where corporal punishment has been illegal since 1979, and Thailand), corporal punishment was used by very few mothers or fathers. Mothers, compared to fathers in the same families, also have been found to manage their children’s behaviors using more noncoercive verbal strategies (Volling, Blandon, and Gorvine, 2006). Compared to fathers, mothers may more frequently witness children’s misbehaviors and therefore be in a better position to respond to them because, on average, mothers spend more time with children than fathers do (Huerta et al., 2013). Child outcomes may depend not only on discipline they experience from each parent independently but also on the combination of discipline they experience from both parents (and other caregivers) jointly. In a study of “dyadic concordance types,” operationalized as whether corporal punishment was used by neither parent, just the mother, just the father, or both parents, adults reported engaging in more antisocial behavior if they recalled experiencing corporal punishment from both parents when 76

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they were children than if they recalled experiencing corporal punishment from just one parent or neither parent (Rebellon and Straus, 2017). These findings were consistent in Belgium, Canada, China, Greece, Italy, Poland, Russia, Scotland, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, and the United States and after controlling for retrospective reports of childhood misbehavior. Better emotional adjustment during adolescence also has been linked with having at least one authoritative parent rather than two authoritarian parents (McKinney and Renk, 2008). Thus, there is some evidence that mothers and fathers can buffer their children from adverse effects of some forms of discipline administered by the other parent and that children are especially at risk if both parents use detrimental forms of discipline.

Child Age Adaptive parenting requires tailoring discipline strategies to children’s age and developmental status. For toddlers and preschoolers, appropriate discipline may involve simply distracting children or giving them something different to do to redirect their attention away from misbehaviors, but as children develop cognitively and can understand more complex reasoning and explanations, parents’ discipline approaches will be more adaptive if they change to rely more on reasoning to manage children’s behaviors (Collins, Madsen, and Susman-Stillman, 2002). As children develop, parents also change their approach to discipline to appeal more to children’s sense of humor, guilt, and responsibility because parents perceive that older children are better able to control their own behavior and that, therefore, misbehaviors are more likely deliberate (Collins et al., 2002). Parents’ use of corporal punishment also declines as children grow older (Straus and Stewart, 1999). As children develop, they also come to regard parents’ authority as being less tied to their capacity to administer punishments and rewards and more tied to parents’ knowledge and skills, which increases the importance of inductive reasoning (Braine, Pomerantz, Lorber, and Krantz, 1991; Maccoby, 1984). Compared to 4-year-olds, 6-year-olds were less likely to say that they would adhere to social conventions because authority figures prohibited particular behaviors or to avoid punishments and more likely to refer to reasons that involved the accepted nature of the social conventions (Yau and Smetana, 2003). However, regardless of how authority figures responded, both ages thought moral transgressions were more serious than violations of social conventions, suggesting that the nature of the transgression is also important to understanding children’s perceptions of what parents’ disciplinary response should be (Padilla-Walker, 2008). The ultimate goal of parental discipline is to teach children how to behave in desired ways even in the absence of rewards and punishments, so having children internalize their parents’ socialization messages is important so that as children develop, they will behave because of an internalized set of values and standards rather than just in the presence of an authority figure to obtain rewards or avoid punishments. In a meta-analysis that tested age as a moderator of the association between parents’ use of corporal punishment and children’s externalizing behaviors, the association was stronger when the sample was 10 to 12 years of age than when the sample was younger or older (Gershoff, 2002). In explaining this curvilinear relation, Gershoff (2002) hypothesized that child effects may play a role because aggressive 10- to 12-year-olds elicit more corporal punishment than younger children do because parents believe that older children should be able to control their behavior and react more harshly when these expectations are not met. Furthermore, she hypothesized that the association may have been weaker for the adolescents older than age 12 because corporal punishment is rarely used with this older age group and that aggressive and antisocial behaviors for older adolescents may be more influenced by peers (Gershoff, 2002).

Temperament Children with more difficult temperaments elicit harsher and more inconsistent discipline from their parents, and harsh and inconsistent discipline increases children’s fearfulness, irritability, and negative 77

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emotionality (Lengua and Kovacs, 2005). Not only does temperament have main effects on the types of discipline parents use, temperament also moderates the way that particular forms of discipline are related to child outcomes. For example, for temperamentally fearful and anxious toddlers, socialization messages are internalized better when mothers deemphasize power and use gentle forms of discipline (Kochanska, 1995). For more temperamentally fearless toddlers, however, minimizing anxiety is less of a concern, but socialization messages were better internalized when toddlers are securely attached and mothers use this cooperative relationship as the basis of their discipline (Kochanska, 1995). Temperamental resistance to control also moderates the relation between parents’ restrictive control and children’s later externalizing behaviors, with more restrictive control predicting fewer child externalizing behaviors for children who are high but not low in resistance to control (Bates, Pettit, Dodge, and Ridge, 1998). It is possible that restrictive control gives children at risk for externalizing problems fewer opportunities to engage in such behaviors (Bates et al., 1998).

Culture or Country Different cultural groups and countries demonstrate large differences in parents’ use of different forms of discipline and beliefs in the appropriateness of different forms of discipline (Lansford and Deater-Deckard, 2012). As described earlier, country of residence predicts a large proportion of the variance in parents’ use of different forms of discipline (Lansford and Deater-Deckard, 2012), in part because of differences in laws and policies (Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children, 2018). For example, corporal punishment in Finland was outlawed in 1983. Data from a representative sample of Finnish 15- to 80-year-olds demonstrated that corporal punishment was not decreasing in the 39 years prior to the legal ban, but children born after the legal ban were significantly less likely to have been corporally punished than children born before the legal ban, suggesting a turning point that could be attributed to the change in the law (Österman, Björkqvist, and Wahlbeck, 2014). However, even in some countries that have legally banned corporal punishment, large proportions of children continue to experience corporal punishment (Lansford et al., 2017). For example, three years after Togo outlawed corporal punishment, 77% of mothers reported that their child had experienced corporal punishment in the last month; eight years after Ukraine outlawed corporal punishment, 32% of mothers still reported that their child had experienced corporal punishment in the last month (Lansford et al., 2017). An analysis of five countries in Europe (Austria, France, Germany, Spain, and Sweden) that have varied in terms of their implementation of legal bans and parent education programs regarding the detriments of corporal punishment and benefits of using alternative forms of discipline showed that countries with the lowest rates of corporal punishment were those that had legally outlawed it as well as launched educational campaigns (Bussmann, Erthal, and Schroth, 2011). Most studies of whether cultural group moderates the link between corporal punishment and child outcomes have been conducted with different ethnic groups in the United States, but these links have now been tested in several countries as well. In a study of mother–child dyads in China, India, Italy, Kenya, the Philippines, and Thailand, the association between corporal punishment and child aggression and anxiety was weaker in countries in which corporal punishment was more normative, but more frequent corporal punishment was related to more child aggression and anxiety in all six countries (Lansford et al., 2005). In these same six countries, mothers’ expressions of disappointment and yelling were also related to more child aggression, and expressions of disappointment, time-outs, and shaming were related to more child anxiety; children’s perceptions of the normativeness of these forms of discipline moderated some of the associations between that type of discipline and child aggression and anxiety (Gershoff et al., 2010). A meta-analysis of links between corporal punishment and 17 child outcomes revealed that effect sizes did not differ by the country in which the study was conducted (Gershoff and Grogan-Kaylor, 2016). 78

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Cultural differences in discipline may arise not only in frequency of using particular strategies and links between certain forms of discipline and child outcomes. Differences across cultures exist both in parents’ perceptions of what are desired and undesired behaviors and in broader contexts that support desired behaviors. For example, in some societies, children have the opportunity to engage in prosocial behavior in the course of their everyday lives as they care for younger siblings or do chores that benefit the whole family (de Guzman, Edwards, and Carlo, 2005). In these contexts, prosocial behavior is often promoted implicitly as children take care of other family members’ needs rather than through more abstract inductive reasoning. However, if children have few chances to behave prosocially by directly contributing to the welfare of other people, parents may use inductive reasoning to try to socialize children to behave prosocially (Hastings, Utendale, and Sullivan, 2007). To summarize, a number of factors have been examined both in terms of main effects they may have on parents’ use of different types of discipline and in terms of ways in which they might moderate links between parents’ discipline and children’s adjustment. Child gender, parent gender, child age, temperament, and culture or country are among these factors. When main effects are found, boys generally experience more corporal punishment than girls, mothers use more of a variety of forms of discipline than do fathers, use of reasoning increases and use of corporal punishment decreases with child age, children with more difficult temperaments experience harsher forms of discipline than children with easier temperaments, and use of corporal punishment is more frequent in countries without legal prohibitions and with cultural norms that are accepting of its use. A number of moderation effects have been found, suggesting the importance of taking into account gender, age, temperament, and cultural contexts in understanding links between different types of discipline and children’s adjustment.

Mediators of Links Between Parental Discipline and Child Behavior Links between parental discipline and child behavior are often indirect or mediated by cognitive and emotional pathways involving the ways children perceive and respond to other people. For example, corporal punishment is related to the development of children’s social information processing biases and deficits, which in turn predict aggressive behavior (Weiss, Dodge, Bates, and Pettit, 1992). Corporal punishment increases the likelihood that children will believe that others acted with hostile intent, even in benign or ambiguous social situations; children who make hostile attributions are then more likely to respond aggressively (Dodge and Coie, 1987). Children who have experienced corporal punishment are also more likely to access aggression as a possible way to respond in a given social situation and to evaluate aggression more positively (Weiss et al., 1992). Links between different forms of discipline and child outcomes also are mediated by children’s perceptions of their parents and the parent–child relationship. For example, in a low-income U.S. sample, the link between corporal punishment and children’s psychological maladjustment was mediated by children’s perceptions of their parents as rejecting them (Rohner et al., 1996). In a sample from China, India, the Philippines, and Thailand, the links between corporal punishment and harsh verbal discipline and children’s anxiety and aggression were mediated by children’s perceptions of their mothers’ hostility (Lansford, Malone, et al., 2010). Thus, it may not be simply that some forms of discipline have direct effects on children’s behavioral and psychological adjustment, but that the way that discipline affects children’s development operates through information that discipline conveys to children about how their parents feel about them. In contrast to corporal punishment, which is linked to hostile attributions, positive evaluations of aggression, and perceptions of parents as being hostile and rejecting, inductive reasoning is linked to empathy, as it promotes taking other people’s perspectives and trying to understand the effects of one’s actions on others. The development of children’s empathy mediates the association between inductive reasoning and children’s prosocial behavior (Krevans and Gibbs, 1996). Experiencing power-assertive 79

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discipline during childhood, however, is related to less empathy in childhood as well as adulthood (Lopez, Bonenberger, and Schneider, 2001). The development of conscience also mediates the link between parents’ discipline and child outcomes, particularly with respect to moral behavior (Kochanska, 1993). Parents’ discipline can shape the extent to which children feel guilt and anxiety associated with misbehaving, as well as children’s capacity to inhibit prohibited behavior and behave prosocially (Kochanska, 1993). The development of children’s conscience is associated with their mothers’ references to emotions rather than rules or consequences in conflict episodes (Laible and Thompson, 2002). When preschoolers are securely attached to their mothers, discussions of situations in which children have misbehaved or behaved well are more likely to refer to moral evaluations and emotions, which in turn predict conscience development (Laible and Thompson, 2000). Taken together, research on mechanisms through which parental discipline affects child outcomes suggests the importance of cognitive and socioemotional pathways. Cognitively, experiencing corporal punishment increases the likelihood of children’s social information processing biases, which in turn increase future aggressive behavior. Socioemotional pathways involve children’s perceptions of their parents’ rejection or hostility as well as the development of empathy and conscience.

Practical Information About Parental Discipline Research on parental discipline has been used to inform policies related to child protection and in interventions designed to enhance parenting, thereby improving child outcomes. The 1989 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) asserts children’s right to protection from all forms of abuse and exploitation and has been ratified by all countries except the United States. From a human rights perspective, corporal punishment is not just an inadvisable discipline strategy because it is related to worse child outcomes but is also unacceptable because using corporal punishment is disrespectful and a violation of the right to protection that all people, regardless of age, have. Periodic reviews of how well countries fare with respect to child protection have contributed to exponential growth in the number of countries that have outlawed all forms of corporal punishment (Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children, 2018). Child protection through preventing all forms of violence against children continues to be prioritized in international circles, including in Target 16.2 of the Sustainable Development Goals, which were adopted in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly to guide the international agenda through 2030 (United Nations, 2017). Despite the legal bans against corporal punishment in 54 countries as of October 2018, many countries still allow corporal punishment. For example, corporal punishment is legal in the United States, where laws try to distinguish corporal punishment from physical abuse by references to factors such as whether the act leaves bruises or marks that last more than 24 hours or results in pain but not injuries. Milder forms of corporal punishment are a risk factor for more severe forms of corporal punishment (Lansford, Wager, Bates, Pettit, and Dodge, 2012), suggesting a continuum of harsh treatment rather than a qualitative difference between corporal punishment and physical abuse (Russa and Rodriguez, 2010). The majority of parents in some countries continue to use corporal punishment (Lansford and Deater-Deckard, 2012), despite scientific evidence regarding its detrimental effects and international decrees that it is a violation of children’s rights (Gershoff, 2013). Therefore, many international intervention efforts have turned to ways to eliminate parents’ use of corporal punishment and promote parents’ use of nonpunitive forms of discipline (Britto, Ponguta, Reyes, and Karnati, 2015), in addition to legislation to outlaw corporal punishment (see Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children, 2018). In many countries, legislation evolves over time. For example, in 1979 Sweden became the first country to outlaw all forms of corporal punishment, but intermediary legal reforms occurred for 80

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decades prior to the ban (Durrant and Janson, 2005). One notable intermediary reform was the removal in 1957 of the section of the Penal Code that exempted parents from physical assault charges in disciplinary cases. When the legal ban was passed, the news was widely publicized (e.g., with announcements on milk cartons). Efforts at raising public awareness were successful, as one year after the law was passed, more than 90% of the Swedish population was aware of the ban on corporal punishment (Ziegert, 1983). Since that time, legal refinements have continued to reaffirm and extend the protection of children’s rights (Durrant and Janson, 2005). Because corporal punishment is used more frequently in cultural groups where it is perceived as being more normative and accepted, as well as by parents within a cultural group who perceive it as being more normative and accepted (Lansford et al., 2014), some interventions have attempted to reduce or eliminate parents’ use of corporal punishment by changing their beliefs about its acceptability and effectiveness (Chavis et al., 2013; Lansford and Bornstein, 2007). Changing parents’ beliefs might be important, but it is likely not sufficient because in a diverse range of countries, more parents use corporal punishment than believe that it is necessary to use corporal punishment to rear children properly, suggesting that beliefs about discipline do not align perfectly with discipline behaviors (Lansford and Deater-Deckard, 2012). An example of an intervention that has attempted to change beliefs about the necessity and appropriateness of corporal punishment addresses the “spare the rod, spoil the child” barrier to eliminating corporal punishment among conservative Protestant religious groups (Perrin, Miller-Perrin, and Song, 2017). Conservative Protestants have been found to use more corporal punishment than other religious groups (Gershoff, Miller, and Holden, 1999). An intervention that randomly assigned students at a conservative Christian university to a research-based intervention (which presented research findings about the negative effects of corporal punishment), a biblical reinterpretation intervention (which offered a progressive reinterpretation of the “spare the rod, spoil the child” biblical passages), or a no-intervention control group found the greatest reduction in endorsement of corporal punishment when students were exposed to the biblical reinterpretation plus research-based intervention (Perrin et al., 2017). This research suggests that attempts to reduce corporal punishment will benefit from attending to reasons motivating its use. Ultimately, an important goal of parenting interventions focused on parental discipline is to improve child outcomes. In describing coercive cycles in which children’s misbehavior leads to harsh disciplinary responses that then lead to worse child behavior in a series of reciprocal transactions that escalate over time, Patterson (1982) argued that training parents in how to discipline their children more effectively held the greatest potential for reducing children’s antisocial behavior. Several interventions have shown promise in improving parental discipline and child outcomes (see www.blueprintsprograms.com for a summary). Parent Management Training is an example of a program that has been found to decrease both coercive parenting and children’s antisocial behavior, using rigorous randomized controlled trials (e.g., Forgatch, Patterson, DeGarmo, and Beldavs, 2009). Parents of 3- to 16-year-olds learn about effective discipline and family management strategies, and the program can be modified to meet the needs of individual families (Forgatch, DeGarmo, and Beldavs, 2005). Similarly, the Video feedback Intervention to promote Positive Parenting and Sensitive Discipline (VIPP-SD) was demonstrated in a randomized controlled trial to improve mothers’ attitudes about and use of sensitive discipline (operationalized as using distraction, inductive reasoning, or trying to understand the child’s perspective as opposed to commands, expressions of disapproval, physical obstruction, or giving in) with 1- to 3-year-olds (Van Zeijl et al., 2006). The VIPP-SD is a fairly intensive intervention for families of children with externalizing behavior problems, involving six in-home sessions of 1.5 hours each, but less intensive interventions also have been found to be beneficial. A group of parents randomly assigned to an intervention group that read summaries of scientific findings regarding the negative effects of corporal punishment showed a decline in positive attitudes about corporal punishment; the 81

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control group’s attitudes did not change over time (Holden, Brown, Baldwin, and Croft Caderao, 2014). Other interventions focus on promoting sensitive, responsive caregiving and positive forms of discipline such as inductive reasoning (e.g., Durrant et al., 2017). For example, the Positive Discipline in Everyday Parenting Program has been adapted for use in 13 countries, providing insights into ways to decrease punitive parenting in a range of contexts: Australia, Canada, Gambia, Georgia, Guatemala, Japan, Kosovo, Mongolia, Palestine, Paraguay, Philippines, the Solomon Islands, and Venezuela. Interventions attempting to alter parents’ discipline are most effective if they target not only beliefs and attitudes but also behaviors and if they give parents opportunities for practicing what they learned with their own child in the presence of a trained facilitator who can provide feedback on parent–child interactions and offer suggestions for changes (UNICEF, 2017). To summarize, international efforts to protect children from all forms of corporal punishment have accelerated following the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The number of countries that have outlawed corporal punishment continues to grow. Ideally, legal bans are accompanied by educational campaigns to make parents aware of the legal ban and advise them about alternate, effective forms of discipline. Even in countries that have not outlawed corporal punishment, parenting interventions often attempt to help parents use more proactive and inductive forms of discipline rather than resorting to corporal punishment.

Future Directions in Research on Parental Discipline Despite the long history of theoretical models of parental discipline and empirical studies of predictors and consequences of experiencing different types of discipline, future theory and research are especially needed in three key areas: child effects, neuroscience, and gene × environment interactions. First, additional research is needed to help understand child effects in relation to parental discipline. Because children with behavior problems elicit harsher and less consistent discipline and more of all kinds of discipline than do children who are well behaved, child effects should be well accounted for in statistical analyses of relations between parental discipline and child adjustment (Larzelere, Kuhn, and Johnson, 2004). Unless ways that children affect their parents are considered, models can be misspecified and counterintuitive. For example, if inductive reasoning appears to be related to more child aggression, the likely causal direction is not from parents’ inductive reasoning to children’s aggression but rather that more aggressive children elicit more parental attempts to address the aggression through inductive reasoning by explaining how aggression hurts other people (see Larzelere et al., 2004). Future research is needed to understand transactional relations between diverse forms of parental discipline and children’s outcomes to understand what forms of discipline are most effective and for whom, after taking into account children’s propensity for problem behaviors. Second, neuroscience is a burgeoning area of research with the potential for advancing understanding of ways in which parental discipline affects child outcomes. Corporal punishment is related to cortisol production and has been demonstrated to affect the brain through the hypothalamic– pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis (Bugental, Martorell, and Barraza, 2003; Kohrt et al., 2014). Less gray matter (structural elements of the brain that are important in processing emotions and higher-level executive functions, such as making decisions) in the prefrontal cortex has been found for young adults who reported that as children they experienced corporal punishment at least one time a month and corporal punishment with an object at least one time a year compared to young adults who were not chronically corporally punished when they were children (Tomoda et al., 2009). Post-traumatic stress disorder (Bremner et al., 1997), depression (Fitzgerald, Laird, Maller, and Daskalakis, 2008), and other mental health problems (Gershoff, 2016) are affected by the area of the prefrontal cortex that also is affected by corporal punishment. Therefore, Gershoff (2016) has argued that corporal punishment is a form of toxic stress with harmful effects on brain structure and function. Future work in neuroscience offers the potential to understand other brain mechanisms that are implicated in links between parental discipline and children’s development. 82

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Third, future research on genetic factors and gene × environment interactions has the potential to contribute to knowledge regarding additional moderators of links between parental discipline and child outcomes. Studies using genetically sensitive twin designs have demonstrated that both genetic and shared environmental effects contribute to links between children’s prosocial behavior and more positive, noncoercive discipline as well as less punitive, coercive discipline (Knafo and Plomin, 2006). Meta-analyses of studies with genetically informative designs have demonstrated that parenting is shaped by parents’ genotype and environmental factors (Klahr and Burt, 2014), as well as by children’s genetically influenced behaviors (Avinun and Knafo, 2014). Specific genotypes contribute to children’s susceptibility to mothers’ positive discipline, which increases children’s compliance (Kok et al., 2013). Future genetically informative research offers the potential to disentangle the extent to which associations between parents’ impulsive, harsh discipline and children’s behavior problems can be accounted for by factors that are transmitted genetically from parent to child (manifested as parents’ aggression toward the child and children’s aggression toward peers in the two generations, respectively), as well as the extent to which genes can moderate effects of environmental experiences related to parental discipline on child outcomes. To summarize, future theoretical approaches and empirical studies will benefit from fully incorporating child effects into transactional models describing how parental discipline and children’s adjustment reciprocally influence one another over time. In addition, rapid advances in neuroimaging technology will make it possible for future research to advance understanding of how different forms of discipline are related to brain structure and function. Finally, future research on gene × environment interactions will provide an important advance in understanding how genetic factors may moderate links between the experience of particular types of discipline and children’s adjustment.

Conclusions The idea that parents can use rewards and punishments to shape children’s behavior stems from historical roots in behaviorism. Theories guiding the study of parental discipline often treat discipline as part of the “control” dimension of parenting, which is orthogonal to the “warmth” dimension; specific forms of discipline are parenting practices that are contextualized by parenting styles. The most frequently studied forms of discipline include inductive reasoning, in which parents discuss with children how their behavior affects other people, and power assertion, particularly corporal punishment. A large body of empirical work demonstrates the benefits of inductive reasoning in promoting prosocial behavior and the detriments of corporal punishment in predicting a range of problematic child outcomes. Potential moderators of links between particular forms of discipline and child outcomes include child gender, child age, temperament, and culture, but the general findings regarding the benefits of inductive reasoning and detriments of corporal punishment are robust. Mediators of links between parental discipline and child outcomes include cognitive biases and emotional insecurities that can stem from harsh discipline as well as empathy and the development of conscience that are supported through inductive reasoning. Theory and research on parental discipline are timely and important to advance scientific understanding as well as policies and practices to optimize parents’ use of nonpunitive, effective forms of discipline to protect children while socializing them to become well-functioning members of their respective societies.

Acknowledgments Lansford’s program of research on parental discipline has been funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development grant RO1-HD054805 and Fogarty International Center grant RO3-TW008141. 83

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Elucidating the etiology of individual differences in parenting: A metaanalysis of behavioral genetic research. Psychological Bulletin, 140, 544–586. Knafo, A., and Plomin, R. (2006). Parental discipline and affection and children’s prosocial behavior: Genetic and environmental links. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 90, 147–164. Knutson, J. F., DeGarmo, D., Koeppl, G., and Reid, J. B. (2005). Care neglect, supervisory neglect, and harsh parenting in the development of children’s aggression: A replication and extension. Child Maltreatment, 10, 92–107. Knutson, J. F., Johnson, C. R., and Sullivan, P. M. (2004). Disciplinary choices of mothers of deaf children and mothers of normally hearing children. Child Abuse and Neglect, 28, 925–937. Kochanska, G. (1993). Toward a synthesis of parental socialization and child temperament in early development of conscience. Child Development, 64, 325–347. Kochanska, G. (1995). 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Parenting and Child Discipline Kochanska, G., Aksan, N., and Joy, M. E. (2007). Children’s fearfulness as a moderator of parenting in early socialization: Two longitudinal studies. Developmental Psychology, 43, 222–237. Kochanska, G., Barry, R. A., Stellern, S. A., and O’Bleness, J. J. (2009). Early attachment organization moderates the parent-child mutually: Child mutually coercive pathway to children’s antisocial conduct. Child Development, 80, 1288–1300. Kohrt, B. A., Hruschka, D. J., Kohrt, H. E., Carrion, V. G., Waldman, I. D., and Worthman, C. M. (2014). Child abuse, disruptive behavior disorders, depression, and salivary cortisol levels among institutionalized and community-residing boys in Mongolia. Asia-Pacific Psychiatry, 7, 7–19. Kok, R., Bakermans-Kranenburg, M. J., van IJzendoorn, M. H., Velders, F. P., Linting, M., Jaddoe, V. W. V., . . . Tiemeier, H. (2013). 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Review of parenting programs in developing countries. New York, NY: UNICEF. Lansford, J. E., Cappa, C., Putnick, D. L., Bornstein, M. H., Deater-Deckard, K., and Bradley, R. H. (2017). Change over time in parents’ beliefs about and reported use of corporal punishment in eight countries with and without legal bans. Child Abuse and Neglect, 71, 44–55. Lansford, J. E., Chang, L., Dodge, K. A., Malone, P. S., Oburu, P., Palmérus, K., . . . Quinn, N. (2005). Physical discipline and children’s adjustment: Cultural normativeness as a moderator. Child Development, 76, 1234–1246. Lansford, J. E., Criss, M. M., Laird, R. D., Shaw, D. S., Pettit, G. S., Bates, J. E., and Dodge, K. A. (2011). Reciprocal relations between parents’ physical discipline and children’s externalizing behavior during middle childhood and adolescence. Development and Psychopathology, 23, 225–238. Lansford, J. E., and Deater-Deckard, K. (2012). Childrearing discipline and violence in developing countries. 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New York, NY: Wiley. MacKenzie, M. J., Nicklas, E., Brooks-Gunn, J., and Waldfogel, J. (2011). Who spanks infants and toddlers? Evidence from the Fragile Families and Child Well-Being Study. Children and Youth Services Review, 33, 1364–1373. McKinney, C., and Renk, K. (2008). Differential parenting between mothers and fathers: Implications for late adolescents. Journal of Family Issues, 29, 806–827. McLoyd, V. C., and Smith, J. (2002). Physical discipline and behavior problems in African American, European American and Latino children: Emotional support as a moderator. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 64, 40–53. Milner, J. S. (2000). Social information processing and child physical abuse: Theory and research. In D. J. Hansen (Ed.), Nebraska symposium on motivation, Vol. 46, 1998: Motivation and child maltreatment (pp. 39–84). Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press. Morsbach, S. K., and Prinz, R. J. (2006). Understanding and improving the validity of self-report of parenting. 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Parenting and Child Discipline Rohner, R. P., Kean, K. J., and Cournoyer, D. E. (1991). Effects of corporal punishment, perceived caretaker warmth, and cultural beliefs on the psychological adjustment of children in St. Kitts, West Indies. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 53, 681–693. Rohner, R. P., and Lansford, J. E. (2017). Deep structure of the human affectional system: Introduction to interpersonal acceptance-rejection theory. Journal of Family Theory and Review, 9, 426–440. Rudolph, K. D., Lansford, J. E., and Rodkin, P. (2017). Interpersonal theories of developmental psychopathology. In D. Cicchetti (Ed.), Developmental psychopathology (pp. 243–311). New York, NY: Wiley. Russa, M. B., and Rodriguez, C. M. (2010). Physical discipline, escalation, and child abuse potential: Psychometric evidence for the Analog Parenting Task. Aggressive Behavior, 36, 251–260. Ryan, R. M., Kalil, A., Ziol-Guest, K. M., and Padilla, C. (2016). 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4 PARENTING AND CHILDREN’S PROSOCIAL DEVELOPMENT Tracy L. Spinrad, Nancy Eisenberg, and Carlos Valiente

Introduction The topic of this chapter is the relation of parental characteristics and behaviors to children’s prosocial development and empathy-related responding. Because children’s motives for their morally relevant behaviors determine whether their actions are truly moral, and prosocial moral reasoning can reflect the range of motives used by children, socialization correlates of moral reasoning also are discussed. The role of parents in the socialization process has been a topic of considerable debate for decades. Various psychological theories emphasize different mechanisms of socialization and place differing emphases on the role of the parent versus the child in development (Maccoby, 1992). Moreover, because none of the major theories of development has adequately explained socialization, a number of mini-theories (i.e., a theory designed to deal with one specific issue rather than many aspects of development) have emerged to explain the socialization of morality. In the first section of this chapter, theories related to the socialization of prosocial tendencies (including prosocial behavior and empathy-related responding) and moral reasoning are briefly presented. Next, empirical findings regarding relations of parental practices and characteristics to prosocial tendencies and moral reasoning are reviewed. In general, we focus on the pattern of findings rather than the specifics of the many studies. Given the large amount of research on some of these topics, this review is not exhaustive.

Theoretical Perspectives on Parenting and Prosocial Development There are several major ways that developmental researchers have approached the study of prosocial behavior. Two grand theories have been central in the literature on socialization: psychoanalytic theory and behaviorism (from which social learning theory evolved) (Maccoby, 1992). In addition, two theoretical perspectives have been very influential in research and conceptualizations of the socialization of morality; these are Kohlberg’s (1969, 1984) cognitive developmental theory and Hoffman’s (1970, 1983, 2000) moral socialization theory. Each of these perspectives is briefly reviewed, with an emphasis on mechanisms relevant to moral development.

Psychoanalytic Theory Psychoanalytic theory was introduced early in the 20th century by Freud and has been critiqued and modified in various ways ever since. In the classic versions of this theory, early childhood is a time of 91

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plasticity, and, consequently, parent–child interactions have profound effects on children’s later functioning (see Cohler and Paul, 2019). According to Freud, children are driven by two major intrapsychic forces, sexuality (libido) and aggression, and parents and other socializers must impose unwanted restrictions on the child. In addition, children experience very intense conflict because they love their parents and need parental nurturance while at the same time they feel anger toward their parents and desire them sexually. If children express their anger and sexual feelings, they are likely to lose the parent’s love and support, and may even engender intense parental anger and aggression; thus, children are emotionally engulfed by conflict. Although descriptions of this conflict vary considerably in the writings of Freud and his disciples, the conflict generally is viewed as being resolved (at least to a fair degree) in childhood (e.g., at age 4 to 6 years, according to Freud) through the mechanism of identification. As is described by Maccoby (1992, p. 1007): Children “internalize” their parents and “introject” their values, forming a superego or conscience that is an internal representation of the parents (primarily in their regulatory capacity). Because the children’s incestuous wishes are directed primarily toward the opposite-sex parent, there is greater risk of retaliation or rejection by the same-sex parent, and conflict resolution therefore takes the form of identification primarily with the same-sex parent. This identification carries with it an adoption of appropriately sex-typed behaviors and attitudes, along with an adoption of a more general set of prosocial values. As a consequence of identification, the child develops a conscience (i.e., superego) and guilt feelings, which are feelings of resentment and hostility formerly directed toward the same-sex parent now turned inward (see Freud, 1925, 1959). Most traditional psychoanalytic theorists view parents as agents of control in the early years and sources of moral values on identification. Thus, parents play a major role in shaping children’s morality, albeit sometimes unintentionally. Although psychoanalytic conceptions play a minor role in current theory in developmental psychology (but see Emde, Johnson, and Easterbrooks, 1987), the psychoanalytic notion of identification has been modified by some less behavioral social learning theorists to refer to children’s internalization of parents’ norms, values, and standards as a consequence of a positive parent–child relationship (Mussen, Rutherford, Harris, and Keasey, 1970).

Behaviorism and Social Learning Theory In psychoanalytic theory, the child is an emotionally driven, egocentric, irrational being driven to morality only by emotions such as fear and anxiety, and later, guilt. In early behaviorism, the child also was conceptualized in nonrational terms—as a passive being to be shaped by socializers. The child learned through mechanisms such as classical and operant conditioning, particularly through parental contingencies. Behaviors that were reinforced (rewarded) continued; those that were punished dropped out of the child’s repertoire. There are numerous modern learning and social learning theories, all derived, at least in part, from behaviorism. In probably all versions, mechanisms of reinforcement and punishment still are important. For example, according to Gewirtz and Pelaez-Nogueras (1991, p. 162), “much of what is termed moral behavior involves responses (including verbal ones) that have been shaped and maintained by positive consequences (e.g., approval, acceptance, praise) or responses that avoid or eliminate aversive consequences (e.g., disapproval, rejection, punishment).” Moreover, the contingencies need not actually occur; people learn through observation and verbal behavior the likely consequences of a behavior. Of course, parents are likely to be among those who provide reinforcements and aversive consequences to the child. In modern social learning theory, imitation is central to the learning of new behaviors (Bandura, 1986). Indeed, some psychologists even reframed the psychoanalytic construct of identification into 92

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pervasive imitative, as a “selective process whereby a child acquires a range of the behavior repertory of a parent (usually the parent of the same gender as the child), including behaviors connoting moral values, attitudes, and standards” (Gewirtz and Pelaez-Nogueras, 1991, pp. 163–164). Viewed either narrowly or broadly, the process of imitating others in the child’s environment, including parents, is deemed an important source of morality. In Bandura’s view (1986, 1991), the process is even more complex. Moral rules or standards of behavior are fashioned from information from a variety of social sources, including tuition, others’ evaluative social reactions, and models. Based on experiences, people learn what factors are morally relevant and how much value to attach to each. Moral decision-making is an intricate process, and many factors must be weighed in each situation (Eisenberg, 1986; Staub, 1978). In addition, over time people change their conceptions due to experience with the social consequences of their actions. According to Bandura (1986, 1991), affect also plays a vital regulatory role in moral behavior. Transgressions are controlled by two major types of sanctions: social sanctions (e.g., social disapproval) and internalized self-sanctions. People frequently behave in moral ways to avoid social censure and externally imposed punishments; they may fear the shame, loneliness, or other costs associated with social sanctions. In regard to self-sanctions, people behave morally because to do so produces selfsatisfaction and self-respect, whereas immoral conduct results in self-reproof. Anticipation of these self-administered consequences provides the motivational force by which standards regulate behavior. Of course, people may possess self-regulatory capabilities but may not use them consistently or effectively in all circumstances, particularly if they do not perceive themselves as able to effectively exercise control over their own motivation, thoughts, and actions. Thus, according to contemporary social learning theory, parents play a multifaceted role in their child’s moral development. They provide information about behavioral alternatives, expectations, and possible contingencies for various courses of action, model relevant behaviors, and reinforce and punish the child for different actions. In addition, they may play a role in children’s development of self-evaluative reactions (e.g., guilt) and in children’s perceptions of, and actual ability to control, their own thoughts and actions.

Cognitive Developmental Theory Children play a very active role in their own moral development in cognitive developmental theory. According to Kohlberg (1969, 1984), the most influential proponent of a cognitive developmental perspective on morality, children actively interpret their environment and construct their own understanding of morality. In normal environments, children’s thinking about moral dilemmas proceeds through a predictable series of stages, although individuals may stop at different points in development. These stages emerge on account of children’s increasing capacity to understand and interpret their social environment; particularly important are changes with age in children’s ability to take the perspectives of other individuals and, later, of the broader society. The stages progress from externally oriented preconventional or heteronomous morality (based on avoidance of punishment and the superior power of authorities and a concrete, self-interested perspective), to conventional morality (based on considerations of mutual interpersonal expectations, relationships, and interpersonal conformity, or concern with keeping the social system going and the imperatives of conscience), to postconventional morality (based on concerns with social contracts, the greatest good, individual rights, and self-chosen universal ethical principles; see Colby and Kohlberg, 1987). Each stage is considered to represent an organized way of thinking, with movement to the next stage requiring a qualitative reorganization of the individual’s pattern of thinking rather than merely the learning of new content. Each higher stage is viewed as more adequate and involves a broader perspective than achieved at lower stages. At each stage, the child possesses a better understanding and can integrate more 93

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diverse points of view regarding moral conflicts (Colby and Kohlberg, 1987; see Lapsley, 2006). Although many of Kohlberg’s specific assertions have been challenged and alternative schema for conceptualizing moral reasoning have been proposed (Eisenberg, 1986; Gilligan, 1982), his theory dominated the field of morality for decades. In cognitive developmental theory, advances in cognition are necessary for advances in moral judgment. Such advances are likely to occur when children are ready cognitively and when they are exposed to morally relevant information that is more sophisticated than their current level and at a level that is optimally higher than their current level of functioning (i.e., just a little above their current level). In such circumstances, cognitive disequilibrium occurs, and the child seeks to better understand the moral conflict. Experiences that broaden the individual’s perspective, such as negotiation with others, participation in decision-making processes of groups or institutions, and role-taking opportunities in which the child can learn about others’ perspectives are viewed as promoting development (Mason and Gibbs, 1993; Walker and Hennig, 1999). Given the general emphasis on cognition and the child’s active role in promoting her or his own development, it is not surprising that socialization, particularly in the home, has been given relatively little attention by cognitive developmentalists (Walker and Hennig, 1999). Generally, parents are viewed as bystanders in the process of moral development; they are involved to the degree that they provide opportunities for cognitive conflict, discussion of issues of fairness and morality, perspective taking, participation in decision-making, and exposure to reasoning above their own stage (Walker and Hennig, 1999). According to Kohlberg (1969, p. 399), “family participation is not unique or critically necessary for moral development.”

Hoffman’s Theory of Moral Internalization Hoffman (1983, 1988, 2000) tried to address the question of how societal norms or rules, which are initially external (e.g., based on fear of sanctions), acquire an internal motivational force (i.e., acquire an obligatory, compelling quality experienced as derived from oneself with little or no collection of their origins). According to Hoffman (1983, 2000), although learning relevant to moral development can occur outside the disciplinary context and in interactions with other people, disciplinary encounters with parents are central to moral internalization. In disciplinary encounters, the child acts or is tempted to act in a manner that will adversely affect another. The parent intervenes and tries to change the child’s behavior in a manner that accords with the victim’s (or potential victim’s) needs. Disciplinary situations are similar to a range of moral encounters in which the child is tempted to act in a way that has negative consequences for others. Thus, what is learned in the disciplinary encounter is likely to influence whether or not children internalize norms and act in a manner consistent with these norms in subsequent moral encounters. Hoffman (1970, 1983) identified several categories of discipline. Inductive techniques point out the effect of the child’s behavior on others. They vary in complexity; early inductions are likely to be very simple (e.g., “If you push him, he’ll fall and cry”), whereas with older children parents may refer to subtler psychological effects or processes (e.g., “Don’t yell at him. He was only trying to help.” or “He feels bad because he was proud of his tower and you knocked it down.”) (Hoffman, 1983, p. 247). In many inductions, reparative actions are suggested by the parent. Hoffman argued that a moral orientation characterized by independence of external sanctions and by high levels of guilt is associated with frequent parental use of inductions. In contrast to inductions, power-assertive discipline involves the use of physical force, deprivation of possessions or privileges, direct commands, or threats. Hoffman (1970, 1983) asserted that consistent and predominant use of power assertion is associated with a moral orientation in children based on fear of external detection and punishment.


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In the third category of discipline discussed by Hoffman (1983, p. 247), love withdrawal techniques, the parent simply gives direct, but nonphysical, expressions of anger or disapproval of the child for engaging in some undesirable behavior (e.g., ignores the child, turns his or her back on the child, refuses to speak or listen to the child, explicitly states a dislike for the child, isolates or threatens to leave the child). Hoffman argued that such techniques are not systematically related to moral internalization. According to Hoffman (1970, 1983), inductions promote internalization for a variety of reasons. First, they induce an optimal (i.e., moderate) level of arousal for learning. Inductions are arousing enough to elicit the child’s attention but are unlikely to produce high levels of anxiety or anger. Thus, the child is likely to attend to and process the information embedded in the parent’s inductive statement. In addition, because of the information provided in the explanation, the parent’s discipline efforts may seem less arbitrary and, consequently, may be unlikely to induce reactance (i.e., the discipline may not be perceived as a threat to the child’s freedom). Further, inductions focus children’s attention on consequences of their behavior for others and capitalize on children’s capacity to feel another’s negative emotion (i.e., to empathize) and guilt based on the awareness of causing harm to another. Feelings of empathy and concern have been associated with altruistic motivation, and feelings of guilt motivate reparation. In contrast, power-assertive and love withdrawal techniques may elicit too much arousal due to fear of punishment or anxiety about loss of the parent’s love. In either case, the child’s attention is likely to be directed to the consequences of the deviant act for the self rather than for other people; moreover, these techniques heighten the child’s view that the relevant moral standard is external to the self. Hoffman also tried to explain how, over time, inductive practices result in children’s experiencing moral norms as originating from within themselves (i.e., as internalized). He hypothesized that the informational component of inductions is semantically organized, encoded in memory, and modified and integrated with similar information extracted by inductions in other disciplinary encounters. Important features of the process are (1) that the child plays an active role in processing the information and (2) that inductions focus on the child’s action and its consequences rather than on the parent as the disciplinary agent. Consequently, over time children are likely to remember the causal link between their actions and consequences for others rather than the external pressure or the specific disciplinary context. Thus, the inductive message, not the external source of the moral norm in the disciplinary context, is remembered at a later time. Further, when the stored information is recalled at a later time in a similar situation, the child is likely to experience the emotions of empathy and guilt associated with those memories. These emotions may serve as motives for acting in accordance with moral norms at the later point in time. In contrast, in situations involving strong power assertion or love withdrawal, the child is unlikely to store or later recall reasons for avoiding the course of action in question; nor is the child likely to experience empathy for a potential victim or anticipate guilt for transgressing against others. Many researchers examining parents’ role in moral development have studied the types of discipline discussed by Hoffman. However, Hoffman did not discuss in any detail how parents influence children’s moral development outside of the disciplinary context. Impetus for studying other parental practices, such as modeling and parental stimulation of children’s thinking about moral conflicts, has come primarily from social learning and cognitive developmental theories.

Positive Psychology and Positive Youth Development For much of the history of the study of children’s development, researchers utilized a deficit model— focusing on preventing or reducing children’s risks and shortcomings (Lerner, 2017). Positive youth development models have spurred increasing interest in the positive aspects of children’s development.


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Rather than focusing on negative aspects of development, such as children’s adjustment problems, these models emphasize the assets that enable youth to grow and succeed throughout life (Park, 2004). Although not theories per se, these movements take a strength-based approach rather than focusing on youths’ deficits. The goals of the positive psychology movement have been to emphasize positive qualities of individuals and to study how individuals flourish and thrive (see Seligman and Csikszentmihalyi, 2000). Similarly, a main focus for positive youth development researchers is to understand the conditions that foster youth success and well-being (Lerner, 2017). In addition to following a strength-based approach to studying development, there has been an upsurge of interest in the specific constructs of prosocial behavior, compassion, empathy, and altruism from researchers associated with the positive psychology movement and positive youth development. For example, Lerner and colleagues (2005) identified five components of positive youth development, with one of the components being caring (the others are competence, confidence, connection, and character). These models now focus on the components of positive development (such as prosocial behavior and sympathy) and how such strengths contribute to their contexts and their future positive development. It is expected that the trend to focus on assets of young people will continue in the coming years. Ideas about the role of socialization in children’s prosocial development have been influenced heavily by psychoanalytic theory, behaviorism and social learning theories, and cognitive developmental theory. More recently, Hoffman’s theory (particularly his views on socialization of empathy) and the positive psychology movement have made major contributions to the field. Each adds a unique perspective, and it is often useful to draw from multiple theories to understand prosocial/ moral development.

Methodological Issues in Existing Research in Parenting and Children’s Prosocial Development Prior to reviewing the empirical literature, it is important to start with a discussion of some of the methodological limitations of the existing empirical research. One important limitation in the existing research is the frequent dependence of researchers on parents for information about the child’s moral proclivities and the parents’ own behavior (Holden and Smith, 2019). Ideally, measures of the child’s prosocial behavior, empathy-related responding, or moral reasoning would be obtained from observation of children’s behavior or from moral reasoning interviews, and measures of parental characteristics and practices would be based on observations of the parents. However, it often is difficult or impossible to observe parents or children, especially for extended periods of time or in a variety of settings. Moreover, parents and older children may not act typically when they know they are being observed (Zegiob, Arnold, and Forehand, 1975). Consequently, interviewers frequently have interviewed parents about their childrearing practices, used questionnaire measures designed to assess variables such as parental warmth or discipline, and have questioned parents about their children’s moral development or obtained one-time assessments of moral behavior in a laboratory setting. Other complexities in studying prosocial behavior also should be considered. For example, researchers vary in the type of prosocial behavior studied (i.e., instrumental help, sharing, comforting), as well as their costliness (e.g., sharing resources at an expense to oneself, comforting someone in distress). Such nuances in measures of prosocial behavior are important because the various forms of prosocial actions may be more or less intrinsically motivated (see Eisenberg, VanSchyndel, and Spinrad, 2016). Such intricacies are often ignored in current research. Thus, the data on which conclusions are drawn are far from ideal. Because methods vary considerably across studies, if findings are similar across studies, they are not likely to be ascribable to any particular methodological shortfall. Moreover, sometimes data are available from more than one Western nation or ethnic group. When this is the case, we can have greater confidence in the data and are safer in generalizing from research findings in one group to other groups of people. In general, however, we 96

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must be cautious about assuming that the conclusions from research based on middle-class European North Americans or Europeans apply to other groups of people. Although the majority of studies has focused on maternal socialization of prosocial behavior, research on the influence of fathers’ parenting practices on prosocial behavior is beginning to flourish. As a whole, much of the existing evidence suggests that mothers’ parenting practices contribute more strongly to children’s prosocial behavior than fathers’ socialization strategies (Carlo, Roesch, and Melby, 1998; Daniel, Madigan, and Jenkins, 2016; Fortuna and Knafo, 2014; Hastings, McShane, Parker, and Ladha, 2007). However, more research examining the unique roles of mothers’ and fathers’ parenting on children’s empathy-related outcomes and moral reasoning is needed, particularly in understanding the role of fathers’ parenting on different types of prosocial behavior or at different ages (Hastings et al., 2007; Laible and Carlo, 2004; Nickerson, Mele, and Princiotta, 2008; Padilla-Walker, Nielson, and Day, 2016). Another caveat concerns conclusions regarding cause-and-effect relations between parental variables and children’s prosocial development. Implicit in the notions of socialization and childrearing practices is the assumption that it is the adult who is influencing the child. However, it is also likely that children, on account of differences in their characteristics and behaviors, influence how adults treat them (Bell and Harper, 1977). Much research on socialization of moral behavior and moral reasoning is correlational in nature, and correlations tell one nothing about the direction of causality. Indeed, there is evidence that children’s behaviors and temperament influence adults’ socialization efforts (Keller and Bell, 1979; Kuczynski and Kochanska, 1990; Maccoby and Martin, 1983; Patterson, 1982; Pastorelli et al., 2016) and that relations between socialization and child prosocial tendencies are bidirectional (Carlo, Mestre, Samper, Tur, and Armenta, 2011; Newton, Laible, Carlo, Steele, and McGinley, 2014; Padilla-Walker, Carlo, Christensen, and Yorgason, 2012). Furthermore, there is little doubt that heredity contributes to some of the associations found between parental characteristics or behaviors and children’s behavior (Collins, Maccoby, Steinberg, Hetherington, and Bornstein, 2000). Parent and child behaviors are interwoven; partners regulate each other’s behavior, and coherent expectations about each other’s behavior, joint goals, and shared meanings may emerge (Maccoby, 1992; Parke and Buriel, 1998). Thus, the processes underlying the socialization of children’s morality are much more complex than the available research indicates. Although all methods of measurement have limitations, it is important for researchers to examine whether findings converge across methods. Further, researchers need to conduct research that is sensitive to issues regarding the direction of effects. With such improvements in methodologies, our confidence in the research considering the role of socializers on children’s prosocial reactions will improve.

The Relations of Parental Characteristics and Behaviors to Children’s Prosocial Development In this section of the chapter, we briefly summarize empirical findings on parental variables associated with prosocial behavior and thinking.

Prosocial Behavior Prosocial behavior frequently is defined as voluntary behavior intended to benefit another (Eisenberg and Fabes, 1998; Eisenberg, Fabes, and Spinrad, 2006; Eisenberg, Spinrad, and Knafo-Noam, 2015). Most parents who desire to foster prosocial behaviors really want to enhance one type of prosocial responding—altruistic behavior. Altruistic behaviors are voluntary, intentional actions that benefit another, and are not motivated by the desire to obtain external material or social rewards. In thinking about motives, we have found it useful to differentiate among children’s empathy (an affective response that is the same, or similar, to what another is feeling), sympathy (an emotional response that 97

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involves feelings of concern for others), and personal distress (a self-focused reaction that involves discomfort or anxiety when viewing another’s distress; see Eisenberg et al., 2015). Prosocial behaviors, particularly altruistically motivated behaviors, are thought to be performed for internalized reasons (e.g., empathy, sympathy), the desire to live up to internalized values, or processes such as guilt (Eisenberg et al., 2016). Unfortunately, when we observe a prosocial behavior, we often cannot ascertain the actor’s motives. This makes it difficult to determine which socialization practices are related to the development of altruistic behaviors versus nonaltruistically motivated prosocial behaviors.

Inductions Hoffman (2000) proposed that parental inductions, a discipline strategy characterized by attempts to provide explanations and reasons for behavior, should be related to higher empathy and prosocial behavior because such practices generate an optimal level of arousal for learning. Indeed, inductive discipline (particularly other-oriented reasoning) has been associated with higher empathy/sympathy in children (Hoffman, 1975; Laible, Eye, and Carlo, 2008), which in turn has been related to children’s prosocial behavior (Carlo, Knight, McGinley, and Hayes, 2011; Farrant, Devine, Maybery, and Fletcher, 2012; Janssens and Gerris, 1992; Krevans and Gibbs, 1996; Schuhmacher, Collard, and Kärtner, 2017; Stewart and McBride-Chang, 2000; see Eisenberg and Fabes, 1998; Eisenberg et al., 2006; Eisenberg et al., 2015). Eisenberg, VanSchyndel, and Hofer (2015) reported long-term longitudinal relations between mothers’ reports of inductive discipline in both childhood and adolescence to relatively high friend-reported sympathy in adulthood. The effectiveness of inductions has been demonstrated for children as young as 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 years of age if inductions were administered with affective force (i.e., emotion; Zahn-Waxler, Radke-Yarrow, and King, 1979). Moreover, mothers’ explanations to their children for their own sadness in ongoing social interactions (which may or may not have involved disciplinary issues) have been associated with children’s prosocial behavior at preschool (Denham and Grout, 1992). Such verbalizations may help children to understand others’ emotions. According to one study, inductions are associated with prosocial development only if verbalized by socializers who typically do not use power-assertive (punitive) techniques (Hoffman, 1963) or if children have had a history of inductive discipline (Dlugokinski and Firestone, 1974). When inductions are part of a generally democratic parenting style, such parenting has been associated with teacher and peer reports of prosocial behavior (Dekovic and Janssens, 1992; Janssens and Dekovic, 1997). Similarly, researchers have shown a positive relation between authoritative parenting style (parenting that provides reasonable demands and expectations balanced with responsiveness) and children’s prosocial behavior (Hastings et al., 2007; Padilla-Walker et al., 2012) and sympathy (Taylor, Eisenberg, and Spinrad, 2015).

Power-Assertive, Punitive Techniques of Discipline In general, socializers’ use of power-assertive techniques of discipline, such as physical punishment or deprivation of privileges, has been found to be negatively related to children’s prosocial behavior (Asbury, Dunn, Pike, and Plomin, 2003; Brody and Shaffer, 1982; Ensor and Hughes, 2010; Hastings, Zahn-Waxler, Robinson, Usher, and Bridges, 2000; Padilla-Walker et al., 2016; see Eisenberg et al., 2015) and negatively related to empathy/sympathy (Cornell and Frick, 2007; Garner, 2012; Laible and Carlo, 2004; Krevans and Gibbs, 1996; Spinrad et al., 1999). As suggested by Hoffman (1983), children attribute helping induced by power-assertive techniques to external motives (Dix and Grusec, 1983; Smith, Gelfand, Hartmann, and Partlow, 1979). Nonetheless, as noted by Hoffman (1983, 2000), there is a difference between the occasional use of power-assertive techniques in the context of a positive parent–child relationship and the use of punishment as the preferred, predominant mode of discipline. When power-assertive techniques are used in a measured and rational manner by parents who 98

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generally are warm and supportive, set high standards, and usually use nonpower-assertive disciplinary techniques such as reasoning, children tend to be socially responsible and positive in their behavior (Baumrind, 1971, 1993). In contrast, it appears that the frequent use of power-assertive techniques, especially by hostile, cold socializers, is negatively related to prosocial development and may hinder the effectiveness of other socialization techniques that usually promote prosocial development (Hoffman, 1963, 1983, 2000). For example, Dutch parents who use power assertion as part of an authoritarian pattern of discipline have elementary school children who were viewed as low in helpfulness by their peers, although not by their teachers (Dekovic and Janssens, 1992). Similarly, positive parenting practices interact with parents’ use of corporal punishment to predict prosocial behavior for girls, but not boys. The positive relation between positive parenting and prosocial behavior was stronger when parents did not use corporal punishment (Piché, Huỳćnh, Clemént, and Durrant, 2016). Although punishment can induce immediate compliance with socializers’ expectations for prosocial behavior if the socializer monitors the child’s behavior, there is as yet little evidence that punishment for selfishness has long-term, generalizable effects. It should be emphasized, however, that most mothers infrequently use punishment (especially physical punishment) to induce helping or in response to children’s failure to help (Grusec, 1982, 1991; Grusec, Dix, and Mills, 1982; Zahn-Waxler et al., 1979).

Love Withdrawal There appears to be no consistent relation between parents’ use of love withdrawal as discipline and children’s prosocial behavior (Brody and Shaffer, 1982; Krevans and Gibbs, 1996). It is likely that the effects of love withdrawal vary with the context and frequency in which it is administered.

Nurturance and Emotional Support Parental warmth and supportiveness are thought to promote children’s prosocial tendencies and cooperation with others (Eisenberg, Eggum-Wilkens, and Spinrad, 2015; Grusec, 2006, 2011). Because warmth and supportive practices are reciprocal and nurturing, these characteristics are thought to foster positive parent–child relationships and children’s receptiveness to parents’ socialization efforts. Further, intuitively, such parenting may be a model for sympathy and prosocial behavior (Eisenberg et al., 2015; Eisenberg and Spinrad, 2014). Consistent with this perspective, in general there seems to be a modest, positive relation between parental warmth (particularly maternal warmth) and children’s and adolescents’ prosocial development (Carlo, Mestre, et al., 2011; Daniel et al., 2016; Domitrovich and Bierman, 2001; Hastings et al., 2007; Janssens and Gerris, 1992; Knafo and Plomin, 2006; Padilla-Walker et al., 2016; see Brody and Shaffer, 1982). For example, mothers’ warmth has been positively associated with prosocial behavior towards family members, and fathers’ warmth is related to prosocial behavior toward peers (PadillaWalker et al., 2016). Maternal sensitivity and responsiveness, constructs similar to warmth, also have been associated with prosocial responding (Bronstein, Fox, Kamon, and Knolls, 2007; Davidov and Grusec, 2006; Laible, Carlo, Davis, and Karahuta, 2016). Similarly, there is some evidence that children with a secure attachment to a parent are more prosocial than insecurely attached children (Carlo, McGinley, Hayes, and Martinez, 2012; Gross, Stern, Brett, and Cassidy, 2017; Iannotti, Cummings, Pierrehumbert, Milano, and Zahn-Waxler, 1992; Kestenbaum, Farber, and Sroufe, 1989; Ma, Cheung, and Shek, 2007; Yoo, Feng, and Day, 2013). Nonetheless, the relation between parental support and children’s prosocial behavior is fragile, and the two frequently have been unrelated or inconsistently correlated (Iannotti et al., 1992; Krevans and Gibbs, 1996; Wentzel and McNamara, 1999; see Eisenberg et al., 2006; Eisenberg, Spinrad, & 99

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Knafo-Noam, 2015). However, in many studies, parental nurturance was not assessed directly; rather, measures of parental behaviors were based on parental or child report of socializers’ warmth. When socializers’ nurturance has been observed or controlled experimentally, the relation of socializers’ nurturance and support to children’s prosocial behavior has been found to be somewhat stronger and clearer than in the literature involving parental self-report (see Bryant and Crockenberg, 1980; Yarrow, Scott, and Waxler, 1973; Zahn-Waxler et al., 1979). Parental warmth, support, and sympathy are also associated with their children’s affective sympathy and empathy (Eisenberg, Fabes, et al.,1992; Fabes, Eisenberg, and Miller, 1990; Hastings et al., 2000; Malti, Eisenberg, Kim, and Buchmann, 2013; Miklikowska, Duriez, and Soenens, 2011; Spinrad et al., 1999; cf. Iannotti et al., 1992; Koestner, Franz, and Weinberger, 1990). In a long-term longitudinal study, Eisenberg et al. (2015) showed that mothers’ reported warmth in childhood predicted sympathy in early adulthood. Maternal sensitivity/responsiveness also has been related to higher sympathy/ empathy (Kiang, Moreno, and Robinson, 2004; Moreno, Klute, and Robinson, 2008; Spinrad and Stifter, 2006; Tong et al., 2012). Feldman (2007a, 2007b) showed that mother–infant synchrony in the first year of life predicted empathy in Israeli adolescents. Attachment security has been linked with empathy (Diamond, Fagundes, and Butterworth, 2012; Nickerson et al., 2008; van der Mark, van IJzendoorn, and Bakermans-Kranenburg, 2002). Despite such evidence, some investigators have shown no (or mixed) relations (Davidov and Grusec, 2006; Soenens, Duriez, Vansteenkiste, and Goossens, 2007). It is logical to hypothesize that warm, empathic parenting promotes children’s prosocial behavior through its effects on children’s perspective taking, empathy, and sympathy. However, Janssens and Gerris (1992) found that Dutch children’s empathy did not mediate the effects of parental support for either mothers or fathers on prosocial behavior; for mothers, support had a direct (unmediated) effect on 9- to 12-year-olds’ prosocial behavior.

Modeling Much research on modeling of prosocial behavior has taken place in laboratory work where children’s imitation of an unfamiliar adult’s prosocial behavior or selfishness has been assessed. In general, people (including children) who have viewed a prosocial model are more prosocial themselves than are people who have not viewed a prosocial model or who have viewed a stingy or unhelpful model (see Eisenberg et al., 2006; Eisenberg et al., 2015; Radke-Yarrow, Zahn-Waxler, and Chapman, 1983, for reviews). Even in the laboratory, the effects of observing a prosocial model have been found to persist over time (for days or even months; Grusec, Saas-Kortsaak, and Simutis, 1978; Rice and Grusec, 1975; Rushton, 1975) and to generalize to somewhat new and different situations (see Eisenberg et al., 2015). Despite the preponderance of evidence indicating that children imitate prosocial others, it also is clear that some models are imitated more than others. For example, nurturance by the model is related to children’s imitation of prosocial behavior, albeit in a complex manner. It appears that noncontingent nurturance (unconditional constant nurturance) is interpreted by children as indicating permissiveness and, consequently, children do not assist if there is a material cost to doing so (Grusec, 1971; Grusec and Skubiski, 1970; Weissbrod, 1980). However, when adult nurturance is part of an ongoing relationship and is not unconditional (which generally is true in real life), nurturance increases the effectiveness of a model (Yarrow et al., 1973). Some of the most compelling evidence of the role of modeling in the family in real-life situations comes from studies of people in Europe who saved Jews from the Nazis during World War II. Rescuing activities were often highly dangerous and could result in death if discovered. Two groups of researchers found that rescuers tended to come from families in which parents modeled generosity, helpfulness, and similar behaviors (London, 1970; Oliner and Oliner, 1988). Similar findings were 100

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obtained in a study of the “freedom riders” in the late 1950s and early 1960s, a group of young adults (many European-American) who engaged in activities designed to increase equal rights and opportunities for African-Americans in the southern parts of the United States. Those who were highly committed and involved in the civil rights effort reported that their parents had been excellent models of prosocial behavior and concern for others, working for worthy causes, protesting injustices, and discussing their activities with their children (Rosenhan, 1970). Along the same lines, Hart and Fegley (1995) found that minority youth who were exemplars of caring were more likely than their peers to incorporate aspects of parentally related representations (e.g., what their mothers were like or expected of them) in their self-representations. Moreover, there is evidence that parental volunteerism is positively related to volunteerism in adolescent offspring (Bekkers, 2007; McGinley, Lipperman-Kreda, Byrnes, and Carlo, 2010; McLellan and Youniss, 2003) and grown children years later (Janoski and Wilson, 1995). Thus, there is evidence suggesting that parental modeling of prosocial behavior, which no doubt is often combined with a variety of other parental behaviors that are likely to foster children’s prosocial behavior, is associated with adult children’s willingness to assist others at a cost to themselves. Of course, hereditary factors also could contribute to similarities in the behavior of parents and children. Children may also learn to express sympathy through modeling their parents’ empathy-related responding (Eisenberg, Fabes, et al., 1992; Eisenberg, Fabes, Schaller, Carlo, and Miller, 1991; Fabes et al., 1990). For example, Eisenberg et al. (1991) showed that parents’ sympathy was related to lower personal distress reactions in same-sex children and, for both parents, sympathy was positively associated with sons’ dispositional sympathy. In another study, Farrant and colleagues (2012) showed that maternal empathy was positively associated with children’s empathy and prosocial behavior. Such relations could certainly be due to other processes (i.e., genetic transmission), but it is likely that modeling may be one mechanism for children’s learning prosocial behavior and empathy-related responding (Farrant et al., 2012).

Moral Preachings In an attempt to modify or influence children’s behaviors, socializers sometimes symbolically model prosocial behavior (say that they are going to act in a prosocial manner) or discuss the merits or consequences of prosocial actions. Such verbalizations frequently have been labeled preachings or exhortations and represent attempts to influence an individual’s future behavior, not a disciplinary response to prior behavior. Researchers have found that the effectiveness of preachings varies as a function of their content. Children’s sharing is enhanced by appeals that provide symbolic modeling, that is they include a description of what the model intends to do (Grusec and Skubiski, 1970; Rice and Grusec, 1975) or include reasons for assisting that are likely to evoke empathy and sympathy (Burleson and Fennelly, 1981; Eisenberg-Berg and Geisheker, 1979; Perry, Bussey, and Freiberg, 1981). In contrast, preachings that are power-assertive in content (involve threats of disapproval; Perry et al., 1981) or refer to the norm of sharing (Bryan and Walbek, 1970) or self-oriented reasons for sharing (Burleson and Fennelly, 1981) are relatively ineffective. The effects of preaching with compelling content can be relatively durable; in experimental studies they have lasted over a three-week (Grusec et al., 1978) or even eight-week (Rushton, 1975) period. It is possible that preachings, even those providing reasons, can backfire if they are viewed by the child as putting pressure on the child to assist. Consistent with findings that children react negatively to attempts to limit their freedom (Brehm, 1981), children may respond negatively and feel unwilling to assist if they feel pressured to comply with an adult’s reasoning (see McGrath and Power, 1990; McGrath, Wilson, and Frassetto, 1995). In addition, if preachings are perceived as applying pressure, children may attribute their helping to external causes and, consequently, be less willing to assist at a later time (Lepper, 1983). 101

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Nearly all the studies on preachings have been conducted in laboratory settings. However, it is clear from research on parental use of inductions, verbal demandingness, and other types of verbalizations that parents’ verbalizations can influence children’s prosocial behavior (Dekovic and Janssens, 1992). Thus, it is likely that parents’ statements about the importance, consequences, or reasons for prosocial action in nondisciplinary settings promote children’s tendencies to perform prosocial behaviors.

Assignment of Responsibility Practice performing prosocial behaviors seems to be useful for promoting prosocial tendencies (Barton, 1981; Staub, 1979). Children who were assigned responsibility to teach others or who were induced to participate in prosocial activities subsequently displayed more prosocial behavior (Staub, 1979). Similarly, children who were induced to donate to needy others in one context were more likely to help other people one or two days later (this was true for children in second grade or older, but not kindergartners; Eisenberg, Cialdini, McCreath, and Shell, 1987). Furthermore, assigning a specific child responsibility for others seems to enhance prosocial behavior (Maruyama, Fraser, and Miller, 1982; Peterson, 1983). In cross-cultural research, Whiting and Whiting (1975) found that children from non-Western cultures, in which youngsters are routinely assigned responsibilities for assisting others (e.g., caregiving activities), were more prosocial than children from other cultures. Even young toddlers whose mothers encouraged them to assist in household chores and routines tend to behave more prosocially with others (Hammond and Carpendale, 2015; Köster, Cavalcante, Vera Cruz, Dôgo Resende, and Kärtner, 2016). Grusec, Goodnow, and Cohen (1996) showed that routine (but not requested) participation in household chores was related to youth prosocial behavior in the family. Finally, participation in voluntary community service sometimes has been linked to greater commitment to helping others in the future (Yates and Youniss, 1996). Even mandatory voluntary service appears to sometimes increase prosocial behavior (Hart, Donnelly, Youniss, and Atkins, 2007; see Eisenberg et al., 2006).

Reinforcement Although both material (Warren, Warren-Rogers, and Baer, 1976) and social reinforcement (Gelfand, Hartmann, Cromer, Smith, and Page, 1975; Grusec and Redler, 1980) in the laboratory have been found to increase the frequency of prosocial behavior immediately subsequent to the reinforcement, it is not clear whether the effects of material reinforcement are enduring and generalize to new situations. In most research in which reinforced prosocial behaviors have generalized to new settings or have been enduring, reinforcement was used in combination with modeling and other techniques (Barton, 1981; Rushton, 1975; see Eisenberg et al., 2015). It is likely that the receipt of concrete rewards for a prosocial action leads to the child perceiving that the performance of the prosocial behavior reflected external, and not internal, motivational factors (Lepper, 1983; Szynal-Brown and Morgan, 1983). If this is true, the child would be expected to repeat the prosocial behavior only in settings in which she or he believes that rewards might be forthcoming. Evidence of the negative effects of rewards on the development of altruism has been established (Carlo, McGinley, Hayes, Batenhorst, and Wilkinson, 2007). For example, Fabes, Fultz, Eisenberg, May-Plumlee, and Christopher (1989) found that second- to fifth-graders who believed that there would be a reward for helping assisted more in that context than did other children. However, the promise of a reward led to less helping when the children were given a second opportunity to assist in a context in which rewards were not mentioned and the children were alone. Warneken and Tomasello (2008) showed that 20-month-olds who received a reward for prosocial behavior were less likely to engage in prosocial behavior than were those who received verbal praise or no reward for prosocial action. Ulber, Hamann, and Tomasello (2016) obtained similar results with 3-year-olds’ 102

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costly prosocial behaviors. In other experimental work, 24-month-olds tended to pick up dropped objects (instrumental helping) at high rates, regardless of whether or not a parent was present to witness or guide young children’s helping, indicating intrinsic motivation for helping (Warneken and Tomasello, 2013). Thus, children do not seem to need encouragement for helping and those offered rewards for prosocial actions seemed to be less intrinsically motivated to help when there were no rewards for doing so. It is also possible that parental reinforcement of children’s prosocial behavior varies as a function of characteristics of the child. Eisenberg, Wolchik, Goldberg, and Engel (1992) found that mothers and fathers used more social reinforcement (i.e., positive affect) after children engaged in prosocial acts requested by the parent if their children were low in the tendency to perform such prosocial behaviors. It is likely that these parents administered more reinforcement to relatively noncompliant children in an attempt to increase the frequency of their prosocial behavior. Consistent with this notion, Grusec (1991) found that preschoolers who were prosocial were somewhat less likely to receive a response from their mother when they were helpful than were less prosocial children.

Emotion Socialization Fewer investigators have examined relations of parents’ emotion-related socialization practices to children’s prosocial behavior. Children’s sympathy and prosocial behavior seem to be related to how parents respond to children’s expression of emotion in the home. If parents work to reduce their children’s negative emotions and to help them find appropriate ways to deal with negative emotions, children might learn how to regulate their negative emotions, including personal distress, and to be prosocial and sympathetic to others’ negative emotions. For example, parents of elementary school children who emphasized the need for their sons to control their negative emotions that are not harmful to others tended to experience self-focused distressed responses rather than sympathy when confronted with another’s distress. In contrast, same-sex parental restrictiveness in regard to the expression of emotion that might hurt another’s feelings was associated with sympathy (Eisenberg et al., 1991). However, such restrictiveness may backfire with younger children if it is not ageappropriate (Eisenberg, Fabes, Carlo, Troyer, et al., 1992). Parents who encourage their sons to try to take action to deal with stressful situations tend to have sons who are prosocial and sympathetic (Eisenberg, Fabes, and Murphy, 1996; Eisenberg et al., 1991; Scrimgeour, Davis, and Buss, 2016). Similarly, mothers who encouraged their toddlers to express their emotions at 18 months of age have children relatively high in empathy 6 months later (Taylor, Eisenberg, Spinrad, Eggum, and Sulik, 2013). The combination of mothers’ encouragement to use instrumental coping and mothers’ reports of tendencies to comfort their 30-month-olds when distressed predict children’s sympathy at 42 months, but not vice versa (Eisenberg, Spinrad, Taylor, and Liew, in press). Mothers’ knowledge of what their child would want for comfort (i.e., accuracy regarding what their children said would comfort them when distressed) is positively related to prosocial behavior for children who were prone to distress (and not for children who were not; Vinik, Almas, and Grusec, 2011) Moreover, mothers’ discussion of their own and their children’s emotions with their children sometimes has been associated with empathy-related responding and prosocial behavior (Brownell, Svetlova, Anderson, Nichols, and Drummond, 2013; Garner, Dunsmore, and Southam-Gerrow, 2008; Denham and Grout, 1992; Eisenberg et al., 1992). However, focusing too much on children’s distress in stressful situations sometimes has been associated with children experiencing less empathy or sympathy, perhaps because some parents talk more about emotion with children who are prone to overarousal or too much empathy (so they experience self-focused personal distress; Trommsdorff, 1995). Alternatively, parents who focus on emotions with children who cannot cope with the emotion may overarouse their children, with the consequence that their children do not learn to regulate their own 103

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distress. Indeed, mothers of younger children often try to buffer their children from experiencing too much negative emotion when dealing with empathy-inducing information, and doing so is associated with more sympathy and helpfulness (Fabes et al., 1994). There also appears to be some relation between emotion expressed in the home and children’s prosocial tendencies, although this relation is quite complex (see Eisenberg et al., 2015). Sometimes, but not always, parental expression of positive emotion has been linked to children’s prosocial behavior (Denham and Grout, 1992; Eisenberg, Liew, and Pidada, 2001; Eisenberg et al., 2015; Eisenberg, Fabes, Schaller, Miller, et al., 1991; Garner, Jones, and Miner, 1994; Michalik et al., 2007; Valiente et al., 2004; Spinrad et al., 1999; Zhou et al., 2002). Conversely, the expression of negative hostile emotion in the home generally has been linked to low levels of sympathy (Batanova and Loukas, 2012; Crockenberg, 1985; Denham and Grout, 1992; Eisenberg, Fabes, Carlo, Troyer, et al., 1992), at least outside of the conflict situation (see Eisenberg et al., 2006; Eisenberg, Spinrad, & Knafo-Noam, 2015, for further review and discussion). The relations between parents’ expression of emotion and children’s sympathy and prosocial behavior may change with age. For example, parents’ negative dominant expressivity (e.g., anger) was related to low levels of boys’, but not girls’, sympathy in childhood (Michalik et al., 2007). However, in adolescence, parents’ negative emotionality is related to higher sympathy in girls and boys and girls’ lower prosocial behavior, but not in childhood (Michalik et al., 2007). What is probably most important is whether the emotion is expressed in a manner in which the child does not feel threatened or overwhelmed and can learn about emotions and how to regulate them.

Children’s Characteristics as Moderators and Mediators of the Relations of Parenting to Children’s Prosocial Behavior Although prior research focused primarily on the ways in which parenting practices are directly associated with children’s prosocial behavior and empathy-related responding, some children may be more receptive to socialization efforts than others. For example, Kochanska (1995) theorized that children who are temperamentally fearful would be more receptive to socialization efforts (and more likely to internalize parental norms) than fearless children. Indeed, Kochanska showed that gentle maternal control, a parenting strategy thought to elicit an optimal level of arousal, predicted higher internalization of values (i.e., guilt) for children who were temperamentally fearful, but not for children who were low in fearfulness (Kochanska, 1991; Kochanska, Aksan, and Joy, 2007). Cornell and Frick (2007) similarly showed that the interaction between behavioral inhibition and parenting predicted children’s guilt and empathy. Negative relations between inconsistent parenting and guilt or empathy are significant for uninhibited, but not inhibited, children. In terms of prosocial outcomes, harsh parenting predicts low prosocial behaviors for children high in negative emotionality, whereas the relation is not significant for children low in negative emotionality (Slagt, Semon Dubas, and Aken, 2016). Relations between parenting practices and children’s prosocial tendencies vary based on differences in children’s genetic markers. Specifically, parenting (or attachment) predicts prosocial behavior or empathy only among children carrying the DRD4-III 7-repeat allele (Bakermans-Kranenburg and van Ijzendoorn, 2011; Knafo, Israel, and Ebstein, 2011; Knafo and Uzefovsky, 2013; see Fortuna and Knafo, 2014, for further discussion of related issues). Thus, parental socialization practices likely do not operate in isolation. Undoubtedly, relations between parenting practices and children’s prosocial outcomes may be moderated by factors such as children’s sex, age, genetic makeup, temperamental characteristics, and culture. Clearly, there is much more work to be done in this area. In addition to the role of children’s characteristics as moderators of relations between parenting and prosociality, researchers have been investigating potential mediating processes involved in these relations. For example, children’s ability to regulate their emotions and behavior (i.e., effortful control) is expected to predict children’s prosocial behavior and other-oriented responding because such selfregulation abilities are likely involved in children’s tendencies to experience optimal levels of arousal 104

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when faced with others’ distress, rather than becoming overly aroused and experiencing personal distress reactions. Self-regulation abilities mediate the relations between parenting and prosocial behavior (Davidov and Grusec, 2006; Laible et al., 2017; Padilla-Walker and Christensen, 2011; Williams and Berthelsen, 2017) and between parenting and sympathy or empathy (Eisenberg et al., 2001; Panfile and Laible, 2012; Taylor et al., 2015). Other aspects of children’s characteristics have been shown to mediate relations between parenting and prosocial tendencies. For example, children’s cognitive and language development and social engagement of the mother mediated the relation between mothers’ emotional availability and children’s empathy (Moreno et al., 2008). Further evidence indicates that children’s emotion knowledge (Ensor, Spencer, and Hughes, 2011) and emotional expressiveness (Laible, 2007) mediate the relations between parent–child attachment/mother–child reciprocity and children’s prosocial behavior in preschool.

Cultural Determinants of Prosocial Behavior Research on cultural and subcultural differences in prosocial behavior also provides insight into the role of the social environment. People in different cultures vary in their socialization goals (e.g., relational verses individualistic) and in their valuing of prosocial behaviors and cooperation (De Guzman, Brown, Carlo, and Knight, 2012; Knight and Carlo, 2012; Suizzo, 2007; see Eisenberg et al., 2015). Studies comparing prosocial behavior across cultures generally have focused on children’s cooperation and distribution of resources. For example, House and colleagues (2013) compared 3- to 14-yearold children from Los Angeles and from more traditional cultures (including hunter-gathering and horticulture/pastoralism societies) and found no differences in low-cost prosocial behavior. However, differences were found between cultures in costly prosocial behaviors. Specifically, when there was a cost, children from Los Angeles and the Aka (a hunter-gathering culture) from Africa showed the most dramatic increases in prosocial behavior in early adolescence and made the most prosocial choices at the older ages compared to other groups. Researchers also have demonstrated that children from traditional cultures/subcultures (e.g., Mexican-American children) are more cooperative than their European-American peers (de Guzman and Carlo, 2004; Knight, Kagan, and Buriel, 1981; see Knight and Carlo, 2012). In studies that do not use allocation tasks, few differences have been found among Western, industrialized countries (Russell, Hart, Robinson, and Olsen, 2003; Yagmurlu and Sanson, 2009). When comparing prosocial action between Asian and Western cultures, differences favoring Asian children have sometimes been found, perhaps due to the increased value for cooperation with group members in Asian cultures (Stevenson, 1991; Stewart and McBride-Chang, 2000). Thus, differences across cultures likely depend on the kind of prosocial behavior studied (i.e., distribution of resources, sharing, helping), characteristics of the context (i.e., high versus low cost), and the countries or cultures being compared (e.g., traditional, Western). Furthermore, in understanding subcultural differences in the United States, researchers have shown that individual differences in Mexican-American youths’ acculturation patterns are associated with lower prosocial behavior (de Guzman and Carlo, 2004; Knight and Carlo, 2012). Further, youths’ valuing of familism (i.e., an emphasis on family support, loyalty, and interdependence among family members) embedded within the Mexican-American culture has been shown to predict a broad range of prosocial tendencies (Armenta, Knight, Carlo, and Jacobson, 2011; Knight, Carlo, Mahrer, and Davis, 2016). Advancement of this line of research would likely benefit from the consideration of potential mediators and moderators of the relations between parenting and prosocial behavior. The strength or direction of the relation between parenting strategies and children’s prosocial behavior may differ across cultures and societies. For example, Eisenberg et al. (2001) showed that parental expression of positive emotions was unrelated to sympathy in Indonesian children (although 105

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it tends to be positively related in the United States), whereas negative relations of parental expression of negative emotion were found in both groups. The findings may be due to a general discouragement of intense emotional expression (either positive or negative) in Indonesia and highlights the potential moderating role of culture in the relations of parenting to children’s prosocial development.

Summary A variety of parenting dimensions has been examined in relation to children’s prosocial behavior. However, the configuration of a number of parenting behaviors, not any single behavior, appears to have the greatest impact on children’s prosocial behavior. Authoritative parents who are generally warm and supportive but who also encourage and respect the child’s autonomy, use constructive disciplinary techniques such as inductions, and set and enforce high standards of behavior (Baumrind, 1971, 1993) are likely to rear prosocial children. Moreover, the effects of authoritative parenting are likely to be augmented if parents also model prosocial actions, discuss the effects of helping on others, and involve children in helping activities without coercing their participation. Complexities in the relations also have been shown, such that children’s characteristics and parental practices may interact in their effects. Furthermore, researchers are increasingly focusing on the processes underlying the socialization of children’s prosocial tendencies. Additionally, researchers are beginning to pay attention to the mechanisms by which children’s prosocial actions vary for children in different cultures, although more work in this area is needed.

Moral Judgment Socializers typically have been assigned a circumscribed role in moral development by cognitive developmental theorists. Thus, it is not surprising that the contributions of parenting to the development of moral reasoning have received relatively little attention. Those that do typically pertain to aspects of the environment that Kohlberg deemed important: opportunities for perspective taking and for engendering cognitive conflict.

Provision of Role-Taking Opportunities and Promotion of Autonomous Thinking The research provides some support for Kohlberg’s assertion that provision of role-taking opportunities for the autonomous construction of moral ideas fosters children’s moral reasoning. For example, Holstein (1972) found that parents who encouraged their children’s participation in discussion and decision-making are more likely to have children who reason at relatively high levels (see, however, Speicher, 1992). Leahy (1981) found that adolescent males’ level of moral judgment was correlated with low maternal punitiveness and control, low maternal emphasis on maintaining boundaries between the child and others, and paternal acceptance and incorporation of the son into the family. Findings for daughters were less consistent. Daughters’ higher-level reasoning was correlated with low paternal ambivalence about autonomy, low paternal protectiveness, and low maternal intrusiveness, as well as paternal emphasis on control and supervision (see Eisenberg, 1977, for somewhat similar results). Similarly, Pratt, Skoe, and Arnold (2004) showed that parental autonomy encouragement during adolescence was related to higher moral reasoning in young adulthood. However, more work in this area is needed—especially with regard to the role that children’s moral judgment has on parenting practices. That is, perhaps parents provide more autonomy when their teens exhibit higher levels of moral reasoning. Studies on actual or observed styles of parent–child interactions have produced a mixed pattern of findings. In an early study of mothers’ and sons’ discussions of moral dilemmas, mothers of higher reasoning boys, in comparison with mothers whose sons exhibited lower moral reasoning, were more 106

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dominant and hostile and less warm and encouraging (Jurkovic and Prentice, 1974). Buck, Walsh, and Rothman (1981) examined the relation of parental practices during a discussion of how to handle sons’ aggression with 10- to 13-year-old boys’ moral reasoning. Boys with higher moral reasoning had parents who considered their son’s view, used reasoning themselves, and tended to encourage the expression of the son’s view. Language during parent–child interactions also has been examined. In a study of elementary school girls, Kruger (1992) coded transactive (reasoning about reasoning) statements, questions, and responses in mother–child discussions of moral dilemmas. High use by mother and daughter of transactive statements (spontaneously produced critiques, refinements, extensions, or significant paraphrases of ideas), particularly those that focused on the partner’s ideas, was associated with daughters’ higher-level moral reasoning immediately after the interaction session. Thus, daughters’ moral reasoning was associated with egalitarian interactions with their mothers in which both partners were highly involved in a discussion of the moral dilemmas. Similar findings were obtained for fathers’ (but not mothers’) use of transactive statements with their adolescents (Pratt, Arnold, Pratt, and Diessner, 1999). Walker and colleagues (Walker and Hennig, 1999; Walker and Taylor, 1991; Walker, Hennig, and Krettenauer, 2000) investigated the role of parental emphasis on autonomous thinking and provision of opportunities for critical thinking. Parents’ interaction style during a discussion of moral issues with their first-, fourth-, seventh-, or tenth-grade child was used to predict elementary and high school children’s reasoning two or four years later. During interaction sessions, parents and their child discussed hypothetical and real-life moral dilemmas (one in the child’s life) and attempted to reach a consensus. Parents generally used lower levels of moral reasoning when discussing issues with their children than was evidenced in an individual assessment of the parents’ reasoning level, and they used lower-level reasoning more with children reasoning at low levels. Children’s moral reasoning years later was best predicted by discussions of the real-life rather than hypothetical moral dilemma. Parental behaviors that best predicted children’s moral growth were characterized by a Socratic questioning style, supportive interactions, and the presentation of higher-level reasoning. A large discrepancy between parents and child (about one stage) was predictive of children’s development. Moral growth was associated with parental behaviors, such as eliciting the child’s opinion, drawing out the child’s reasoning with appropriate probing questions, paraphrasing, and checking for understanding, all in the context of emotional support and attentiveness. Parent behaviors, such as critiquing and directly challenging the child (especially in a hostile manner), presenting of counterconsiderations, and simply providing information, were not associated with children’s moral growth. Direct challenges to the child’s reasoning may have been viewed as hostile by the child and, consequently, may have been counterproductive, whereas simple provision of information may have been viewed as lecturing. Overall, Walker and his colleagues’ findings suggest that parental practices that promote consideration of higher-level moral ideas but do so in a supportive rather than heavy-handed manner are associated with children’s moral growth. Recchia, Wainryb, Bourne, and Pasupathi (2014) observed mothers and their children or adolescents discussing past moral actions and found that mothers and their offspring discussed positive consequences for helping others, and mothers often emphasized children’s positive moral behaviors and characteristics (“You are such a compassionate person”) in these conversations. Thus, conversations about moral behaviors provide important opportunities for moral socialization.

Disciplinary Practices Comprehensive reviews of relations of various modes of discipline to children’s moral development were published by Hoffman in 1970(b) and Brody and Shaffer in 1982. Thus, in this review their findings are cited and updated with discussion of subsequent work. Consistent with Hoffman’s theorizing, both Hoffman (1970) and Brody and Shaffer (1982) found predominantly negative relations between parental power-assertive practices and children’s moral 107

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reasoning, particularly for mothers. Punitive discipline has been negatively related to moral reasoning in European-American and Mexican-American, but not Taiwanese, youth (Shen, Carlo, and Knight, 2013). Love withdrawal procedures were for the most part unrelated to children’s moral reasoning, although both positive and negative associations were found. Furthermore, the preponderance of studies supports the proposed positive relation between mothers’ use of inductions and children’s moral reasoning; findings for fathers are rare and less consistent, although more positive than negative relations are apparent (Janssens and Dekovic, 1997; Janssen, Janssens, and Gerris, 1992). The results of empirical studies since the 1980s tend to be similar. In general, inductive parental practices have been associated with higher-level moral reasoning in offspring (but not always, see Carlo, Knight, et al., 2011). In a study of Dutch children aged 9 to 13, both mothers’ and fathers’ use of inductions rather than power assertion was significantly positively related to the level of children’s moral reasoning (Janssen et al.,1992), although in a similar sample, maternal, but not paternal, inductions related to Dutch children’s moral reasoning about prosocial moral conflicts (Janssens and Gerris, 1992). In another study with elementary-school-aged Dutch children, mothers’ but not fathers’ use of victim-oriented inductions was associated with children’s internalized moral judgments (de Veer and Janssens, 1992). Thus, the strength of the roles of mothers versus fathers is somewhat unclear. Further complexities in research show that the positive relation frequently holds for only some children and not others: for upper-middle-class girls and older boys in India but not other sex, age, and social class groups (Saraswathi and Sundaresan, 1980); for older (15 to 16 years) but not younger uppermiddle class boys and girls in India (Parikh, 1980); and for Israeli fathers’ and adolescents’ reports of parental induction, but not mothers’ reports of their own use of induction (Eisikovits and Sagi, 1982). Although inductive discipline is not related to all measures of moral reasoning for all samples, inductive discipline seems, in general, to be associated with higher levels of children’s moral reasoning. Furthermore, the literature also indicates that inductive discipline predicts offsprings’ moral reasoning through its impact on children’s sympathy and/or perspective taking (Eisenberg, Zhou, and Koller, 2001; Lopez, Bonenberger, and Schneider, 2001; Shen et al., 2013). The style of parenting, more than any one disciplinary practice, may be associated with children’s moral reasoning. Consistent with this notion, Janssens and Dekovic (1997) found that children were higher in moral reasoning about helping dilemmas if their parents were supportive, authoritative (e.g., gave explanations or suggestions, asked the child stimulating questions to help find solutions), and used less restrictive practices (e.g., commands or orders such as “don’t do that”) with their children. Other investigators have noted relations between authoritative parenting and higher-level moral reasoning among adolescents (Boyes and Allen, 1993; Pratt et al., 1999; Pratt et al., 2004). Similarly, Laible and colleagues (2008) showed that persistent discipline was related to adolescents’ higher level of moral cognition (internalization and moral reasoning).

Affective Environment Hoffman (1970) argued that parental warmth provides an optimal environment for socialization because children are more likely to attend to parents and care about pleasing their parents when the relationship generally is supportive. There is some support for the role of parental warmth in fostering children’s moral reasoning (Powers, 1988; Palmer and Hollin, 1996). Walker and Taylor (1991) found that children’s moral growth was linked to a supportive, positive environment during family discussion of moral issues. Similarly, Malti et al. (2013) showed that high levels of parental emotional support were related to consistently high levels of moral reasoning throughout middle childhood (see also Buck et al., 1981, Speicher, 1992, for similar findings). In other studies, researchers have found relations between parental nurturance and moral reasoning for one parent but not the other, one sex but not the other, one age but not others, or for children from middle-class but not lower-income families (Hart, 1988; Hoffman and Saltzstein, 1967; Eisenberg, Lennon, and Roth, 1983; Smart and Smart, 1976). 108

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Perhaps parental warmth does not exert a direct effect on children’s moral reasoning; it may simply influence the effectiveness of other parental practices in fostering the growth of moral reasoning (i.e., it may be a moderator variable). As suggested by Baumrind’s work (1971, 1993), when parental warmth is not combined with appropriate parental disciplinary practices, it may result in a permissive parenting style, one that is not associated with positive child outcomes. This research may explain why associations between parental warmth and moral reasoning are mixed in the research literature and why authoritative parenting (which includes support, control, and practices such as induction) has been linked to higher-level moral judgment (Boyes and Allen, 1993; Janssens and Dekovic, 1997; Pratt et al., 1999). Carlo, Mestre, et al. (2011) showed that both mothers’ and fathers’ high warmth and low strict control each related to higher adolescent moral reasoning.

Relation Between Parents’ and Children’s Moral Reasoning A number of investigators have examined the correlation between parents’ and children’s levels of moral reasoning. A positive relation could reflect a number of factors, including similarity between parents’ and children’s cognitive abilities or parents with higher-level moral reasoning promoting their children’s moral reasoning by stimulating cognitive conflict or using optimal childrearing practices. Findings have been inconsistent. Some researchers have found significant correlations between parents’ and children’s moral reasoning (Buck et al., 1981; Janssen et al., 1992); others have not (Walker and Taylor, 1991). In one longitudinal sample, mothers’ and fathers’ levels of moral judgment were positively related to those of sons and daughters in adolescence and early adulthood; in another sample, only fathers’ and sons’ reasoning were consistently positively related (Speicher, 1994). Moreover, in some research, the size of the relation varies with the age of the child (Parikh, 1980; compare with Speicher, 1994). Furthermore, adolescents who reported closer agreement with their parents about the importance of moral values had parents who were more authoritative, suggesting that adolescents may be more receptive to socialization efforts when parents are warmer and appropriately demanding (Pratt, Hunsberger, Pancer, and Alisat, 2003). In general, there appears to be a weak positive relation between children’s and parents’ moral reasoning, but one that varies across samples, gender of parent or child, and sometimes age of child, and may depend on general parenting style. An important question is whether parents at different levels of reasoning evidence different styles of interaction in moral discussions. Walker and Taylor (1991) found no evidence of a relation between parents’ moral reasoning and their interaction style. In contrast, Buck et al. (1981) found that parents who reason at higher levels had sons who participated and reasoned more and who communicated more fully in family discussions. These findings indirectly support the notion that parents at high levels of moral reasoning create a different family environment than those at lower levels. In fact, Janssen et al. (1992) found that parents’ moral reasoning and their use of inductive versus power-assertive discipline were correlated. Thus, the relation between parent and child moral reasoning probably arises at least partly because parents who use higher-level reasoning also use more inductive and less power-assertive practices. However, children reasoning at higher levels also may elicit different parental reactions.

Cultural Determinants of Prosocial Moral Reasoning As with prosocial behavior, cultural environments undoubtedly influence children’s prosocial moral reasoning. Although research on cultural differences in prosocial moral reasoning is limited, most of the findings have noted more similarities than differences across cultures (Carlo, Mestre, et al., 2011; Mahtani Stewart and McBride-Chang, 2000; see Eisenberg et al., 2006). Chadha and Misra (2004) studied Indian children and showed similar structure of prosocial moral reasoning, with only a few 109

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distinctive lines of reasoning that seem to be indicative of the Indian culture (such as shame orientation or community brotherhood). When cultural differences have been found, however, the pattern of differences is not very consistent. For example, Carlo, Koller, Eisenberg, Da Silva, and Frohlich (1996) found that U.S. adolescents scored higher on internalized prosocial moral reasoning than Brazilian adolescents, and Spanish adolescents scored higher than Turkish adolescents in another study (Kumru, Carlo, Mestre, and Samper, 2012). More subtle differences were found in the prosocial moral reasoning of children from the United States compared to those in Israel and Germany (Boehnke, Silbereisen, Eisenberg, Reykowski, and Palmonari, 1989; Eisenberg, Hertz-Lazarowitz, and Fuchs, 1990). Beyond cultural and subcultural group differences, it is important to understand how socialization practices might promote prosocial moral reasoning deemed particularly salient to specific cultures. Few researchers have examined such questions; as an exception, Shen et al. (2013) showed that punitive parenting was negatively related to prosocial moral reasoning in Mexican-American and European-American adolescents but was unrelated to prosocial moral reasoning for Taiwanese youth. These findings indicate that culture may moderate the effects of particular parenting practices on prosocial moral reasoning. Further, a focus on cultural values provides evidence of the processes that may account for cultural differences. For example, the importance of family cohesion, familism, is central to MexicanAmerican culture. Indeed, the cultural value of familism has been shown to predict higher prosocial moral reasoning in Mexican-American youth (Knight, Carlo, Basilio, and Jacobson, 2015). Further research studying a wider array of cultures and subcultures, with a focus on such mediational processes is needed.

Summary Although there is relatively little research on the socialization of moral reasoning, particularly by parents, some tentative conclusions can be drawn. Children with higher-level moral reasoning tend to have parents who are supportive and encourage autonomous thinking, who stimulate their children’s moral thinking by means of their conversational style and by involving their children in moral discussions, and who use inductive rather than power-assertive modes of reasoning. In addition, there may be a weak relation between parents’ and children’s moral reasoning, one that is partially mediated by the nature of the parent–child interaction. However, it is unclear if these findings generalize to nonWestern countries, as there is little work on relations of parenting to moral judgment in those countries. Because it is unclear that systems for coding moral judgment developed in the United States by Kohlberg and others appropriately represent the development of moral judgment in non-Western, nonindustrialized countries, the task of determining what aspects of parenting relate to level of and moral judgment in those countries is especially challenging.

Parent Training Programs for Improving Prosocial Development A number of prevention and intervention programs have been designed and implemented with the goal of improving prosocial environments. Consistent with Kazdin’s (1987) recommendations, interventions are increasingly multidimensional and delivered from a developmental perspective. In a meta-analysis, Malti, Chaparro, Zuffianò, and Colasante (2016) examined 19 school-based intervention programs that emphasized the promotion of empathy or related constructs (e.g., perspective taking, prosocial behavior). Program effects were stronger when programs were implemented at younger ages and incorporated skills such as emotion understanding and perspective taking. Three such programs will be briefly reviewed (also see McCord and Tremblay, 1992).


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The Fast Track Program utilizes a multicomponent longitudinal design to assess the effects of the program’s seven components, including parent training and parent–child relationship enhancement (Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group or CPPRG, 1992). The Fast Track program offers a universal intervention, beginning at grade 1 and continuing through grade 6. The 10% of children displaying the highest level of conduct problems were selected to participate in an additional series of interventions. Parents in the intervention group reported more warmth, more consistent discipline, and less harsh discipline (CPPRG, 1999a). Children in classrooms where the intervention was delivered showed decreased levels of aggression (CPPRG, 1999b) and improved interpersonal skills/ prosocial behavior (Bierman et al., 2010; Sorensen, Dodge, and CPPRG, 2016). Furthermore, parents and teachers credit children in the intervention group with making positive changes in their behaviors (CPPRG, 1999a). The Metropolitan Area Child Study is a longitudinal study of a prevention field trial meant to evaluate the impact of a school-wide, peer, and family intervention designed to prevent antisocial behavior in urban children (second- to fifth-graders) living in poor neighborhoods. The program was designed to address how much intervention is necessary and how the process of the intervention affects children’s behaviors (Guerra, Eron, Huesmann, Tolan, and Van Acker, 1997). The alteration of parenting practices was associated with decreases in children’s aggressive behavior (Tolan, Hanish, McKay, and Dickey, 2002). The Oregon Social Learning Center tested a universal prevention program for conduct disorder for first-graders and fifth-graders. The multicomponent program is delivered in the home and school (Reid, Eddy, Fetrow, and Stoolmiller, 1999). Teachers were exposed to new ways of managing off-task students, and parents complete a parent training program. The most aggressive children experienced the most improvement (Stoolmiller, Eddy, and Reid, 2000). Additionally, mothers in the intervention group who used the most aversive behaviors initially experienced the most change (Reid et al., 1999). The three programs reviewed show promise that socializers can reduce children’s aggressive behaviors. As more data emerge, it will be important to examine the cost-effectiveness of delivering largescale interventions.

Future Directions in Understanding Parenting Influences on Children’s Prosocial Development Our understanding of the role of parents in the prosocial development of children is more complete in regard to some aspects of functioning than others. We know quite a bit about parental contributions to the development of children’s prosocial and aggressive behavior, and much less about their role in the development of guilt, dishonesty and lying, and moral reasoning. Furthermore, mothers have been studied much more frequently than fathers, with the consequence that we know much more about mothers’ than fathers’ roles in moral socialization. In addition, much of the available information comes from studies of middle-class European-American children; it is quite possible that parental practices and characteristics have different meanings and consequences in different socioeconomic and cultural groups (Bornstein, 1995). Although research has provided us with some information regarding the correlates of children’s morality, there is much to learn about the processes involved in the socialization of children’s moral behavior and reasoning. It is one thing to know that a given parental characteristic or practice is associated with children’s moral functioning; it is another to know why this is so. There is a need for research examining how parents and children jointly influence children’s moral development. In addition, there is much to learn about the variables that moderate the relation of quality and type of parenting to moral outcomes, including gender of the child, cultural and socioeconomic status, children’s temperament, and the presence of factors that buffer the negative effects of poor-quality parenting.


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Conclusions It is possible to draw some tentative conclusions regarding the role of parents’ behaviors and characteristics in children’s moral development. In general, moral children tend to have parents who are warm and supportive rather than use inductive discipline, provide opportunities for children to learn about others’ perspectives and feelings, and involve children in family decision-making and in the process of thinking about moral decisions. Parents of moral children also are likely to model moral behaviors and thinking themselves and provide opportunities for their children to do so. Parents who exhibit this configuration of behaviors appear to foster the development of concern and caring about others and create a positive parent–child relationship that the child is invested in maintaining. In addition, these parents provide information about what behaviors are expected of the child and why and foster an internal rather than external sense of morality. Children who develop internal motives for acting in moral ways based on moral principles and caring for others are likely to act in a moral manner in diverse settings, particularly if their level of moral reasoning is relatively mature. Both theory and the empirical data support the conclusion that parents play an important role in their children’s prosocial and moral development. This is not surprising because children learn much about relationships and ways of treating other people in the familial context. However, children are not simply passive recipients of moral values and behaviors; they appear to be active participants in the process of moral socialization. Children’s cognitive abilities influence what they understand, and their temperament and style of interaction affect how parents react to them and discipline them. Styles of parent–child interaction evolve as a consequence of characteristics and behaviors of both participants.

Acknowledgments Work on this chapter was supported by funding from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) (R01HD068522). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH.

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Tracy L. Spinrad et al. Kruger, A. C. (1992). The effect of peer and adult-child transactive discussions on moral reasoning. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 38, 191–211. Kuczynski, L., and Kochanska, G. (1990). Development of children’s noncompliance strategies from toddlerhood to age 5. Developmental Psychology, 26, 398–408. Kumru, A., Carlo, G., Mestre, M. V., and Samper, P. (2012). Prosocial moral reasoning and prosocial behavior among Turkish and Spanish adolescents. Social Behavior and Personality, 40, 205–214. Laible, D. J. (2007). Attachment with parents and peers in late adolescence: Links with emotional competence and social behavior. Personality and Individual Differences, 43, 1185–1197. Laible, D. J., and Carlo, G. (2004). The differential relations of maternal and paternal support and control to adolescent social competence, self-worth, and sympathy. Journal of Adolescent Research, 19, 759–782. Laible, D. J., Carlo, G., Davis, A. N., and Karahuta, E. (2016). 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Prosocial Development McGrath, M. P., Wilson, S. R., and Frassetto, S. J. (1995). Why some forms of induction are better than others at encouraging prosocial behavior. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 41, 347–360. McLellan, J. A., and Youniss, J. (2003). Two systems of youth service: Determinants of voluntary and required youth community service. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 32, 47–58. Michalik, N. M., Eisenberg, N., Spinrad, T. L., Ladd, B., Thompson, M., and Valiente, C. (2007). Longitudinal relations among parental emotional expressivity and sympathy and prosocial behavior in adolescence. Social Development, 16, 286–309. Miklikowska, M., Duriez, B., and Soenens, B. (2011). Family roots of empathy-related characteristics: The role of perceived maternal and paternal need support in adolescence. Developmental Psychology, 47, 1342–1352. Moreno, A. J., Klute, M. M., and Robinson, J. L. (2008). Relational and individual resources as predictors of empathy in early childhood. 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Padilla-Walker, L. M., and Christensen, K. J. (2011). Empathy and self-regulation as mediators between parenting and adolescents’ prosocial behavior toward strangers, friends, and family. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 21, 545–551. Padilla-Walker, L. M., Nielson, M. G., and Day, R. D. (2016). The role of parental warmth and hostility on adolescents’ prosocial behavior toward multiple targets. Journal of Family Psychology, 30, 331–340. Palmer, E. J., and Hollin, C. R. (1996). Sociomoral reasoning, perceptions of own parenting, and self-reported delinquency. Personality and Individual Differences, 21, 175–182. Panfile, T. M., and Laible, D. J. (2012). Attachment security and child’s empathy: The mediating role of emotion regulation. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 58, 1–21. Parikh, B. (1980). Development of moral judgment and its relation to family environment factors in Indian and American families. Child Development, 51, 1030–1039. Park, N. (2004). 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Tracy L. Spinrad et al. Recchia, H. E., Wainryb, C., Bourne, S., and Pasupathi, M. (2014). The construction of moral agency in mother-child conversations about helping and hurting across childhood and adolescence. Developmental Psychology, 50, 34–44. Reid, J. B., Eddy, J. M., Fetrow, R. A., and Stoolmiller, M. (1999). Description and immediate impacts of a preventive intervention for conduct problems. American Journal of Community Psychology, 27, 483–517. Rice, M. E., and Grusec, J. E. (1975). Saying and doing: Effects on observer performance. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 32, 584-593. Rosenhan, D. L. (1970). The natural socialization of altruistic autonomy. In J. Macaulay and L. Berkowitz (Eds.), Altruism and helping behavior (pp. 251–268). New York: Academic Press. Rushton, J. P. (1975). Generosity in children: Immediate and long term effects of modeling, preaching, and moral judgment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 31, 459-466. Russell, A., Hart, C. 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5 PARENTING AND MORAL DEVELOPMENT Judith G. Smetana, Courtney L. Ball, and Ha Na Yoo

Introduction The role of parents has been a central but somewhat vexing issue in the psychological study of moral development. Although scholars typically consider parents essential to the socialization of children’s moral norms and values, researchers vary as to whether they believe that morality is directly transmitted—and thus differ in how central they view parents to these developmental processes. Socialization is typically defined as “the processes whereby naïve individuals are taught the skills, behavior patterns, values, and motivations needed for competent functioning in the[ir] culture” (Maccoby, 2007, p. 13). According to this view, adult members of society, and parents in particular, are responsible for transmitting societal norms and values to children. Other scholars, especially those from earlier structuraldevelopmental perspectives (e.g., Kohlberg, 1969; Piaget, 1932/1965), are more agnostic about whether parents directly inculcate moral norms. Instead, these researchers view morality as constructed from social experiences broadly considered, and with a greater emphasis on peer interactions. Indeed, some scholars (e.g., Piaget, 1932/1965) even view parents as inhibiting moral growth. This chapter describes how these wide variations in views are connected to ongoing debates about the nature and definition of morality as well as the processes theorized to account for its development. Researchers mostly agree, however, that morality pertains to individuals’ treatment of others and how individuals ought to behave. In the present chapter, we review theoretical approaches and related empirical research on moral development. Our primary focus is on how different theories and corresponding research inform our understanding of parents’ contributions to young persons’ moral development. We focus mostly on the prescriptive, obligatory aspects of morality, which typically pertain to inhibitory acts—the “don’ts” of morality (like not stealing money for food) rather than the more positive or prosocial acts (like giving money for food to a poor person; Kahn, 1992), as these discretionary behaviors are covered elsewhere (Spinrad, Eisenberg, and Valiente, 2019). In the first section of our chapter, we provide an overview of three foundational psychological theories central to research on moral development: psychoanalytic theory, behaviorism and its more recent instantiation in social learning theory, and structural-developmental theory. We consider each theory’s perspective on parents’ role in moral development. These foundational theories have evolved into newer forms, and these contemporary theories are discussed in the section that follows. Next, we draw on these various theoretical approaches to consider different strands of contemporary research on parenting and moral development. This is followed by some reflection on the limitations of our knowledge and future directions for research. In the final section, we briefly consider implications for practice.


Parenting and Moral Development

Foundational Theories of Moral Development Three “grand theories” of development guided the early psychological research on moral development: psychoanalytic theory (Freud, 1930/1961), behaviorism—as initially described by Watson (1930), later expanded by Skinner (1971), and elaborated by social learning theorists—and structuraldevelopmental theory, which originated with Piaget (1932/1965) and was further developed by Kohlberg (1969). More complete descriptions of these foundational theories’ contributions to the study of moral development can be found in Killen and Smetana (2015), but here we briefly outline their views and their contributions to our understanding of parenting and moral development.

Psychoanalytic Theory Early parent–child relationships were central to Freud’s (1930/1961) theory of psychosexual development. Development during the first few years of life was described as occurring through a series of developmental stages that posed conflicts between satisfying bodily urges and the need to comply with societal expectations. According to Freud, progress through the stages was biologically based but was also influenced by the environment, as instantiated in parent–child relationships. Freud’s developmental progression culminated at around 5 or 6 years of age in the Oedipal conflict, with its resolution leading to the development of the superego, the moral “organ” that contains the conscience and the ego ideal. Prior to the development of the superego, children’s morality was considered entirely governed by external processes and dependent on parental enforcement. With the emergence of the superego, parental values were internalized in the ego ideal and enforced by the conscience in the form of guilt for misbehavior. In Freud’s view, guilt was a punitive force reflecting the child’s aggression towards the father, which is turned inward towards the self as the Oedipal conflict is resolved. The process of moral development was seen as universal, but the content—the particular moral values that children internalized in their ego ideal—was contingent on the particular values parents endorsed. Freud developed his theory from clinical insights rather than empirical research. Researchers quickly realized that Freud’s theoretical propositions regarding how children come to internalize parental values (referred to as the child’s identification with the parent) produced internally inconsistent and contradictory hypotheses, making them difficult to test empirically. However, in the 1940s and 1950s, researchers melded Freudian theory—particularly his notion of drives—with behaviorist stimulus-response theory (see Grusec, 1992, 2006, for a more detailed discussion). The resulting research focused on children’s internalization of parental values. Sears, Maccoby, and Levin (1957) was one of the first studies to examine the effects of parental discipline on children’s conscience development and moral behavior. Their study was ultimately unsuccessful, however, particularly in articulating and testing the Freudian drive aspects of this theoretical synthesis. Although many of Freud’s theoretical notions (and particularly his formulation of biologically based drives) were ultimately abandoned, other aspects of Freud’s writings have had a lasting impact on moral developmental research, albeit transformed in significant ways. Thus, Freud’s influence is felt in the emphasis on early childhood as a critical period for moral development, the description of the conscience as an internalized agency that enforces moral values, and the focus on the role of guilt in maintaining moral behavior.

Behaviorism and Social Learning Theory Behaviorism As elaborated in Watson’s (1930) theory of classical conditioning and Skinner’s (1971) subsequent theory of operant conditioning, behaviorism asserted that psychological theorists should focus on studying observable behavior. Although much of the empirical support for these theories was obtained


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from experiments on animal conditioning, Watson’s and Skinner’s research had a major impact on theories of morality (and American psychology, more generally). In Beyond Freedom and Dignity, Skinner (1971) devoted a chapter to the assertion that moral values possess no special status—that is, they do not differ from other learned behaviors—and like them, are acquired through reinforcement. Thus, environmental contingencies were thought to account for moral behavior. Skinner and his followers were not concerned with child development and accordingly did not emphasize the role of parents, as behaviorists believed that the same reinforcement processes were operative across the life span and relevant to all learned behavior.

Social Learning Theory Bandura and Mischel drew on Skinnerian theory to understand children’s socialization. Their influential finding that reinforcement could not account for all of children’s learning led to the formulation of social learning theory (Bandura and McDonald, 1963). They proposed that, in addition to reinforcement, children acquire novel behavior through processes of imitation and observation. Indeed, observational learning was seen as the most central and efficient source of children’s learning. Several influential laboratory experimental paradigms were developed to test these notions and are still in use in moral development research today. For instance, in Bandura and McDonald’s (1963) “forbidden toy” paradigm (also referred to as a resistance to temptation task), children were given pairs of toys to play with and told to refrain from touching the more attractive one when the experimenter left the room; the measure of internalized morality was the amount of time the child desisted from touching the toy. In the cheating paradigm, children were left alone to play a game or correct a test; morality was measured in terms of how quickly and how much they cheated. Two central assumptions of these approaches were that these experimental situations simulated the types of interactions parents had with children and that the findings of these studies generalize beyond the laboratory. These accounts stressed the role of adult status and power, as children were found to be more likely to model and learn correct behavior from more powerful (but also more nurturant) models. Cognitive components were eventually incorporated into their approach, as reflected in the name change to social-cognitive learning theory. This perspective led to extensive research on the conditions that lead children to emulate and comply with adult standards (cf. Bandura and Walters, 1977). Grusec (2006) noted that Bandura did not conceptualize internalization as a strictly passive (“social mold”) process. Rather, he proposed that children attend to conflicting information and choose which behavior or norm to adopt based on a number of factors, including the characteristics of the socialization agent and the value placed on the norm. But because the primary focus of this research was on compliance with parental directives, the early socialization theorists did not attend to the content of the values parents wanted children to acquire.

Structural-Developmental Theory Although Piaget (1932/1965) was primarily concerned with the origins of knowledge, The Moral Judgment of the Child extended his constructivist theory to consider the development of moral judgment and behavior. In keeping with the tenets of constructivism, Piaget asserted that children’s moral understanding emerges from the continual interaction of adaptive, biological mechanisms and environmental influences (mainly peer interactions). Piaget asserted that the hierarchical nature of parent– child relationships imposes constraints on children’s moral understanding. Specifically, he argued that children develop a heteronomous stage of moral reasoning in middle childhood, where morality is viewed in terms of unilateral respect for parental rules and authority. Peer interactions were seen as more equal and reciprocal than parent–child interactions and as characterized by mutual respect and cooperation. Thus, Piaget proposed that children’s participation in such interactions beyond the family 124

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transformed children’s heteronomous reasoning into a second stage of autonomous moral reasoning, where rules were evaluated based on individuals’ intentions and needs. Piaget’s theory offered a radical departure from both psychoanalytic and behaviorist theories in that parent–child relationships were seen as inhibiting moral growth, whereas, by providing opportunities for children to work through moral conflicts, peer interactions were characterized as promoting more mature moral understanding. Kohlberg (1969; Colby and Kohlberg, 1987) was one of the first U.S. advocates of Piaget’s constructivist approach, but he believed that Piaget’s tasks led Piaget to underestimate the nature of moral reasoning. These concerns, along with more general criticisms of behaviorist approaches prominent at that time, led Kohlberg to study moral reasoning in older children, adolescents, and emerging adults using hypothetical dilemmas that presented conflicts between issues involving law, life, interpersonal obligations, trust, and authority. Based on responses to these complex dilemmas and informed by philosopher Rawls’s (1971) theory of justice, Kohlberg proposed that moral judgments develop through a series of six universal, sequential, and hierarchical stages of progressively more differentiated and integrated concepts of justice. In this view, individuals are unable to distinguish between moral principles and more arbitrary conventional norms until early adulthood, when (and if ) they develop principled moral reasoning. Although the theory was substantially revised during the 1970s and 1980s based on extensive research, key aspects of his theory were not empirically supported (see Lapsley, 2006; Turiel, 2015). Kohlberg’s focus was on the underlying structure of moral reasoning rather than on the content of particular judgments. Kohlberg was interested in identifying the specific mechanisms that facilitate higher stages of moral reasoning; he sought these processes in interactions with peers, not parents. Indeed, echoing Piaget, he stated, “family participation is not unique or critically necessary for moral development” (1976, p. 399). Accordingly, Kohlberg’s colleagues (Berkowitz and Gibbs, 1983) analyzed college students’ discussions of hypothetical moral dilemmas and found that discussions that involve cognitive challenges to another’s moral reasoning (termed transactive dialogues) were most effective in predicting stage change (although the changes that resulted were modest, at best). These findings informed the development of moral education programs in schools that promoted the use of peer discussions of hypothetical dilemmas to foster moral growth. Research discussed later, however, also examined the role of parents in facilitating higher-level moral reasoning. Although not following directly from Piaget or Kohlberg’s work, Hoffman’s research on parental discipline is structural-developmental in its theoretical roots. Hoffman (1970) conducted an extensive analysis and critique of Bandura’s research on imitation as the central mechanism of moral internalization and concluded that the effects of modeling found in this body of research reflected an external— not an internalized—moral orientation. For instance, he argued that children imitated deviant models (such as an aggressive actor), suggesting that such models had a disinhibiting effect on behavior. However, conclusive evidence for the role of modeling was not obtained in situations where models inhibited negative behaviors (for instance, when models refrained from hitting). Hoffman (1963, 1970) also analyzed prior research on parental discipline techniques and reformulated them into three types of discipline practices hypothesized to have different effects on moral internalization. Reflecting structural-developmental tenets, Hoffman asserted that internalization of values is fostered by inductive discipline, where parental demands are accompanied by reasoning and explanations and children participate in decision-making. These practices were thought to facilitate an internalized moral orientation by helping the child to understand (and feel guilt for) the negative consequences of misbehavior for others. Guilt was seen as a positive force in internalization because it draws on children’s empathic abilities and makes it more likely that children would be concerned about others in the future. In contrast, Hoffman proposed that both parental love withdrawal (withholding affection and attention) and power assertion (the use of force, restraint, or physical punishment) were punitive strategies that would foster an external moral orientation. These practices were thought to control the child’s behavior by instilling anxiety and a more negative sense of guilt focused on fear 125

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of punishment or loss of affection. Hoffman’s theorizing and research (Hoffman and Saltzstein, 1967) remains influential both in research on parental discipline and in conceptualizations of the role of empathy and guilt in moral development.

Summary Classic psychoanalytic theory emphasized early childhood as a critical developmental period and focused on conscience as the central moral agency and guilt as facilitating moral behavior. Behaviorism and social learning theory highlighted the role of environmental contingencies, particularly patterns of reinforcement and processes of imitation and observation, in the acquisition and maintenance of moral behavior. Accordingly, these accounts stressed the importance of adult status and power and generated extensive research investigating the conditions that facilitate children’s internalization of and compliance with parental standards. In turn, Piaget’s and Kohlberg’s structural-developmental theories focused on children and adolescents’ active role (in interaction with environmental influences) in their own moral development and prioritized the significance of peer over adult/parent interactions. These theories continue to influence current theoretical approaches to moral development.

Current Theories of Moral Development Reflecting their different meta-theoretical commitments, the foundational theories just reviewed vary as to whether they define morality as pertaining primarily to emotions, behaviors, or cognitions. They also differ in how they define mature morality and the processes thought to account for its development, including the centrality of parents to children’s moral development. But as developmental science has moved towards a more integrated, relational meta-theory (Overton, 2015), these broad “conceptual splits” (in Overton’s terms) have been mostly resolved, and there has been much more integration and recognition of common ground. For instance, rather than viewing emotions, cognitions, and behaviors as distinct or as dualities (e.g., emotions versus judgments or judgments versus behavior), most current theories recognize their interrelations. More germane to the concerns of the present chapter, major changes have occurred in views regarding the role of parents in moral development. As we describe later, Freudian notions of conscience have been reconceptualized, with parental interactions now playing a more direct and central role. Socialization theories continue to focus on parental contributions but have increasingly acknowledged the child’s agency or active construction of morality. Social domain theory, a constructivist approach that emerged in response to critiques of Kohlbergian theory, has considered parents’ contributions to children’s moral understanding and emotions.

Freudian Theory Revisited Although interest in the conscience as a central mechanism in moral development lost favor for many decades, it has been revived and reinvigorated. Kochanska and her colleagues have acknowledged their debt to Freudian and neo-psychoanalytic theories (Kochanska and Kim, 2014), although their broader program of research also draws heavily on social learning theory and incorporates attachment theory (Ainsworth, Bell, and Stayton, 1974; Bowlby, 1969/1982). Kochanska and her colleagues view the conscience, understood as internalized values and standards of behavior (Kochanska, Koenig, Barry, Kim, and Yoon, 2010), as emerging at much younger ages (i.e., among older infants and toddlers) than Freudian theory proposed. Indeed, toddlerhood and early childhood are considered critical periods for moral development, particularly for the processes seen as foundational for conscience development (Kochanska and Thompson, 1997). Furthermore, their formulation regarding the structure of conscience has been derived empirically rather than theoretically. Consistent with Freudian notions, 126

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however, the focus has been on how children internalize adult norms by developing internal mechanisms for inhibiting negative and promoting positive behaviors. The theoretical emphasis on guilt relative to other moral emotions also is consistent with Freudian theory, although its conceptualization is more akin to Hoffman’s positive view than to Freud’s more punitive characterization of guilt. Kochanska and her colleagues define conscience as an autonomous inner guidance system that is free of external control and leads to self-regulated, rule-compatible conduct (internalization of parental prohibitions and requests; Kochanska and Aksan, 2006; Kochanska et al., 2010). More specifically, they have examined conscience as an integration of moral emotions and behavior, self-regulatory and motivational processes, and moral cognition (Kochanska and Thompson, 1997). Kochanska and colleagues’ results suggest that moral emotions and moral behavior (typically assessed as compliance without surveillance to parental rules, as assessed in nonsocial contexts) are related yet (statistically) separable constructs that become more stable and coherent over time (Kochanska and Thompson, 1997)—a finding that is more consistent with social learning theory than with the Freudian notion of conscience as a unified internal agency. Moreover, although Kochanska included moral cognition in her notion of conscience, it occupies a lesser role in her empirical work, perhaps because conscience is typically measured in early childhood. According to Kochanska, the development of the conscience leads to autonomous behavior, where children are genuinely motivated to comply with parental wishes and values, broadly considered. Thus, she has drawn distinctions between committed compliance, which is associated with conscience development and involves children’s willing and eager desire to follow parental directives, and situational compliance, where compliance is externally maintained (Kochanska and Aksan, 1995; Kochanska, Aksan, and Koenig, 1995). Young children’s cumulative experiences involving (non)compliance with parental rules and consequent moral emotions are seen as gradually incorporated into views about their moral self (representation of oneself as good and moral). For instance, a longitudinal study found that individual differences in parental prohibitions in early childhood (from 25 to 52 months of age) were positively associated with the moral self at 67 months (Kochanska et al., 2010). Similar to theories of moral identity and character discussed later, the moral self links conscience with moral motivation and conduct. By adolescence, the internalization of values also involves greater integration of moral values into the self-concept (Krettenauer, Campbell, and Hertz, 2013).

Social Learning Theory Revisited Grusec can be credited with important transformations in the social learning theory/socialization view of parenting and moral development. Prior to her research and theorizing, these approaches did not pay much attention to the content of the values children internalized. Starting in the 1980s, however, Grusec and her colleagues (Grusec, Dix, and Mills, 1982; Grusec and Kuczynski, 1980; Kuczynski, 1984) examined parental disciplinary responses when parents had different (short- versus long-term) socialization goals or the child committed different types of transgressions (e.g., harm to self or objects, or physical or psychological harm to others). Mothers’ use of reasoning versus more power-assertive strategies varied according to both the type of transgression children committed and mothers’ childrearing goals (Hastings and Grusec, 1998). Thus, rather than viewing parents as having a unitary, consistent approach to discipline, Grusec and her colleagues proposed that parents vary their disciplinary practices according to children’s involvement in different types of events or transgressions. In later papers, Grusec and others (Grusec and Goodnow, 1994; Grusec, Goodnow, and Kuczynski, 2000) more explicitly acknowledged children’s agency in the socialization process. Their argument was that, consistent with their prior research as well as social domain theory (discussed in the following section), children would be more likely to accept parental reasons and explanations that match the type of misdeed committed. Therefore, they posited that parental disciplinary practices will be effective only if applied in ways that are appropriate to the type of situation that elicited a parental 127

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response. More generally, they proposed that disciplinary processes positively affect the internalization of parental values and standards only when children accurately perceive parental messages, as this is necessary for their acceptance. Grusec and her colleagues delineated a number of factors related to the parental message (for instance, whether messages are clearly, consistently, and redundantly stated and whether their importance to the parent is made clear), as well as characteristics of the child (such as temperament, mood, and developmental status) that influence this process. Further, Grusec and her colleagues described the process of internalization as proceeding in a series of steps, using an information processing framework that emphasizes intergenerational agreement about values. They also articulated other features of parental discipline that may enhance the likelihood of child internalization. For instance, parents should be autonomy supportive (providing rationales for their rules and allowing children choices within limits) and consider the child’s perspective, as giving the child choices may enhance the likelihood that they will comply with parental directives (Grusec, Danyliuk, Kil, and O’Neill, 2017). Grusec and Davidov (2010) have proposed a domain-specific socialization model. Drawing on the insight that children and their caregivers interact in different ways depending on the particular goals, motivations, values, and skills parents want their children to acquire, these researchers described five domains of socialization: control, protection, guided learning, group participation, and mutual reciprocity. Grusec and Davidov (2010) asserted that these domains are characterized by different socialization goals, social relationships, and social interactions and that effective parenting differs accordingly. Parent–child interactions in each of the hypothesized domains are seen as guiding children’s behavior and, eventually, successful adaptation to society, with different socialization outcomes associated with each domain. The control domain appears to be most central to moral development. This domain focuses on children’s acceptance and obedience to cultural rules, leading to children’s moral and principled behavior (as well as self-control). Appropriate parenting in the control domain is characterized by parents’ use of authority that, both in type and degree, successfully modifies children’s behavior to fit the caregiver’s goals. Moral values also may be facilitated through interactions in other domains. For instance, although the protection domain pertains to providing comfort and protection, Vinik, Johnston, Grusec, and Farrell (2013) hypothesized that securely attached children would be better able to understand others’ distress and respond more sympathetically and with less antisocial behavior than would children who are more insecurely attached. Children are also thought to learn moral values through interactions in the guided learning domain (e.g., through conversations that occur outside of the context of transgressions or conflicts). Such discussions, which allow for parental scaffolding of conversations, are seen as particularly effective for moral internalization (Grusec and Davidov, 2010).

Structural-Developmental Theory Revisited Kohlberg’s theory has led to newer theoretical perspectives, including theories focused on the moral self and social domain theory, which distinguishes morality from other types of social knowledge. These are described in turn next.

Moral Self and Identity Kohlberg’s theory left little room for constructs like self, identity, and personality (Lapsley and Narvaez, 2004), which some researchers believe are crucial for explaining links between moral judgment and action. Indeed, concepts of the moral self (i.e., how children represent their moral behavioral preferences) and moral identity (i.e., older children and adolescents’ commitment to moral values and their centrality to their self-concept; Sengsavang and Krettenauer, 2015) pertain primarily to motivational processes thought to account for the distinction between knowing versus doing the morally right thing 128

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(Hardy and Carlo, 2011). Although most developmental research has focused on moral identity in adolescents, some studies have been conducted on the moral self in early childhood (e.g., Kochanska et al., 2007, 2010) and more recently in middle childhood (Krettenauer et al., 2013; Sengsavang and Krettenauer, 2015). For instance, Krettenauer and colleagues (2013) demonstrated the presence of a moral self in children as young as 5 years of age. They used a puppet interview adapted from Kochanska (2002), although their conceptualization differs from Kochanska’s in defining the moral self in terms of children’s preferences for fair and just acts (e.g., consistent with social domain theory definitions of morality). Children watched puppet pairs alternately stating preferences either in favor of or against prosocial (helping, sharing, caring) and antisocial behaviors (verbal and physical aggression, stealing). For each (im)moral behavior, children were asked which puppet was more like them and how similar they are to their chosen puppet (with higher scores indicating a stronger moral self, understood as behavioral preferences for prosocial and against antisocial behaviors). Theorists interested in the moral self assert that moral principles become increasingly integrated into the self-concept through development (Blasi, 2004; Krettenauer, 2011) and that individuals vary in how integrated moral principles and values are in their self-understanding and self-concepts (Aquino and Reed, 2002; Hardy and Carlo, 2011). Moral motivations and principles are thought to be more central to some individuals than others (Blasi, 2004; Colby and Damon, 1994), among those who emphasize these characteristics, moral schemas are described as continually available, readily primed, and easily activated for processing social information (Hardy, Bhattacharjee, Reed, and Aquino, 2010; Lapsley and Hill, 2008). Thus, some individuals appear more motivated to translate their moral beliefs into moral behavior. Indeed, research indicates that the integration of moral values into one’s sense of self and identity is associated with less antisocial and more prosocial behavior (Johnston and Krettenauer, 2011; Kochanska et al., 2010), moral emotions (Krettenauer, 2011), concerns for out-group members (Hardy et al., 2010), and sustained moral commitment, as obtained in retrospective accounts of moral “exemplars” (Colby and Damon, 1994). Although more consistent with social learning theory than structural-developmental theory, Bandura’s (1999) social-cognitive theory of the moral self likewise asserts that moral reasoning is linked to moral action through affective, self-regulatory mechanisms. According to Bandura, children develop a moral self by constructing standards of right and wrong that serve as guides and deterrents for (im) moral conduct. These standards may be directly socialized or may develop from evaluative reactions to one’s conduct and exposure to the self-evaluative standards modeled by others. Moral agency involves capacities embedded in broader developmental and self-regulatory systems that are required to inhibit acting immorally and, inversely, to engage in moral and prosocial conduct (Bandura, 2002). Self-regulatory processes are used to monitor conduct, judge it in relation to one’s internalized moral standards and circumstances, and regulate actions, for instance, by activating negative self-sanctions (e.g., through feelings of guilt or remorse in response to perceived violations; Bandura, 2002). These mechanisms are considered central for regulating and motivating moral reasoning and behavior (Bandura, Barbaranelli, Caprara, and Pastorelli, 1996). The construct of moral disengagement describes the process by which individuals reconcile their involvement in immoral behavior. According to Bandura, self-reactive influences are activated only when confronting moral issues; moral disengagement occurs after deciding on one’s course of action and then cognitively restructuring one’s immoral position or conduct into benign or worthy ones. It is assumed that moral disengagement occurs post-hoc—that is, after selecting a course of action, and that the moral choices are straightforward rather than involving a complex web of competing concerns (see Dahl and Waltzer, 2018, for an elaboration of these arguments). Bandura and colleagues assert that self-sanctions can be disengaged from perceived moral conflict or immoral conduct through numerous processes, including invoking moral justifications (i.e., reconstruing immoral conduct as personally and socially acceptable by portraying it as in service of valued moral principles) or disavowing one’s role by using diffusion and displacement of responsibility, disregarding or misrepresenting 129

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(e.g., euphemistic labeling) the action’s harmful consequences for others, and vilifying and dehumanizing the victim with unjustified blame (Bandura, 1999, 2002, 2016; Bandura et al., 1996). Although much research has examined processes of moral disengagement, the role of parenting has received little attention in the development of these mechanisms.

Social Domain Theory In contrast to Kohlberg’s differentiation model, Turiel (1979, 1983) proposed that even young children distinguish between moral issues, defined as individuals’ prescriptive understanding of others’ welfare, fairness, and rights, and social conventions, or the arbitrary, agreed-on social norms and uniformities that structure social interactions and provide guides for appropriate behavior. Thus, from early ages on, children are thought to view moral transgressions (such as hitting, teasing, excluding, or stealing) as wrong across contexts and situations, because they have negative consequences for others’ rights or welfare. In contrast, the more arbitrary and context-specific social conventions (such as etiquette or forms of address) are considered wrong only when deemed so by rules and/or authorities. These propositions have been extensively supported in research with preschool and older children (reviewed in Smetana, 2011, 2013; Smetana, Jambon, and Ball, 2014). Moreover, empirical methods for identifying prototypical moral issues have been developed and successfully used to investigate more complex, multifaceted issues that involve conflicts or coordinations between different domains of thought. These include children’s understanding of rights, which may conflict with societal laws (Helwig, Ruck, and Peterson-Badali, 2014), peer exclusion and intergroup relationships (Killen and Rutland, 2011), controversial social issues such as beliefs and attitudes about homosexuality and behaviors towards LGBT youth (Heinze and Horn, 2009; Horn, 2006; Horn, Szalacha, and Drill, 2008), and many other complex issues. Different domains of social knowledge are proposed to develop from qualitatively distinct social interactions. Evidence for this claim comes primarily from observational studies of teacher and child responses to transgressions in schools and on playgrounds (Nucci and Nucci, 1982a, 1982b; Nucci and Turiel, 1978; Smetana, 1984; Tisak, Nucci, and Jankowski, 1996), and from studies of parent– child interactions discussed later. Parents are considered important for the construction of moral and social knowledge due to the emotional bonds between parents and children, the intense emotions that their interactions elicit, and because parents are emotionally invested in, care deeply about—and are charged by society with—teaching children right from wrong (Smetana, 1997, 1999; Wainryb and Recchia, 2017). Children construct social knowledge from various interactions, conversations, and conflicts with parents and others, including siblings, peers, and other adults. Both their direct experiences and observations of others’ interactions contribute to the development of social knowledge (Smetana, 1997; Smetana & Jambon, 2018), and as described later in the chapter, social experiences and interactions vary by domain. Thus, research has focused on the domain specificity of parents’ affective and behavioral responses to transgressions as well as parent–child conversations and interactions around moral events. Because social domain theory emphasizes children’s active construction of moral and social knowledge, children’s evaluations of the appropriateness or fairness of parental interventions are considered important. As they grow older, children have more agency to accept or reject parental values and expectations. Children and adolescents generally view moral, social-conventional, and prudential issues (e.g., pertaining to comfort, health, and harm to the self ) as legitimately regulated by adults. Indeed, children studied from the preschool years to late childhood have been shown to strongly endorse compliance with parental moral rules and report feeling good about doing so (Lagattuta, Nucci, and Bosacki, 2010; Smetana, Wong, Ball, and Yau, 2014). However, adults’ moral authority is limited. It does not extend to causing harm, prescribing immoral acts, or being unjust or unfair. Under such conditions, children are less likely to comply with parental expectations or internalize parental messages. 130

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Children and adolescents (as well as adults) also draw boundaries between issues that are seen as appropriately regulated by adults and those that are personal and up to the child to decide (e.g., issues regarding privacy; control over one’s body; and choices regarding leisure activities, personal tastes, and friendships). Parents and children generally concur that parents do not have authority over children’s personal domain choices, although they may disagree about what falls within that domain. Thus, both in the United States (Lagattuta et al., 2010) and in Hong Kong (Smetana, Wong, et al., 2014), the same children who endorsed compliance for moral issues also believed that actors would (and to some extent should) disobey rules intruding on their personal domains and viewed noncompliance as eliciting positive feelings when hypothetical actors disobeyed. Furthermore, parents and children in different cultures typically disagree about where the boundaries of parental authority should be drawn, especially during adolescence, which is characterized by the rapid growth of autonomy. Disagreements about parental authority legitimacy lead to increases in parent–adolescent conflicts, particularly in early and middle adolescence, as well as greater nondisclosure, secrecy, and concealment about activities in middle adolescence (Smetana, 2011).

Summary Theoretical descriptions of moral development differ widely. Kochanska and her colleagues focus on the development of conscience, or an autonomous inner guidance system that results in rule-abiding conduct. Socialization theories emphasize how parents’ different socialization goals lead them to employ different disciplinary practices, resulting in divergent developmental outcomes. Theories of the moral self have arisen to explain moral as well as immoral behavior (e.g., through processes of moral disengagement). Social domain theory describes morality as a distinct domain of social knowledge constructed from social interactions and pertaining to judgments regarding others’ welfare, fairness, and rights.

Current Research on Moral Development In this section, we review contemporary empirical research on parenting and moral development. First, we consider research on parenting styles and the role of authoritative parenting in fostering mature morality. We then consider how the quality of children’s relationships with their parents, assessed in terms of attachment security and parental responsiveness, influences moral development. Next, we discuss associations between different parental disciplinary practices and various aspects of moral development, as well as research on children’s evaluations of the appropriateness and fairness of different practices. Although there is some overlap, as several of the studies compare different disciplinary practices, these sections are organized in terms of research on parental power assertion; induction; and psychological control, guilt, and shame. Finally, we go beyond the discipline context to consider other types of parent–child interactions that are important for moral development, including parent–child conversations, reminisces, and management of conflicts.

Parenting Styles and Authoritative Parenting Research on global parenting styles (Baumrind, 1971) generally demonstrates that authoritative parenting, defined in terms of parents’ high levels of responsiveness to and consideration of the child’s needs, along with high levels of demandingness (e.g., having clear, strong expectations for mature conduct), is optimal for social and emotional development. Several studies confirm that this is also the case for morality, although the majority of studies focus on late childhood and adolescence. An exception is Taylor, Eisenberg, and Spinrad (2015). They found that authoritative parenting, observed when children were 42 months of age, was related to 72- and 84-month-olds’ feelings of sympathy or concern for others who are distressed or in need, as mediated by effortful control. 131

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Leman (2005) found that British early adolescents (12-year-olds) of authoritative parents were more likely to justify hypothetical moral misbehavior with justifications pertaining to reciprocity and equality than were youth with authoritarian parents (who are highly strict and demanding but low in responsiveness to their child). In a sample of middle adolescents, Hardy et al. (2010) found that several dimensions associated with authoritative parenting, including autonomy support, responsiveness, and demandingness, were linked with public and private aspects of moral identity. Pratt, Hunsberger, Pancer, and Alisat (2003) found that, in more authoritative families, late adolescents and their parents were more congruent in their values (both moral and nonmoral) than were other families. Finally, Smetana (1995) found that parenting styles differentiated 12- through 17-year-olds’ perceptions of parental authority legitimacy. Authoritarian parents “moralized” conventional issues and treated them as obligatory, much like prototypical moral issues. In contrast, permissive parents overextended the boundaries of the personal domain and treated conventional issues as up to children to decide. Only authoritative parents maintained clear boundaries among moral, conventional, and personal issues in their judgments and justifications of hypothetical, prototypical issues.

Attachment to Caregivers and Parental Responsiveness Attachment Relationships Researchers across the theoretical spectrum hypothesize that the quality of children’s attachment relationships with their caregivers, which develops during the first year of life, provides an important building block for successful moral development (Berkowitz and Grych, 1998; Grusec and Goodnow, 1994; Kochanska and Kim, 2012; Smetana, 1997; Thompson, 2012). Securely attached children are more confident and more trusting that caregivers will be available and responsive in situations of threat or distress (Laible and Thompson, 2000). Therefore, they may be more cooperative and receptive to parents’ socialization expectations and view parental control as benevolent rather than ill intended. Furthermore, parental influence may be more effective in warm, mutual relationships that foster more secure attachment than in relationships that are less warm, mutual, and secure (Hoffman, 1970, 2000; Kochanska and Thompson, 1997). Evidence supporting these claims has focused primarily—but not exclusively—on conscience development in early childhood (Kochanska and Kim, 2012; Laible, 2004a; Laible and Thompson, 2000). Consistent with theorizing, parenting practices appear to operate differently according to child attachment quality. Longitudinal research indicates that for securely but not insecurely attached infants, mothers’ positive parenting (i.e., sensitive, responsive, and inductive discipline) in the first three and a half years of life predicts children’s honesty in games, views of the moral self, and moral cognition at 52 and 56 months (Kochanska et al., 2007, 2010). Kochanska and Kim (2012) found that although main effects of attachment quality generally are not found in longitudinal analyses spanning infancy to middle childhood, variations in attachment relationships set the stage for different developmental trajectories. These researchers demonstrated that in insecure dyads, and particularly among children who were anger-prone, a pattern of coercion emerged leading to more power-assertive parenting and, hence, a pathway towards conduct disorders (see the later section for greater elaboration) that include some morally relevant mediators. These links were not observed in secure dyads. Several longitudinal studies suggest that early insecurity may amplify detrimental cascades, whereas infant and toddler security appears to defuse these developmental risks (Boldt, Kochanska, and Jonas, 2017; Nordling, Boldt, O’Bleness, and Kochanska, 2016). Examining both mother–child and father– child attachment—and utilizing a range of attachment measures completed by mothers, fathers, and trained observers—children’s cumulative history of attachment security from infancy to late childhood facilitated children’s later self-regulation and socialization, whereas insecurity was associated with poorer adjustment. For instance, in relationships with both mothers and fathers, children’s higher 132

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negativity (i.e., rejection of parental rules and modeling attempts) at 25, 38, 52, and 67 months was associated with more detrimental outcomes (i.e., higher child externalizing problems and lower parent– child relationship quality) at ages 10 and 12 years, but only in formerly insecure infant dyads (Boldt et al., 2017) (broadly conceived). Thus, attachment security predicted their orientations towards rules and, in turn, later adjustment. Given the dearth of research focusing on fathers, it is notable that attachment relationships with mothers versus fathers lead to different moral outcomes. For instance, Nordling et al. (2016) found that children’s security to mothers but not fathers predicted their effortful control, which in turn led directly to greater regard for rules. In other studies, however, children’s attachment security with mothers versus fathers was not associated with different outcomes (Boldt et al., 2017). Research has also shown that greater attachment security is linked with toddlers’ more sympathetic responses to mothers’ simulated displays of anger and sadness (Denham, 1994) and 4-year-olds’ greater committed compliance and evaluative statements (e.g., references to good and bad behavior; Laible, 2004a; Laible and Thompson, 2000). Furthermore, in a female sample, 22-month-olds who were more securely attached demonstrated more empathic concern to an experimenter (but not to a mother) who simulated distress, as well as more committed compliance in a laboratory task (van der Mark, Bakermans-Kranenburg, and van IJzendoorn, 2002; van der Mark, van IJzendoorn, and Bakermans-Kranenburg, 2002). Similarly, a paper reporting on two longitudinal studies of community families, including mothers, fathers, and children from 14 to 80 months and mothers and children from 15 to 45 months, as well as a study of low-income, diverse mothers and their 30-month-old toddlers, found that attachment security with mothers was related to higher levels of empathy (Kim and Kochanska, 2017). Consistent with research on adolescents (Carlo, Knight, McGinley, and Hayes, 2011; Carlo, McGinley, Hayes, Batenhorst, and Wilkinson, 2007), variations in children’s empathy moderated associations between parental relationships and prosocial behavior, with individual differences in empathy linked to prosociality, but only in insecure children (Kim and Kochanska, 2017). Secure attachments, measured either retrospectively or concurrently by the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI), also are associated with morality in adolescence and adulthood. Thus, adolescents who evidenced more secure-autonomous attachment representations on the AAI also endorsed more mature moral reasoning on a paper-and-pencil version of Kohlberg’s moral judgment measure (van IJzendoorn and Zwart-Woudstra, 1995). Furthermore, adult moral exemplars (recipients of Canadian awards for exceptional bravery or caring) reported more secure childhood attachments (measured retrospectively and across many different interpersonal relationships) than did a matched comparison group of adults (Walker and Frimer, 2007). Caring exemplars reported more secure relationships than did those nominated as being exceptionally brave. These studies suggest that across childhood and adolescence, children who have more secure attachment relationships with their caregivers may develop more mature morality.

Responsive Parenting Similarly, there is consensus across different theoretical approaches that responsive, reciprocal, and cooperative parent–child relationships foster moral development, broadly considered. As with attachment, the claim is that parental warmth, affection, and responsiveness enhance the likelihood that children will be receptive to parental discipline and that they will like and respect the parent; thus, they will be more open to consider parental messages and others’ needs (Grusec and Goodnow, 1994; Hoffman, 1979; Kochanska, Aksan, Prisco, and Adams, 2008; Maccoby, 2007; Maccoby and Martin, 1983). Kochanska referred to this as a mutually responsive orientation (MRO) and described it as the responsiveness and shared positivity characteristic of the parent–child dyad (Kochanska, Forman, Aksan, and Dunbar, 2005). The centrality of a mutually responsive orientation in promoting different positive moral developmental outcomes has been supported in numerous longitudinal studies of both mother–child and 133

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father–child relationships (Kochanska et al., 2008). For instance, in a longitudinal study of associations between early mother–child MRO and conscience development, Kochanska et al. (2005) found that mother–child MRO when children were 9, 14, and 22 months old had a direct positive effect on 45-month-olds’ guilt following a perceived transgression. Furthermore, MRO influenced moral cognition (selfish/antisocial versus prosocial/moral internalized moral judgments) by promoting children’s enjoyment of interactions with their mothers. They examined whether maternal power assertion also mediated the relation between MRO and conscience but found that it did not. Research also generally supports the importance of the interplay between parent–child MRO and child temperament for moral development. For instance, for relatively fearless children, positive mother–child relationships predicted greater endorsement of moral characteristics as like the moral self three years later, but for relatively fearful children, the opposite was found (Kochanska, Aksan, and Joy, 2007). Moreover, maternal power assertion had detrimental effects on their future moral self. Furthermore, as demonstrated in two longitudinal studies, Kochanska and Kim (2014) showed that when parent–child relationships (both mother–child and father–child) are mutually responsive, reciprocal, and close (i.e., high in MRO), young children respond to gentle discipline, develop committed compliance, and accept parents’ socialization messages, even when the child displayed low levels of effortful control. However, when both MRO and children’s effortful control were low, children’s internalization of parental standards and moral conduct (ability to resist temptation and engage in rule-compatible behavior) was compromised. Moreover, variations in positivity, warmth, or responsiveness in parent–child relationships are particularly consequential for temperamentally difficult or developmentally vulnerable children, such as those with callous-unemotional (CU) traits, a well-established risk factor for antisocial behavior (Van der Graaff, Branje, De Wied, and Meeus, 2012; Waller et al., 2014). Kochanska, Kim, Boldt, and Yoon (2013) investigated whether children’s CU traits moderate links between mother–child and father– child MRO and shared positive affect (observed in extended and diverse naturalistic contexts when children were 38 and 52 months old) and their externalizing problems at 67, 80, and 100 months. For children with elevated CU traits, higher mother–child MRO and greater father–child shared positive affect predicted decreases in child behavior problems, but not for children relatively low in CU. The studies discussed thus far have primarily investigated responsive parenting as assessed in early childhood, although they have documented its long-term effects. Several other researchers, however, have focused on the importance of responsive parenting in middle childhood and beyond. For instance, Malti, Eisenberg, Kim, and Buchmann (2013) examined the longitudinal role of parental support on developmental trajectories of moral emotion attributions, moral reasoning, and sympathy across three years. The different measures of moral functioning showed low-stable, increasing, and high-stable trajectories of growth (with moral emotion attributions also decreasing over time). Both child- and parent-reported supportive parenting were associated with membership in the high-stable group across the different measures. These findings suggest that greater parental support may help maintain high levels of moral functioning and perhaps facilitate the integration of affective and cognitive moral components. In one of the very few studies to examine the moral self in childhood, Sengsavang and Krettenauer (2015) found that parental support (5- to 8-year-old children’s perceived support from parents, averaged across mothers and fathers) was related to children’s more moral self (measured by the moral puppet interview described in an earlier section). In turn, high levels of negative parent–child interaction (children’s perceived antagonism and conflict with parents averaged across mothers and fathers) exacerbated the negative association found between children’s moral self and aggressive behavior. Using a large, representative, longitudinal survey of Swiss 15- and 21-year-olds, Malti and Buchmann (2010) also examined the role of parental support in moral motivation. They examined the strength of responses to hypothetical stories prioritizing moral concerns over nonmoral desires. Their cross-sectional analyses confirmed the importance of parental support in moral motivation for middle 134

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adolescents, but not for older youth. That is, they found that 15-year-olds who were higher in parental support and social justice values reported greater moral motivation. Among 21-year-olds, however, social justice values as well as better friendship quality predicted greater moral motivation. These findings suggest that friendship support may replace parental support in facilitating moral motivation as youth grow older. Several studies have distinguished different components of responsiveness. For instance, one longitudinal investigation found that parents’ positive emotion expressivity mediated the over-time effects of parental warmth on elementary school-age children’s empathic responding, as measured behaviorally (e.g., in terms of facial expressivity) and in terms of self-report (Zhou et al., 2002). In contrast, Davidov and Grusec (2006) distinguished parental responsiveness to children’s distress from parental warmth and found differential associations with child outcomes. Only mothers’ self-reported and observed responsiveness to distress (but not warmth) was associated with 6- to 8-year-olds’ empathy and prosocial responding; similar but marginal findings were found for fathers. In contrast, parental warmth (but not responsiveness to distress) was associated with nonmoral outcomes (for instance, regulation of positive affect). Vinik, Almas, and Grusec (2011) examined maternal responsiveness in terms of mothers’ knowledge of their children’s thoughts and feelings (rather than their observed or reported levels of responsiveness). They found that mothers who were better able to identify events that distress and comfort their child had 10- to 12-year-olds who responded more empathically to both videotaped and experimental simulations of distress. Furthermore, children whose mothers more accurately understood how to comfort them were more prosocial, but only when children were high in distress proneness. Walker and Taylor (1991) demonstrated the importance of responsive parenting in the development of more mature moral reasoning during adolescence. These researchers examined whether the type of challenging, critiquing parent–adolescent interactions (labeled operational here but called transactive in prior research) found to facilitate Kohlbergian moral stage change in Berkowitz and Gibbs’s (1983) study of unacquainted college students also applied to parents’ interactions with their middle adolescents. Their longitudinal study yielded two unanticipated findings. First, growth in adolescents’ moral reasoning was fostered only in the context of discussion of real-life dilemmas, not hypothetical ones. Second, stage change occurred only through parents’ supportive (representational) interactions, where parents paraphrased or restated their teen’s point of view, rather than through operational statements. Subsequent research comparing the influence of peer versus parent–adolescent interactions on moral reasoning development (Walker, Hennig, and Krettenauer, 2000) also found that only supportive interactions predicted moral growth in both contexts. The researchers speculated that differences between their findings and past research may be because they studied friends rather than unacquainted peers, who may have been more reluctant to critique their partner’s opinions. They concluded that a more gentle, “Socratic” interaction style, where individuals solicit others’ opinions and check their understanding, may be optimal for moral reasoning development. Other research suggests that the effectiveness of different kinds of interactions may differ for mothers and fathers. Pratt, Arnold, Pratt, and Diessner (1999) found that fathers’ use of operational statements in family discussions of moral dilemmas contributed to growth over time in middle adolescents’ moral reasoning maturity, whereas mothers influenced their adolescents’ moral reasoning through their responsiveness to teens’ perspectives (as evidenced in socialization narratives). Kohlberg’s approach emphasizes justice reasoning, but supportive family interactions also contributed to increases in care-based moral reasoning from late adolescence to early adulthood (Pratt, Skoe, and Arnold, 2004). Most of the research just discussed includes Western, middle-class samples, but To, Helwig, and Yang (2017) examined associations among rural and urban Chinese adolescents’ perceptions of parent and teacher responsiveness, autonomy support, and adolescents’ evaluations of rights. They distinguished between nurturance rights, which pertain to parents’ and others’ obligation to provide 135

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and protect children’s welfare, and self-determination rights, which are roughly equivalent to personal issues (e.g., right to privacy, control over personal issues). Greater maternal responsiveness (as well as teacher autonomy support) was associated only with greater endorsement of nurturance rights. In contrast, and consistent with the notion that exercising personal choices facilitates autonomy development (Smetana, 2011), maternal autonomy support was associated with teens’ endorsement of self-determination rights.

Summary Research strongly supports the notion that the nature of the parent–child relationship, whether measured in terms of children’s attachment to their caregiver, parents’ responsiveness to their child, or dyadic MRO, is associated with various measures of children’s moral development. Positivity in the parent–child bond is seen as enhancing the likelihood that children are motivated to listen to parents, comply with their requests, and internalize their values. It is worth noting that compliance or rule-following behavior covers a wide range of behaviors, not all of which can be considered to be morally relevant. Furthermore, responsiveness is a broad term, and there is a need for greater specificity in defining the different components of responsiveness and in identifying the particular forms that are linked to specific aspects of moral development. What is interpreted as responsive parenting also may vary at different ages, highlighting the necessity of having more developmentally informed accounts. In addition, more cross-cultural research is needed, as several scholars have noted that connectedness is more likely to be expressed in terms of dyadic warmth and responsiveness in Western families and in terms of family obligations in Eastern (e.g., Chinese) families (Chao and Tseng, 2002; Hardway and Fuligni, 2006). Thus, the implications of these cultural variations for moral development need to be determined.

Power Assertion and Harsh Discipline As with responsive parenting, researchers have noted that power assertion is a broad category (Grusec and Goodnow, 1994; Smetana, 1997) that has been defined in different ways. It may include verbal and physical pressure, harsh and punitive parenting (yelling, scolding), rejecting parenting, and physical punishment. These practices are considered separately next.

Power Assertion Kochanska and her colleagues’ research provides support for the notion that parental power assertion, defined in terms of physical and verbal pressure by a relatively angry parent, undermines morally relevant functioning. For instance, Kochanska (1991) found that mothers of toddlers who deemphasized their use of power had children with a more internalized conscience six years later, as assessed in terms of affective and cognitive reactions to narratives produced in response to semi-projective stories. However, significant findings were obtained only for children who were relatively prone to fearful arousal. Mothers who employed more power assertion with their 33-month-olds had children with less developed moral selves three years later (Kochanska et al., 2007). Although power assertion generally has negative effects, research also has shown some variations in findings depending on whether power assertion is examined in tasks where parents assert power to obtain help or assistance (such as in clean-up tasks) or deter misbehavior. Findings also vary depending on the particular moral outcome variables assessed. For instance, in studying young children and their mothers, Kochanska, Aksan, and Nichols (2003) found that power assertion when children were 14- to 45-months-old showed no associations with later (56- and 73-month-olds’) moral cognition 136

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or compliant behavior in a helping context, negative associations at these ages with resistance to temptation when mothers were asked to prevent misbehavior in lab tasks, and positive associations with 56-month-old children’s moral cognition in a lab-based mother–child discourse task. Kochanska, Padavich, and Koenig (1996) found that greater maternal power assertion, observed naturalistically in the home, was associated concurrently with lower levels of toddler compliance and mother-reported conscience development and also over time with assessments of antisocial and good behavior themes in preschoolers’ narratives. More recently, Kim and Kochanska (2015; Kochanska and Kim, 2012) sought to identify the specific developmental mechanisms that account for the detrimental effects of power assertion across childhood and adolescence. A maladaptive developmental cascade links maternal power assertion in early childhood to the development of an angry, adversarial, and resentful stance where the child feels alienated and disconnected from the parent. In turn, this resentful stance is connected to later rulebreaking behavior and difficulty in delaying in laboratory tasks (Kochanska and Kim, 2012), reduced guilt, empathy, and sensitivity to violations of standards (Kim and Kochanska, 2015; Kochanska, Barry, Stellern, and O’Bleness, 2009; Kochanska, Brock, and Boldt, 2016), and later externalizing and internalizing behaviors. Parental responsiveness also moderates the link between parental power assertion and a resentful, angry orientation toward the parent. Results of two studies by Dahl (2016; Dahl and Chan, 2017) remind us that parental power assertion may be an effective strategy in inhibiting misbehavior during infancy and very early childhood, when children lack the communicative abilities to regulate and control their behavior. The researchers observed mother–child interactions at home during the infants’ second year of life. Using Kochanska’s definition of power assertion as physical interventions (e.g., restraining the child) and maternal control, both studies found that mothers used power assertion more in response to moral than prudential and pragmatic transgressions. Dahl and Chan (2017) further found that mothers engaged in more power assertion when there was greater physical danger to their child and others (e.g., for prudential and moral transgressions) and that mothers’ power-assertive responses to moral transgressions increased when dyads were observed five months later. As these results suggest, power assertion may be developmentally appropriate for maintaining young children’s safety and well-being.

Harsh Discipline Corporal punishment, physical discipline, and yelling or scolding also can be considered powerassertive disciplinary practices. Little research has directly examined the influence of physical discipline and corporal punishment on moral developmental outcomes; rather, research has focused mostly on their effects on children’s externalizing behaviors, including aggression. Inasmuch as aggression entails intentional harm to others, however, it can be seen as (im)moral behavior (see Jambon and Smetana, 2018, for an elaboration of this argument). Several large-scale international studies have shown that physical and corporal punishment have adverse effects on children and that they generally lead to greater externalizing behavior. However, the effects are moderated somewhat by the cultural normativeness of the practices (Gershoff et al., 2010; Lansford et al., 2005). One study examined associations among neighborhood risk, maternal harsh punishment, and 3½ -year-olds’ moral judgments (Ball, Smetana, Sturge-Apple, Suor, and Skibo, 2017). Children whose mothers engaged in more harsh discipline, as observed during a mother–child clean-up task, rated moral transgressions as more serious and deserving of punishment, and this effect was amplified among mothers who were more inconsistent in their use of harsh discipline. However, young children who were both consistently and harshly disciplined had a less sophisticated understanding of morality, as assessed by criterion judgments, than children who were less consistently or less harshly disciplined. That is, children who were consistently and harshly disciplined were less likely than others to understand that moral transgressions are wrong in the absence of rules and authority prohibitions and that 137

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moral rules are inalterable. Grusec and Goodnow (1994) asserted that parental consistency in disciplining children helps make parental messages clearer, thereby facilitating moral development. However, Ball et al.’s (2017) findings suggest that harsh discipline consistently applied may communicate the wrong message. Children may learn that moral transgressions should be condemned and warrant punishment, but not why. Thus, these findings are consistent with previous research (Kochanska et al., 2003; Laible and Thompson, 2002) in showing that coercive discipline undermines the internalization of parents’ moral messages.

Rejecting Parenting Hyde, Shaw, and Moilanen (2010) defined rejecting parenting in terms of mothers’ critical statements and verbal and physical (dis)approval, as well as global ratings of hostility, lack of warmth, and punitiveness. They assessed rejecting parenting in home and laboratory contexts across different tasks in a sample of ethnically diverse, low-income families with 1½ - and 2-year-old boys. Rejecting parenting in infancy predicted moral disengagement at age 15, although parent- and child-reported empathy at age 12 more robustly predicted moral disengagement than earlier rejecting parenting. Furthermore, an exploratory path analysis showed that antisocial behavior at age 16 and 17 was predicted by two different paths—one from rejecting parenting in infancy to children’s lower levels of empathy, and in turn, moral disengagement, and one through poor social information processing.

Summary The studies reviewed in this section demonstrate that, much as Hoffman (1970) hypothesized, different forms of harsh, rejecting, or power-assertive parenting undermine behavioral, social-cognitive, and affective dimensions of morality. Early research (Kuczynski, 1984) indicated that power assertion may be effective in stopping harmful behavior and inducing short-term compliance, but it does not lead to moral internalization (defined as rule-following behavior or resistance to temptation) or an understanding of why moral transgressions are wrong (Ball et al., 2017). Dahl’s research (2016; Dahl and Chan, 2017) shows that most mothers employ power assertion with their toddlers to stop misbehavior that is particularly harmful or unsafe. Nevertheless, as Grusec and Goodnow (1994) noted, extremely angry, negative, coercive, or punitive responses may scare the child, threaten their sense of security, and promote aversive emotional reactions, all of which threaten moral development.

Inductive Discipline Comparisons of Effectiveness Similar to research on power assertion, and typically drawing on Hoffman’s (1970) theorizing, researchers have compared parental induction with other disciplinary practices in terms of their influence on moral development. Although these studies are meant to demonstrate the effectiveness of induction over other practices, most studies have been cross-sectional, limiting conclusions that can be drawn about the direction of effects. Jagers, Bingham, and Hans (1996) examined associations between poor, inner-city, AfricanAmerican mothers’ reports of their parenting practices and kindergarteners’ ability to differentiate moral and conventional transgressions, as assessed in terms of judgments of rule independence and generalizability across contexts. Supporting the role of induction, mothers who talked more with their children and denied privileges and ignored transgressions less had children who were better able to distinguish moral from conventional transgressions. Mothers’ yelling and corporal punishment were not linked with their ability to distinguish the domains. 138

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Krevans and Gibbs (1996) developed a questionnaire based on Hoffman and Saltzstein (1967) that asks children and parents to rate how typical it would be for the parent to use different disciplinary practices, including inductive discipline, power assertion, and love withdrawal in response to hypothetical scenarios. Studying early adolescents and their mothers, these researchers found that only mothers’ use of inductive discipline showed significant (and positive) associations with children’s empathic responsiveness and maturity. Moreover, these links were found for both mothers’ and children’s reports of parenting. The results also showed that, at least cross-sectionally, empathy mediated the link between parental induction and prosocial behavior. In an extension of this work, Patrick and Gibbs (2012) examined associations between inductive and other forms of parental discipline (assessed by the aforementioned questionnaire) and 10- and 16-year-olds’ moral identity. They hypothesized that, compared to other-oriented inductions, those that include parents’ disappointed expectations may be particularly salient for moral self-development because they indicate to youth that they are capable of better behavior. Overall, induction was used more than other forms of parental discipline, and 16-year-olds (but not younger teens) who received both types of parental inductions ascribed more moral attributes to the self. When types of inductions were examined separately, however, other-oriented inductions had positive effects on moral identity, but parental expressions of disappointed expectations did not. Thus, these results did not support the distinctive role of parents’ disappointed expectations in moral self-ratings. As expected, however, power assertion and love withdrawal were not associated with ratings of the moral self, although increased power assertion was linked with decreases in teenagers’ positive and guilt-related emotional responses. [Recall that in the Sengsavang and Krettenauer (2015) study discussed earlier, however, perceived antagonistic and conflictive interactions with parents—which are certainly negative if not directly power assertive—had negative effects on the moral self.] In a further extension, Patrick and Gibbs (2016) demonstrated that 10- to 16-year-olds who viewed their mothers as more warm and accepting also saw their mothers as employing more inductive, as compared to love withdrawal and coercive (e.g., power-assertive), discipline. Among mothers primarily using induction, more maternal acceptance was linked with a stronger moral identity. Finally, Laible, Eye, and Carlo (2008) studied the effects of middle adolescents’ perceptions of parental discipline consistency, induction, and power assertion on affective and cognitive measures of conscience. As expected, lower levels of parental power assertion and higher levels of inductive reasoning were correlated with more other-oriented moral emotions. However, adolescents’ reactivity appeared to account for the findings, as effects for the different disciplinary strategies disappeared when negative reactivity was included in the analyses. Only maternal discipline consistency, not parental practices per se, was associated with their measures of moral cognition (internalized values and prosocial moral reasoning).

Evaluations of Induction Researchers have proposed that children will be more accepting of parents’ messages (and therefore internalize parental values more) when they see those messages as appropriate and fair (Grusec and Goodnow, 1994; Smetana, 1997, 2011). Accordingly, another line of research has examined whether youth view parental induction as more fair or appropriate than other discipline practices. In their aforementioned study of 10- and 16-year-olds, Patrick and Gibbs (2012) found that power assertion was rated as less appropriate and more unfair and that parental inductions (e.g., other-oriented and disappointed parental inductions combined) were seen as more appropriate and fair relative to other discipline practices. In addition, adolescents endorsed morally relevant self characteristics more when parental inductions, particularly those expressing parental disappointment, were seen as more appropriate or fair. Thus, when appropriateness ratings were added to their analyses, the importance of parents’ disappointed expectations became evident. Furthermore, children who felt more accepted 139

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were more likely to view both power assertion and induction (but not love withdrawal) as more fair (Patrick and Gibbs, 2016). Several studies have extended this research to consider whether evaluations of parental induction vary according to whether parents are responding to prosocial versus antisocial acts. For instance, Padilla-Walker and Carlo (2004) distinguished between middle adolescents’ evaluations of the appropriateness of parental power assertion (yelling and lecturing) and induction (talking), as well as praise and control, in reaction to antisocial versus prosocial behavior. Adolescents viewed yelling and lecturing as inappropriate across contexts, whereas parental induction was seen as highly appropriate only in antisocial situations. Praise is not often studied as a discipline practice, perhaps because moral development research typically focuses on responses to misbehavior. However, these researchers found that praise was rated as highly appropriate in prosocial contexts. (Research with young children has shown that unlike rewards, which may be perceived as extrinsically motivating, praise does not undermine very young children’s altruistic tendencies; Warneken and Tomasello, 2008). Padilla-Walker and Carlo (2004) further found that, except for guilt, adolescents who reported having more negative emotional responses to parental discipline also rated the discipline practice as less appropriate. Consistent with Hoffman’s (2000) claim that parental induction promotes moral development by inducing empathic guilt, adolescents who reported higher levels of guilt in response to antisocial situations viewed parents as using more induction, and they rated it as more appropriate (Padilla-Walker and Carlo, 2004). Researchers also have considered whether parents’ use of different discipline strategies and ratings of their appropriateness vary according to the transgression domain (e.g., moral, conventional, prudential, personal). In one study (Padilla-Walker, 2008), middle adolescents reported that their mothers punished more for prudential and moral than other transgressions, whereas, in keeping with the nature of the personal domain, they yelled less, talked more, and were less likely to take action for personal as compared to other types of violations. In each domain, more talking (reasoning) was associated with greater appropriateness ratings. Thus, reasoning is more effective than other parental practices in promoting moral development and is perceived as such by teenagers. Middle adolescents also viewed maternal inaction as less appropriate for moral acts, suggesting that teens believed that mothers should respond to (and not ignore) moral transgressions. Teens considered yelling and punishment as less appropriate for conventional and personal transgressions. Furthermore, children’s endorsement of personal values of honesty, kindness, and fairness were modestly and positively correlated with ratings of the appropriateness of maternal discipline. Chilamkurti and Milner (1993) studied maternal use of different disciplinary strategies and evaluation of those practices in a sample of 6- to 10-year-olds and their mothers, who were selected to be at either high or low risk for child abuse. The researchers found that both use and evaluations of disciplinary strategies varied by domain (moral, conventional, and personal) and informant. Mothers reported employing more reasoning and explanations (e.g., inductive discipline) for moral than other transgressions, more verbal force for conventional than other transgressions, and more simple statements and requests for personal transgressions. Particularly for moral transgressions, however, children’s and mothers’ reports were not congruent. Children viewed their mothers as using more physical than verbal force and in turn, more simple requests for moral transgressions than mothers reported using. Not surprisingly, high-risk mothers reported using verbal force more—and when assessing others’ disciplinary strategies, viewed power-assertive discipline as more appropriate—than did low-risk mothers. The latter viewed their discipline practices as more appropriate than did highrisk mothers.

Domain Specificity in Parental Reasoning and Responses Several researchers (Grusec and Goodnow, 1994; Maccoby, 2007; Smetana, 1997) have asserted that greater precision is needed in defining parental induction and that researchers should consider the 140

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types of explanations or reasons that parents give for different types of events or transgressions. Research indicates that children evaluate domain-appropriate explanations more positively than either domain-inappropriate or undifferentiated explanations, at least as examined in school contexts (Killen, Breton, Ferguson, and Handler, 1994; Nucci, 1984). This suggests that to be effective, parents’ explanations and reasoning should be clearly connected to the domain of the event. Several studies have focused on parent–child interactions in early childhood to better understand the types of reasons parents offer for different types of events. For instance, using naturalistic observations in the home, research has compared mother and child responses to moral as compared to other types of transgressions. An early study (Smetana, 1989b) examined responses to infants and toddlers’ (1- to 3-year-olds’) moral and conventional transgressions with naturalistic home observations occurring in sessions with mothers, either alone or with a familiar peer. Toddlers rarely responded to conventional transgressions; rather, mothers commanded children to stop the offending behavior, stated the rules, or, less frequently, highlighted the disorder their behavior caused. In contrast, moral infractions occurred almost entirely with peers and were only rarely directed towards mothers. Sequential analyses revealed two patterns of responses. In one, mothers intervened in moral transgressions by commanding the child to stop misbehaving or by physically restraining the child. In the other, the child victim first responded with emotional reactions and/or statements of injury or loss, followed by mothers’ elaborating the behavior’s negative consequences for others (“Look what you did, you hurt him”), asking the transgressor to take the victim’s perspective, or delineating whose rights took priority. The latter sequence was considered optimal for developing moral understanding, as it amplifies the child victim’s responses and provides both affective and cognitive messages about why moral transgressions are wrong (Smetana, 1989b, 1997; Smetana & Jambon, 2018). Similar results were obtained in mothers’ reports of their interventions in their 2-year-olds’ moral, prudential, and pragmatic (e.g., pertaining to practical issues) transgressions (Dahl and Campos, 2013). Consistent with Smetana’s (1989b) sequential analyses, initial interventions involved reasoning and physical restraint more for moral than for pragmatic or prudential transgressions, with mothers of older versus younger toddlers employing more reasoning. Moreover, both reasons and emotional responses were domain-specific: Mothers reported being more angry and referenced harm to others more for moral transgressions, they were more afraid and reasoned about child well-being more for prudential violations, and they reasoned about disorder or object damage more for pragmatic than for other events. Nucci and Weber’s (1995) observational study corroborated these responses for prudential events, as they found that mothers’ reasoning in response to prudential violations typically focused on safety or prudence. Building on the findings regarding emotional reactions, Dahl, Sherlock, Campos, and Theunissen (2014) examined whether mothers of 14-month-olds used different vocal tones in response to children’s moral, pragmatic, and prudential transgressions. Responses differed both when mothers responded to their own children’s transgressions as observed in the home and when mothers were asked to respond verbally to video clips depicting another child’s misbehavior. Mothers used an intense, angry (firm-stern) voice more in response to moral than other transgressions, a worried and scared voice in response to prudential transgressions, and a warm and comforting voice when responding to pragmatic (and prudential) transgressions. In a follow-up, Dahl and Tran (2016) used mothers’ vocal tones, as elicited by these video clips, to determine whether 3- and 4-year-olds could guess the type of transgression in which hypothetical protagonists were involved. Preschoolers interpreted mothers’ firm-stern vocalizations as reflecting responses to a moral transgression and their warm, comforting voices as responses to a pragmatic transgression. Furthermore, 18- to 25-month-olds (but not younger toddlers) complied more with mothers’ request not to touch a prohibited object after hearing their mother’s videotaped prerecorded prohibition regarding a moral than a pragmatic violation. These studies provide evidence that both the content of mothers’ reasoning and their emotional tone may facilitate children’s understanding of morality versus other domains of rules. A fruitful direction for 141

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future research would be to directly link variations in mothers’ responses to differences in children’s moral understanding.

Summary Many of the aforementioned studies directly compared adolescents’ evaluations of parents’ use of induction with power assertion and love withdrawal. These studies add to the research discussed earlier, where individual differences in mothers’ discipline practices, including their use of induction, have been observed with young children in laboratory and home settings. The results thus far indicate that inductive discipline following moral transgressions is used more frequently and evaluated more positively than other parental disciplinary practices. In addition, induction is used more for moral than other types of transgressions and is positively associated with different indices of moral development, including greater empathic responding and a greater self-endorsement of moral traits (e.g., moral self ). However, relatively little research on the moral self and moral motivation has considered the role of parenting, and more research is needed on the emergence of and changes in the moral self in childhood and the parenting beliefs and practices that promote its development. Research on parental reasoning following transgressions has moved towards greater specificity in defining the contexts and specific types of explanations that parents give in response to different types of transgressions. This research suggests that parents often provide morally salient explanations (e.g., focusing on others’ welfare or the unfairness caused by the act). However, parents also intervene without explanation to stop moral misbehavior and prevent prudential and moral harm, particularly with young children.

Guilt, Shame, and Psychological Control In the moral development literature, parental guilt induction has been distinguished from love withdrawal and is seen as facilitating the development of empathy for others, greater regret or reparation for causing distress, and, as a consequence, greater prosocial behavior (Hoffman, 1970, 2000). In the parenting literature, however, guilt induction is considered an aspect of psychologically controlling parenting (Barber, 1996) and thus as having negative consequences for children’s social, emotional, and moral development. Rote and Smetana (2017) examined several features of parental guilt induction to determine the conditions in which parental guilt induction is viewed as a positive, effective, and well-intended disciplinary practice. Upper middle-class, mostly European-American 8-, 12-, and 16-year-olds evaluated maternal guilt induction in response to hypothetical moral, personal, or mixeddomain transgressions. Overall, children rated guilt induction as most acceptable, most effective, least disrespectful to the child, and more well-intended (e.g., in teaching children why misbehaviors are wrong, preventing future misbehavior, and making children feel bad about their behavior) when it was applied to moral as compared to other types of transgressions. In turn, maternal guilt induction was rated as least acceptable, least effective, most disrespectful to the child, and as more intended to make children feel bad about themselves when it was used in reference to personal issues. Thus, even though children may experience guilt induction as unpleasant in the short term, children appear to understand its positive role in moral development. Moreover, parental guilt induction in response to moral as compared to the other transgressions also resulted in children’s increased guilt and shame, suggesting that such inductions have their intended effect (e.g., in promoting guilt, and thus, presumably, moral internalization). Notably, however, children’s evaluations of guilt induction became increasingly negative and perceived as less benignly intentioned with age, perhaps because of the importance of autonomy as children move into adolescence. Whereas guilt is generally defined in terms of negative evaluations of one’s behavior, shame involves negative evaluations of one’s self, leading to an inward focus and feelings of worthlessness (Tangney, 1998). In addition to manipulating the domain of the transgression, Rote and Smetana (2017) 142

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varied whether the hypothetical criticism focused on the actors’ behavior or the actor as a person. As expected, they found that the latter produced higher levels of shame, as well as increases in shame (but not guilt) from immediately before the induction. However, for the most part, youth were not more disapproving of inductions that focused on the person versus their behavior. This was surprising, given that other research shows that children demonstrate rudimentary distinctions between guilt and shame as young as the toddler years (Drummond, Hammond, Satlof-Bedrick, Waugh, and Brownell, 2017). Cross-cultural studies of shame are necessary, as the meaning and normativity of parental shaming varies by culture. Fung (1999) described shame as an important mechanism of moral internalization in Chinese culture that stems from Confucian teaching. Chinese parents socialize children to be acutely aware of others’ opinions and to avoid their disapproval; thus, shaming is a way not only to correct the child’s misbehavior but also to connect the child’s behavior to group norms. Shaming is part of the description of Chinese parenting as strict and harsh (see Chao and Tseng, 2002, for an elaboration), and in interviews with Taiwanese parents, Fung (1999) found that parents strongly endorsed shaming as a way of teaching the child right from wrong. Although shaming is frequently used in Chinese families, children do not always view it as a positive parenting practice. Helwig, To, Wang, Liu, and Yang (2014) compared Canadian and rural and urban Chinese 7- to 14-year-olds’ perceptions of parental induction with three psychologically controlling parenting practices: love withdrawal, social comparison shame (e.g., comparing the child to better-behaved peers), and shared shame (how the child’s behavior reflects on the family), each described in response to a hypothetical moral transgression. Consistent with research reviewed previously, children across settings and ages rated parental induction more positively and saw it as promoting a more internalized moral orientation than any of the psychologically controlling practices. Moreover, with age, they increasingly reasoned about induction as focusing the child on the harmful or unfair consequences of moral transgressions. In contrast, older children viewed psychologically controlling parenting as having more negative consequences for their well-being (e.g., in producing negative feelings) than did younger children. Across cultural contexts, the youngest children in the study, as well as the rural Chinese children, also viewed psychologically controlling parenting as more likely to induce behavioral compliance, although more so for both forms of shaming than for love withdrawal. As found for physical and corporal punishment (Gershoff et al., 2010; Lansford et al., 2005), however, the negative effects of psychologically controlling parenting were moderated somewhat by cultural factors. Chinese children, particularly rural ones, viewed shaming as more culturally normative, and the more normative it was seen, the less its negative effects. Whereas these studies focused on parental guilt and shame induction, other studies, particularly by Kochanska and her colleagues, have focused on guilt as a moral developmental outcome. Their research shows that temperamental fearfulness contributes to children’s feelings of guilt (Kochanska, Gross, Lin, and Nichols, 2002) and that guilt associated with transgressions moderates the effects of temperamental variables (e.g., effortful control) on disruptive behavior (including harmful behavior as well as disobedience). That is, among children who are less guilt-prone, individual differences in effortful control predict less disruptive behavior, but among those who are more guilt-prone, no associations with effortful control are found (Kochanska, Barry, Jimenez, Hollatz, and Woodard, 2009). Furthermore, as noted earlier, fearful arousal was found to moderate links between maternal power assertion and conscience, and these measures included the intensity of guilt feelings and extent of reparation described in children’s narratives (Kochanska, 1991).

Summary Much as hypothesized (Hoffman, 2000), parental guilt induction is perceived as a relatively positive and effective parenting practice when directed towards moral transgressions but less so when used 143

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with older adolescents and when directed towards personal behaviors. Parental shaming, which is seen as an important tool for moral socialization among Chinese parents, may be evaluated negatively by Chinese youth, particularly with age and as compared to parental induction. Researchers also have studied the development of guilt, as moderated by temperamental variables.

Parental Discourse, Conflict Management, and Conversations Although there has been extensive research on parents’ disciplinary practices as they bear on children’s moral development, parents and children frequently have morally laden interactions outside of discipline context. Conversations, conflicts, discussions, and reminiscences, discussed in the following sections, all provide children with a wealth of information about parents’ moral expectations, values, and norms. Parental talk rich in explanations, reasoning, and guilt induction also may facilitate the internalization of parental values. Dunn, who has extensively examined family discourse about different moral and social norms, found that morally laden conversations start as early as the second year of life and influence various aspects of children’s understanding (Dunn, 2014; Dunn and Hughes, 2014).

Conflicts and Conflict Management Mothers vary in how constructively they deal with conflicts, and individual differences in several features of mothers’ conflictive interactions with young children appear to facilitate moral development. For instance, Dunn and Munn (1987) examined mothers’ and 2- and 3-year-olds’ conversations about different kinds of family disputes. They found that, more than other types of conflicts, moral disputes elicited mothers’ explanations focusing on the consequences of children’s misbehavior—a finding that was replicated by Dahl and his colleagues (Dahl and Campos, 2013; Dahl, 2016), as discussed earlier. Moreover, moral disputes among 18-month-olds were more likely than other disputes to elicit anger and distress, and these maternal reactions were associated with 36-month-olds’ greater use of justifications for their behavior. Mothers’ perspective taking also appears to be important in facilitating moral development. Mothers who were more able to take young children’s point of view in conflicts, as coded from parents’ conversations with their 33-month-olds, had children who had stronger moral orientations at 6 to 7 years of age, as measured by greater moral and conventional reasoning and greater empathy in their reasoning about hypothetical transgressions (Dunn, Brown, and Maguire, 1995). In a prospective study, Laible and Thompson (2002) identified conflict episodes occurring in the context of home and laboratory observations with mothers and their 30-month-olds. They found that mothers who used more justifications and referred more to emotions in the context of conflicts observed in the laboratory had 3-year-olds who were better able to resist temptation to touch forbidden toys, perhaps because the experimental context was unfamiliar and children did not understand the need to follow arbitrary rules. Similar effects were not found when conflicts were observed in the home, however. Interviews with U.S. middle-class, European-American (Smetana, 1989a) and African-American (Smetana and Gaines, 1999) 10- to 18-year-olds and their parents about their everyday disagreements revealed that conflicts over moral issues were relatively infrequent and occurred primarily over interpersonal or sibling issues. Moral reasoning about conflicts declined with age in both samples. Unlike other conflicts, which typically arose directly between parents and teens, moral conflicts with parents about siblings only arose when parents were asked to adjudicate disagreements or when teens complained about parents’ unequal treatment. A similar study in Hong Kong (Yau and Smetana, 1996) found even less moral reasoning about conflicts than in the United States, although more so among Chinese adolescents in Hong Kong than in Shenzhen, Mainland China (Yau and Smetana, 2003). As moral reasoning often focused on sibling interactions, this finding may be due to the one-child policy, which, at the time, was enforced in Mainland China but not in Hong Kong. Moreover, as in the United States, the latter study showed that the frequency of moral reasoning declined with age, with more moral reasoning in pre than in early, middle, and late adolescence. In all of these studies, adolescent–parent conflicts 144

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were primarily over how much autonomy and personal freedom adolescents should have rather than over moral issues of fairness or rights. Likewise, sibling conflicts were more frequently about invasions of the personal domains than about equality and fairness ( Campione-Barr and Smetana, 2010).

Conversations and Reminiscing Because the intense emotional arousal elicited in disciplinary encounters may inhibit moral internalization or the construction of moral concepts, family conversations about past experiences, including conflicts and transgressions, may be particularly effective in facilitating moral development (Wainryb and Recchia, 2014). Indeed, revisiting moral interactions at a later time may provide children an opportunity to reflect, interpret, process, and co-construct past experiences absent the emotional heat of the original situation. Such reminiscences about the child’s (or others’) behavior can facilitate children’s understanding of motivations, emotions, and behavior (in the past as well as the present), thereby scaffolding children’s adaptive moral functioning. Consistent with this view, Laible and Thompson (2000) examined the content of parents’ discourse and found that mothers who made more frequent reference to emotions and evaluative statements in discussing past misbehavior with their 4-year-olds had children with a more internalized conscience, as indicated by greater mother-reported guilt and more resistance to temptation in a laboratory task. Similar to Dunn and Munn (1987), these researchers also found that mothers who offered more reasons for rules and statements regarding the consequences of children’s behavior in their conversations had children who did more of the same. Laible (2004b) further found that when mothers conversed more about emotions when discussing their 30-month-olds’ past misbehavior, their children expressed more concern over others’ wrongdoing and demonstrated more internalized behavior on a resistance to temptation task six months later. These studies echo findings discussed earlier (e.g., Smetana, 1989b) that indicate parental discourse that references emotions and provides morally salient explanations (e.g., regarding the consequences of moral misbehavior for others’ welfare) promotes young children’s morality. Adding a cross-cultural dimension, Miller and her colleagues (Miller, Wiley, Fung, and Liang, 1997) used ethnographic methods in a sample of 12 middle-class families, 6 each from the United States and 6 from Taipei, Taiwan, to examine parents’ personal storytelling about their 2½ -year-olds’ transgressions. The researchers extracted narrations from videotaped home observations where a family member recounted a past event in which the child committed a moral or social transgression, as identified by the storyteller’s evaluative statements and tone of voice. Chinese families were much more likely than U.S. families to narrate a story immediately after a transgression and to use the event didactically to draw out the transgression’s implications for the present or the future. The lower frequency of moral rule violations in the U.S. sample was seen as part of a deliberate strategy to downplay such events and protect the child’s self-esteem. Further evidence for this conclusion was found in Miller, Fung, Lin, Chen, and Boldt (2012), who conducted home observations with these same families when children were 3, 3½ , and 4 years of age. As expected, personal storytelling persisted as children grew older, and families continued to enact the different interpretive frameworks observed during the children’s toddlerhood: Chinese parents continued to use storytelling as a medium for instilling moral norms and promoting children’s selfimprovement, whereas U.S. parents mitigated transgressions or downplayed their significance as a way of protecting children’s self-esteem. Reminiscing about the past (rather than the present) is considered particularly important in scaffolding moral development. Therefore, Reese, Bird, and Tripp (2007) tested whether similar types of maternal utterances, such as positive or negative talk in conversations about past events, as compared to discussions about current conflicts, uniquely predicted New Zealander 5- and 6-year-olds’ moral self-development. As expected, they found significant links between emotion talk and the moral self, 145

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particularly when conversations focused on negative past events. Reminiscing about the past, however, was not uniquely predictive of the moral self when controlling for children’s language abilities and gender. These studies focused primarily on early childhood, but other researchers have focused on parent– child conversations in middle childhood and adolescence. For instance, analyses of mothers’ conversations with their 7-, 11-, and 16-year-olds about situations where children reported either harming or helping a friend demonstrated how mothers attempted to scaffold children’s moral agency, particularly in the harm contexts (Recchia, Wainryb, Bourne, and Pasupathi, 2014). Conversations with the 7-year-olds emphasized acts and reasons, whereas conversations with 11- and 16-year-olds were equally focused on the facts as well as evaluations, insights, and strategies. Discussions of harmful situations were more complex than those focused on helping; mothers did not condone children’s harmful behavior but rather used various strategies, such as discussing provocation or extenuating circumstances, to help children reconcile their harmful behavior with a positive moral conception of themselves. These findings are compatible with (and extend) Miller et al.’s (2012) conclusion that North American mothers’ moral discourse aims to promote children’s autonomy and self-esteem.

Summary Beyond the discipline context, many types of interactions with parents, including conflicts, conversations, and reminiscences, provide opportunities for moral growth. Moral development can be facilitated when parents manage young children’s conflicts by referencing emotions and providing morally salient explanations. Childhood may be a particularly important period for parental interventions in moral conflicts to have an impact, as everyday conflicts with parents over moral issues arise much less frequently during adolescence. Reminiscences, particularly about situations involving harm (as compared to helping) are thought to be important to moral development because such situations can scaffold children’s understanding of motivations, emotions, and behavior. Cultural differences have been found, however, in what mothers emphasize in their stories about children’s past misbehavior.

Future Directions in Research on Moral Development Despite the abundance of research and the many theoretical refinements discussed in the previous sections, significant gaps in the research on parenting and moral development remain. First, it should be apparent that research focuses primarily on mothering than on parenting more broadly considered. Very few studies include fathers or compare interactions with or effects of mothers versus fathers. Therefore, robust conclusions about the role of parenting in moral development await more research with fathers. In addition, and except when studies are designed to explicitly address cultural, ethnic, or socioeconomic variations, the samples used in research have been rather homogeneously white, middle-class, and North American. This is surprising, given the increased attention to contextual influences in developmental research, the variations in the types of parenting practices considered normative in different groups and cultures, and evidence that evaluations of normativeness often moderate the effects of parenting on moral development. Thus, findings need to be replicated in more socioeconomically, ethnically, and culturally diverse samples, as well as in samples varying in terms of parents’ parenting experiences. More research explicitly including judgments of the normativity of different parenting practices (as well as children’s judgments regarding their fairness or appropriateness) also would greatly expand our knowledge. Additionally, we have devoted very little attention in this chapter to the issue of gender differences. Some of the studies reviewed here did find gender differences that were not discussed in our review. 146

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However, the issue of gender differences (at least in moral reasoning), which was once highly debated (Gilligan, 1982), is now a largely settled issue (Walker, 2006), with few consistent differences evident. Likewise, the evidence for gender differences in the links between parenting and moral development are neither strong nor consistent. It is possible that as more research includes fathers, evidence of interactions between parents’ and children’s gender will emerge, but that issue awaits further investigation. The broader family context also needs to be considered. Research demonstrates the importance of sibling interactions in moral development (Dunn and Hughes, 2014); in addition, research on adolescent–parent relationships has shown that parents parent differently according to children’s ordinal position in the family (Wray-Lake, Crouter, and McHale, 2010). Research on parenting and moral development has paid very little attention to birth order, but doing so may reveal important withinfamily variations. With some notable exceptions (such as Kochanska’s and Dunn’s programmatic research), much of the research examining parenting and different facets of moral development has been cross-sectional. Nevertheless, research implicitly assumes that parenting facilitates moral development. This may be the case, but it is more likely that these are reciprocal, transactional processes, and these need to be examined and explicated in future longitudinal studies. Small variations in early development may be magnified as development proceeds and lead to different developmental pathways. Thus, more research examining such variations and developmental cascades over time would make an important contribution to the literature. Additionally, as we have documented, research increasingly is moving beyond the discipline contexts to consider how conversations and other types of interactions influence children’s moral development. More research of this type is particularly warranted. Furthermore, fundamental theoretical issues remain unresolved: What is it that parents should be trying to foster? Stemming from their different theoretical commitments, programs of research have answered this question in various ways while leaving different questions to be addressed. Studies examining behavioral measures of moral development often have focused on children’s willing compliance with parental directives, as assessed in resistance to temptation tasks where children are asked to avoid touching a desirable toy (for no apparent reason other than that the parent or experimenter says so). Learning to follow parental directives is undeniably important, particularly in early childhood, but compliance with arbitrary, primarily social-conventional norms in these experimental situations does not (at least in our view) offer a sufficient account of moral development. Compliance in and of itself is not a moral “good,” especially without considering the acts compliance dictates. Many of the studies examine compliance regarding behaviors that are primarily nonsocial (e.g., “don’t touch the forbidden object!”), but morality is typically seen as fundamentally interpersonal and involving obligations to treat others equitably and with respect and compassion rather than harmfully. Furthermore, what if parents demand compliance with injunctions to harm or exclude others, act unfairly, or deny others their rights? We doubt that most parents (or scholars) would view compliance, even committed compliance to such requests, as evidence of more mature or internalized morality. Thus, we encourage researchers to expand the types of behavioral situations used to assess children’s moral development to include a range of morally relevant situations. Comparisons of the types of parenting that are effective in different types of behavioral situations could greatly expand our understanding of moral development. Moreover, studies that focus on individual differences, even those examining associations among differences longitudinally, often do not clearly illuminate the developmental emergence of moral capacities and the normative age-related changes in children’s moral reasoning and emotion attributions. On the other hand, other research has excelled at describing normative patterns of moral and social interactions with parents and peers (Turiel, 1983; Smetana, Jambon et al., 2014). Future research could usefully combine these two approaches to identify and illuminate variations around normative pathways, as some studies have done (Ball et al., 2017; Dunn et al., 1995; Jambon and Smetana, 2018; Malti et al., 2013). 147

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In addition, research from the social domain perspective has focused increasingly on how children identify and coordinate moral versus nonmoral concerns in reasoning about complex issues, such as peer exclusion and intergroup relationships (Killen and Rutland, 2011). Our understanding of complex issues may be enhanced by considering how parenting and parental beliefs (among other factors), are associated with the different ways children come to coordinate moral and nonmoral concerns in their judgments. Also, much research has focused on children’s and adolescents’ evaluations of the legitimacy of parental authority, but the bulk of this research has focused on variations in and consequences of judgments of illegitimacy (e.g., over the boundaries of the personal domain). More attention to the antecedents and correlates of legitimacy judgments for moral versus other issues also could prove to be informative. This chapter has considered only a thin slice of contemporary research on moral development (see Killen and Smetana, 2015, for a broader review). Although a great deal of research continues to focus on moral socialization, the current trend in moral development research is towards laboratory experimental studies, particularly on topics such as children’s decisions about resource allocation, the contextual features that influence fair versus unfair allocations, and the role of intentionality and other theory-of-mind abilities in moral evaluations. In addition, neuroscience, behavioral economics, and comparative approaches to moral decision-making have become quite prevalent, and increasingly, these studies have relied on laboratory experiments that are largely decontextualized and involve children interacting around clever but unusual tasks with experimenters. The important insights gained from this research would be enhanced by a greater consideration of moral development “on the ground” (Miller et al., 2012)—for example, as studied in the interpersonal contexts where development actually occurs. Research needs to more fully embrace the complexity of the social world and children’s interactions with parents, other adults, friends, and foes as they co-construct children’s moral development.

Conclusions The research reviewed in this chapter provides a highly consistent and coherent set of recommendations about the types of parenting that promote moral development: Whenever possible, parents ought to provide justifications for their rules and expectations and avoid coercively withdrawing their love or asserting their power (except when absolutely necessary to stop their child from harming self or others). Parents should match their responses to the type (domain) of the transgression, elaborate on their reasons for different types of rules and expectations, and consider the child’s developmental level to select a disciplinary approach that will be most comprehensible to the child and the parent’s goal in childrearing. Parents ought to be responsive and consider the child’s perspective. They also should carefully calibrate their use of force versus gentleness to best fit the child’s temperament, but parents should not be afraid to express their emotional reactions (within reason), as this helps to convey their concern about the child’s behavior. Parents who discuss moral issues, past and present, in everyday conversations will help their children understand and interpret their own behavior and emotions.

Acknowledgments We are grateful to Audun Dahl and Marc Jambon for their insightful comments on this chapter.

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Development of empathy in girls during the second year of life: Associations with parenting, attachment, and temperament. Social Development, 11, 451–468. van IJzendoorn, M. H., and Zwart-Woudstra, H. A. (1995). Adolescents’ attachment representations and moral reasoning. The Journal of Genetic Psychology, 156, 359–372. Vinik, J., Almas, A., and Grusec, J. (2011). Mothers’ knowledge of what distresses and what comforts their children predicts children’s coping, empathy, and prosocial behavior. Parenting: Science and Practice, 11, 56–71. Vinik, J., Johnston, M., Grusec, J. E., and Farrell, R. (2013). Understanding the learning of values using a domains-of-socialization framework. Journal of Moral Education, 42, 475–493. Wainryb, C., and Recchia, H. E. (Eds.). (2014). Talking about right and wrong: Parent–child conversations as contexts for moral development. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. Wainryb, C., and Recchia, H. E. (2017). 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Parenting and Moral Development Walker, L. J. (2006). Gender and morality. In M. Killen and J. G. Smetana (Eds.), Handbook of moral development (pp. 93–115). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Walker, L. J., and Frimer, J. A. (2007). Moral personality of brave and caring exemplars. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 93, 845–860. Walker, L. J., Hennig, K. H., and Krettenauer, T. (2000). Parent and peer contexts for children’s moral reasoning development. Child Development, 71, 1033–1048. Walker, L. J., and Taylor, J. H. (1991). Family interactions and the development of moral reasoning. Child Development, 62, 264–283. Waller, R., Gardner, F., Viding, E., Shaw, D. S., Dishion, T. J., Wilson, M. N., and Hyde, L. W. (2014). Bidirectional associations between parental warmth, callous unemotional behavior, and behavior problems in high-risk preschoolers. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 42, 1275–1285. Warneken, F., and Tomasello, M. (2008). Extrinsic rewards undermine altruistic tendencies in 20-month-olds. Developmental Psychology, 44, 1785–1788. Watson, J. B. (1930). Behaviorism (Rev. Ed.). New York, NY: W. W. Norton and Co. Wray-Lake, L., Crouter, A. C., and McHale, S. M. (2010). Developmental patterns in decision-making autonomy across middle childhood and adolescence: European American parents’ perspectives. Child Development, 81, 636–651. Yau, J., and Smetana, J. G. (1996). Adolescent-parent conflict among Chinese adolescents in Hong Kong. Child Development, 67, 1262–1275. Yau, J., and Smetana, J. G. (2003). Adolescent-parent conflict in Hong Kong and Shenzhen: A comparison of youth in two cultural contexts. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 27, 201–211. Zhou, Q., Eisenberg, N., Losoya, S. H., Fabes, R. A., Reiser, M., Guthrie, I. K., . . . Shepard, S. A. (2002). The relations of parental warmth and positive expressiveness to children’s empathy-related responding and social functioning: A longitudinal study. Child Development, 73, 893–915.



Introduction Parenting has played a central role in resilience science and its applications from the earliest days of research concerned with risk and protective processes for human development (Luthar, Crossman, and Small, 2015; Masten, 2014b; Masten and Cicchetti, 2016). Neglectful, inept, and abusive parenting styles have been studied as sources of risk, trauma, and threats to positive child development, and multiple aspects of parenting, including sensitivity, warmth, monitoring, and consistent discipline, have been examined as influences on positive adaptation to adversity. In addition, intervention research has targeted diverse parenting processes, ranging from responsive caregiving and cognitive stimulation to family routines and school involvement, as a means of mitigating risk and promoting or protecting healthy development for children endangered by a wide range of adverse experiences (Masten and Cicchetti, 2016). In this chapter, we examine the evidence pertaining to parenting in resilience science and its implications for practice and policy to promote and protect human development. First, we define resilience from a developmental systems perspective to provide a conceptual framework for sections that follow. Second, we briefly summarize the historical significance of parenting in the origins of resilience science, drawing on findings from classic studies. Third, we examine the evidence on how parenting functions to protect human development in the context of risk or adversity, organized by salient roles and processes, including nurturing behaviors, attachment relationships, socialization, stress management, and the transmission of protective cultural knowledge and practices. The fourth section examines intervention research that targets parenting as a strategy for promoting resilience, offering compelling evidence to support causal models of parenting roles in resilience, as well as the importance of developmental timing and targeting. The fifth section focuses on contemporary evidence, reviewing key areas of emerging resilience science related to parenting, the neurobiology of parenting roles in resilience, intergenerational transmission processes, and efforts to integrate interventions across systems. The sixth section summarizes practical implications of the science reviewed in this chapter for practice and policy aiming to promote resilience. To conclude, we reflect on progress to date on what we know about parenting in resilience and what we can learn in the future that will advance resilience science and its applications for practice or policy.

Resilience From a Relational Developmental System Perspective Contemporary definitions of resilience in developmental science are grounded in a relational developmental systems framework (Overton, 2013, 2015). Resilience is defined as the capacity of a system 156

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to adapt successfully to challenges that threaten that system in significant ways, posing dangers to survival, development, or well-being (Masten, 2007b, 2011, 2014a, 2014b; Masten and Cicchetti, 2016). The capacity of a person to adapt depends on many interacting systems, including their own neurobiological systems (e.g., immune function, central nervous system), as well as their relationships with other people, how well the family system is functioning, and many other systems in the environment, such as health care, education, and so forth. Interactions across systems and levels shape the course of development and also change the interacting systems in a myriad of ways. As a result, resilience is dynamic—always changing—and the resilience of an individual depends on interactions with many other systems. Additionally, resilience can vary in relation to the nature of the challenges being confronted at a given point in time and in relation to different domains of adaptation. Children are living systems that develop over the life course, and their interactions with other systems will be influenced by developmental timing with respect to their individual development and the development of other important systems in their lives, including their parents. The threats posed by adversity and the capacity for adapting to these challenges also will be affected by developmental timing (Masten, 2015; Masten, Fiat, Labella, and Strack, 2015). Loss of a parent, for example, would pose far greater potential harm to an infant than an adult. Research is surging on the role of developmental timing in risk and resilience research in the animal and human literature, including attention to periods of plasticity in brain development when exposures to positive or negative experiences may have greater or more lasting consequences (Karatsoreos and McEwen, 2013; Masten, 2015; McEwen, 2016; Meaney, 2010). Family systems also develop and change over time in ways that influence the capacity of individual children or parents to adapt to challenges (Goldenberg and Goldenberg, 2013; Henry, Morris, and Harrist, 2015; Kerig, 2019; Masten and Monn, 2015; Walsh, 2016). The capabilities of a family to protect a child or a parent within the family will vary as a function of changing family membership and relationships, the development and health of individual members, the resources and experiences of the family, the supports the family can garner from the environment, and other circumstances that affect the whole family, such as economic capital. Dynamic developmental systems models of resilience in children emphasize the interdependence of resilience across systems, levels, and time (Masten, 2015; Masten and Cicchetti, 2016). The resilience of a child at a given time will depend on adaptive systems within the child, their relationships, family resilience, and other systems connected to the child and family. In addition, this perspective suggests that positive adaptation at one point in time can cascade forward in time in a child or family, as current capabilities build human, social, and economic capital for future challenges (Masten and Cicchetti, 2010; Masten and Monn, 2015). At the same time, disturbances in function in one aspect or level of adaptive function may cascade across systems and time through interactions. Family dysfunction can spill over to dysregulate the biological stress-regulation systems in children, which then could affect future learning or well-being (Shonkoff et al., 2012). Parenting plays a vitally important role in human resilience because parenting serves many functions, both in nurturing and protecting children as they develop and in fostering the development of fundamental adaptive systems that individuals utilize over the life course. Parents nurture human capital, broker social capital, monitor dangers, protect young children from harm, model and teach adaptive strategies, transmit protective cultural knowledge and practices, and in many other ways build the capacity of their children to adapt to challenges and flourish in society (Bornstein, 2015; Masten, 2014b; Masten and Monn, 2015; Walsh, 2016). Research has surged on the role of caregiving in altering brain development, gene expression, and various biological systems of stress regulation or immune function in human as well as nonhuman animal models (Hostinar, Sullivan, and Gunnar, 2014; Karatsoreos and McEwen, 2013; Meaney, 2010; Nelson, Fox, and Zeanah, 2014). General models of parenting and related family processes also delineate multiple roles, including direct effects on children (as a negative or positive influence on a specific outcome), mediating effects 157

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where parents function as conduits of negative or positive experiences, and moderating effects, where parents mitigate or exacerbate threats to a child (Becvar, 2013; Collins, Maccoby, Steinberg, Hetherington, and Bornstein, 2000; Conger et al., 1992; Cummings, 2006; Masten, 2014b; Masten and Shaffer, 2006; Walsh, 2016). Parents, for example, can promote school success by encouraging children to do their homework, mediate the impact of economic hardship on family life through its effects on their parenting behaviors, or buffer the impact of a frightening situation by providing comfort. At the same time, developmental models also recognize that parenting is influenced by myriad interactions with a particular child and the parent’s own context (Belsky and DeHaan, 2011; Bornstein, 2015, 2016; Elder, 1974/1999; Elder, Nguyen, and Caspi, 1985). In a developmental systems model, the function of one system can influence another and the effects of an intervention at one level—such as a family—can cascade to benefit (or harm) other embedded or connected systems, including children. The processes involved in cascading effects across levels in connected systems have been described by developmental systems theorists over the years (Gottlieb, 2007). In the literature on developmental psychopathology and resilience, these processes are described as “multilevel dynamics” (Masten, 2007a, 2007b; Masten and Cicchetti, 2010). Doty, Davis, and Arditti (2017) described a model of cascading resilience that focuses on parenting as a leverage point for changing children and other family members. Given the importance and multifaceted roles ascribed to parenting in resilience theory and research on child development, the resilience of parents and families becomes a key topic for research, intervention, and policy (Masten, 2016a; Masten and Monn, 2015). Similarly, there is growing recognition that communities or governments can support the resilience of families to benefit children, parents, and society (Britto, Engle, and Super, 2013; Huebner et al., 2016; Petersen, Koller, Motti-Stefanidi, and Verma, 2016).

Classic Research on Parenting in Resilience Science Parenting emerged early in the history of resilience science as a topic of central focus, both as a source of risk and as a key protective influence (Masten, 2014b). Parents were implicated in clinical and case studies, as well as early research on children affected by traumatic experiences. World War II had devastating effects on families, with millions of children exposed to danger, separation from parents, loss, and all the challenges that traumatized parents can bring home to families (Masten, Narayan, Silverman, and Osofsky, 2015). During and following the war, numerous clinicians and researchers recognized and began to study and try to mitigate the effects of war trauma on the well-being of children. They consistently observed the risk posed to development by loss of effective parenting, particularly when it persisted without meaningful care from stable caregivers. They also recognized the crucial role of parenting and close relationships in buffering stress and facilitating the recovery of children traumatized by war. A. Freud and her colleague Burlingham opened the Hampstead War Nurseries to help children and their families affected by the war. Freud realized that the setting provided an ideal situation for observational studies of children (Midgley, 2007). Many of the children were separated from families for protection during the bombing known as the Blitz, along with many other British children during the war. Freud realized that these separations, while physically protective, often took an emotional toll on children and their relationships with parents. In their book on War and Children, based on their work in the War Nurseries, Freud and Burlingham (1943) noted that “London children . . . were on the whole much less upset by bombing than by evacuation to the country as a protection against it” (p. 37). They also noted that young children in the care of their own mothers “or a familiar mother substitute” were not particularly affected by exposure to bombing. After the war ended, Freud also treated some of the child survivors of the Terezin concentration camp and published detailed observations about their adjustment (Freud and Dann, 1951). Generally, they showed marked improvements but also lingering effects that were attributed to sensitization or “scarring” by trauma. 158

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Bowlby would later analyze these and similar phenomena in his trilogy on attachment and loss (Bowlby, 1969, 1973, 1980). Shortly after the war, Bowlby was commissioned by the World Health Organization (WHO) to write a report on the mental health of children who were left homeless by the conflict, an assignment that resulted in a report translated into 14 languages (Bowlby, 1951/1966; Bretherton, 1992). To prepare the report, he interviewed a number of clinician-scholars concerned with the impact of separations on child development, including Spitz (1946). This work influenced his ideas about parenting, attachment, and loss and the role of societies in supporting parents. In the WHO report, Bowlby wrote: “If a community values its children, it must cherish their parents” (Bowlby, 1966, p. 84). Three of the individuals who later became leading pioneers in resilience science also were touched by WWII in distinctly different ways: Garmezy was an infantry soldier in Europe; Werner, as a young survivor of the bombing in Europe, was one of many children assisted by humanitarian aid after the war; and Rutter was evacuated across the ocean with his sister to America to stay safe from the bombings in England (Masten, Narayan, et al., 2015). These three were instrumental in shaping the first wave of resilience research in the 1970s, which highlighted the role of good parenting as a compensatory or protective influence against diverse hazards and risks (Masten, 2007b). Garmezy and Rutter met in 1972 at a conference in Bled, Slovenia, and subsequently spent sabbatical time together in London (1975–76) as well as the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences in Palo Alto (1979–80). At the Center, they gathered a group to work on the seminar theme of stress and coping, resulting in a highly influential book, Stress, Coping, and Development in Children (Garmezy and Rutter, 1983). Werner visited this group at the Center and subsequently published, Vulnerable But Invincible: A Study of Resilient Children (Werner and Smith, 1982), presenting major findings on resilience from their longitudinal study of a cohort of children born in 1955 on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. Garmezy wrote the foreword to this volume, noting how well the findings aligned with the conclusions emerging from the seminar. Many early resilience studies underscored risks to child development associated with marital discord and deprivation, while at the same time they highlighted the importance of high-quality caregiving, emotional support, and positive relationships with extended family, mentors, or teachers as predictors of good adjustment despite high levels of adverse life experiences or sociodemographic risk (Masten and Coatsworth, 1998). Garmezy (1983, 1985) and Rutter (1979, 1987) both observed in early reviews of the emerging evidence that the quality of parenting and emotional support from the family was associated with better outcomes among children in diverse situations of risk (Masten, Best, and Garmezy, 1990). Werner (Werner, 1993; Werner and Smith, 1982) emphasized the importance of social bonds with an extended network of “kith and kin” in the Kauai study, in a culture where households and caregiving often included multiple generations. Results of the Project Competence Longitudinal Study initiated by Garmezy in the late 1970s supported the hypothesis that parenting quality is a salient protective factor for children at risk due to high levels of cumulative adversity (Masten and Tellegen, 2012). Subsequent reviews of the literature on resilience have corroborated the importance of effective parenting in childhood for promoting competence in risky environments and its central role in buffering the consequences of stressful life experiences and socioeconomic disadvantage (Luthar, 2006; Luthar et al., 2015; Masten, 2014b; Masten and Cicchetti, 2016). Research on children exposed to war, terror, and disasters has confirmed the early-observed importance of protecting and restoring effective care and parenting during and following exposure to acute and chronic trauma (Masten, Narayan, et al., 2015). Concomitantly, there is a growing body of evidence from prevention science and intervention studies that efforts to improve or strengthen parenting skills lead to improvements in the adjustment or function of their children, just as one would expect if parenting plays a vital role as a promoter or protector of human development (Sandler, Schoenfelder, Wolchik, and MacKinnon, 2011). 159

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The study of parenting and resilience has expanded and improved in many ways over the decades that followed the initial clinical observations and empirical studies, revealing a mixture of consistency, complexities, and controversies. Advances in technology and statistics have opened new possibilities and avenues of study, yielding notable progress along with some enduring controversies in resilience science (Masten, 2014b, 2015; Masten and Cicchetti, 2016). In the sections that follow, we summarize major findings on parenting in relation to resilience in children and youth, highlighting the roles and processes involved in parenting with respect to resilience based on studies of naturally occurring resilience and interventions to promote resilience.

Roles of Parenting in Resilience Science Parenting is a complex undertaking that requires parents, as Bornstein (2015) noted, to “multitask” (p. 56). Moreover, stakeholders in childrearing, including societies, cultures, communities, children, and parents themselves, expect parents to execute a multifaceted set of roles with little or no training for a long period. The many functions involved in parenting children may not be fully appreciated until such time as parents are lost, children are removed from dangerous families, or child welfare agencies attempt to replace, restore, or improve the parenting available to a particular child. Given the many functions parents have in child development, it is not surprising to observe that numerous studies on resilience have implicated the quality of parenting available to children, both generally and with respect to specific roles. In this section, we highlight evidence from resilience research on major ways that parents promote positive outcomes in their children and nurture lifelong resilience.

Nourishing Body and Mind At the most fundamental level of caregiving, parents are expected to nurture the bodies and minds of children, to keep them alive and well in the face of threats, and to support the early developmental tasks of acquiring universal physical and cognitive skills. Broader socialization goals typically assigned to parents by cultures are discussed later, but first a child must survive, grow, and acquire basic human tools of interacting with other people and the environment. Human infants are so helpless that their survival depends on active care for a prolonged period. Caregivers are expected to provide nutrition and basic protection from physical harm to infants and young children in all cultures. Concomitantly, families and cultures or societies are expected to support caregivers in their task of nurturing and protecting children. These roles, observed across human history, were elevated to human rights when they were codified in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Millennium Development Goals (for 2000 to 2015) of the United Nations (UN) included the goal of lowering child mortality (under the age of 5) by two-thirds. Remarkable progress has been made in child survival in recent decades worldwide, motivating a shift to broader goals to realize developmental potential (Huebner et al., 2016). The new Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 of the UN reflect this shift. Recognizing the importance of caregivers in fostering many other aspects of human development through their interactions with young children is a more recent global phenomenon. As child survival improved, the goals of many international organizations expanded to raise the bar from surviving to positive development and thriving (Black et al., 2017; Britto et al., 2017; Huebner et al., 2016; Masten, 2014a, 2014c). For children in environments adverse to child development, including millions of children worldwide living in subsistence economies, conflict zones, or other hazardous situations, this broadening of international priorities beyond survival represents a profound shift toward a focus on resilience. In a discussion paper for the National Academy of Medicine Perspectives series, a multidisciplinary group of leading scholars in child development articulated the case for investing in young children 160

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globally to promote peace, justice, and prosperity and to build the human capital of children and societies (Huebner et al., 2016). They argued for a holistic approach to integrate services for young children and their caregivers, coordinating actions to improve the health and nutrition of parents (especially prenatal and maternal health) as well as children, and the quality of parent–child interactions. Protection from violence and support to caregivers are high priorities, along with efforts to improve the capacities of vulnerable families to address the needs of children in contexts of stress and deprivation. There is growing evidence that investing in early childhood serves broad goals for lifelong health and well-being in human development, particularly for disadvantaged and endangered children (Black et al., 2017; Huebner et al., 2016). Successful efforts often combine prenatal care, nutrition, vaccinations, other medical and dental care, and education about the needs of young children for stimulation (Britto et al., 2013, 2017). Evidence supports integrating nutrition and health programs with efforts to support parenting skills of sensitivity and stimulation in their interactions with their young children (Black and Dewey, 2014; Britto et al., 2017). A growing number of humanitarian programs now provide education for parents about the importance of talking with your child, opportunities to play, and the importance of early childhood education, along with teaching about nutrition, sanitation, and health care. They also advocate with governments to provide more parental leave as well as early childhood education for parents and their children.

Emotional Security and Physical Safety: Attachment Processes Virtually every theoretical and empirical study concerned with resilience has suggested that close relationships play a crucial role in resilience over the life span (Luthar et al., 2015; Masten, 2014b; Masten and Cicchetti, 2016). For children, the primary relationships that protect and promote development are parent–child relationships and the family system of caregiving. One of the great 20th-century contributions of developmental science to understanding human behavior and development was the articulation of attachment theory by Bowlby, Ainsworth, Sroufe, and their colleagues (Ainsworth, 1989; Ainsworth, Blehar, Walters, and Wall, 1978; Bowlby, 1969, 2008; Sroufe, 1979, 2005; Sroufe and Waters, 1977). This theory posited that a powerful adaptive system, rooted in mammalian evolution, emerges early in life as children interact with their caregivers. They proposed that infants form a special bond with their primary caregivers as an organized relational system forms in the latter part of the first year of life. This system operates to protect the young child, both physically and emotionally. Once the attachment system organizes in caregiver–infant dyads, then perceived threats by either party in an attachment relationship can trigger attachment behaviors. Infants seek proximity and comfort of attachment figures, and caregivers in an attachment relationship seek proximity and attempt to protect or comfort the child. Yet attachment relationships also promote learning and exploration in this theory. When children feel secure and safe, they will venture to explore the world. Thus, the presence of an attachment relationship functions as a “secure base” for learning. Attachment theorists also argued that responsive and sensitive caregiving led to what they described as “internal working models” of relationships that are carried forward into future relationships with other people (Sroufe, 2005; Thompson, 2013, 2015). Secure attachments in early development were posited to provide a foundation for later relationships, in effect potentiating later supportive relationships with friends, romantic partners, and other people. This theory also suggested that children would not flourish in the absence of a reliable and sensitive caregiver. Although there is extensive debate about what constitutes effective caregiving, there is little debate that neglectful or abusive care or care by continually changing caregivers (as often found in institutional care) is harmful to development (Cicchetti, 2013; Nelson et al., 2014). Studies of caregiving in the resilience literature support basic tenets of attachment theory and more generally the protective effects of a close relationship for children exposed to adversity. 161

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Moreover, the buffering effects of interactions with an attachment figure can be observed at both the behavioral and biological level. Laboratory studies of stress demonstrate that the presence of a caregiver can buffer behavioral and physiological stress reactions to frightening stimuli (Carter and Porges, 2014; Gunnar, Hostinar, Sanchez, Tottenham, and Sullivan, 2015). Proximity to caregivers and even the sound of their voices can elicit a biological response. When children hear or touch their caregivers in stress-eliciting situations, there is an increase in oxytocin (a neuropeptide that plays a role in mammalian pair bonding) and a reduction in cortisol (a stress hormone released by the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis) compared to controls (Seltzer, Ziegler, and Pollak, 2010). Multivariate studies have shown promotive and protective effects of parenting for children at risk of academic and social problems at school due to cumulative risk or adversity (Alink, Cicchetti, Kim, and Rogosch, 2009; Houston and Grych, 2016; Kim-Cohen, Moffitt, Caspi, and Taylor, 2004). Even in the situation of chronic maltreatment, positive relationships with a caring parent or other committed adult are associated with manifested resilience (Alink et al., 2009; Collishaw et al., 2007; Egeland, Carlson, and Sroufe, 1993; McGloin and Widom, 2001). In families experiencing homelessness, children are more successful in school when they have parents observed to be engaged, warm, sensitive, and encouraging to their children (Masten et al., 2014). In an observational study of parenting in the context of structured parent–child interaction tasks administered while families were residing in emergency shelters, Herbers and colleagues found that sensitive co-regulation by parents was associated with children showing on-task behavior and forecasted children’s subsequent function at school as reported by teachers (Herbers, Cutuli, Supkoff, Narayan, and Masten, 2014). This predictive effect appeared to be mediated by the child’s selfregulation skills, which also were associated with parenting quality. In their studies of Iowa farm families affected by economic hardship, Elder and Conger (2000) observed that warm and supportive parenting fostered resilience in young people during the economic crisis confronting many farm families in the 1980s. Moreover, successful youth typically were embedded in a network of social connections with intergenerational family members and people in their communities, facilitated by their parents, who often were engaged in educational, civic, and religious organizations. Research on children in war and disaster corroborates the protective influences of both physical proximity to attachment figures and close relationships with parents, although there are some interesting nuances in the findings (Masten, Narayan, et al., 2015). Research continues to corroborate the findings of classic studies that separation from caregivers is associated with worse reactions to mass trauma experiences than observed when families are not separated; consequently, restoring proximity to primary caregivers is now considered a top priority in disaster response (Federal Emergency Management Agency, 2013). Moderating effects of parenting beyond the issue of separation also have been documented in the literature on children in war and disaster (Masten, Narayan, et al., 2015). The function of caregivers can be undermined by trauma, with parents developing symptoms of depression or post-traumatic stress. Mental health problems in parents exposed to war and conflict predict worse adjustment in their children. Yet caregivers can maintain effective parenting, and evidence also suggests that when they do, children are buffered to some degree from the devastating effects of mass trauma experiences. For example, in a study of Israeli and Palestinian youth exposed to political conflict, the quality of parenting (including praise and discipline) moderated the outcome of post-traumatic stress symptoms (Dubow et al., 2012). Studies of natural and technological disasters also illustrate the key role of parents in mediating or moderating child adaptation (Masten, Narayan, et al., 2015). Positive relationships of parent and child showed protective effects for young children exposed to an earthquake (Proctor et al., 2007) and adolescents who experienced a tsunami in Sri Lanka (Wickrama and Kaspar, 2007). In their review of parenting roles related to children’s mental health in the aftermath of disaster, Cobham, McDermott, 162

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Haslam, and Sanders (2016) concluded that positive psychological adaptation in children was facilitated by supportive parent–child relationships, encouragement of emotional expression, and positive reframing (Cobham et al., 2016). However, as noted earlier, there are hints of complexity in the disaster literature. For example, in the study by Proctor and colleagues (2007), at very high levels of child exposure, the protective effects of parenting were not as strong. Moreover, in a study of children’s post-disaster functioning after a flood in Poland, investigators found that maternal overprotectiveness was related to worse post-traumatic symptoms in the children (Bokszczanin, 2008). These results suggest that there may be nonlinear patterns of association among parenting behavior, adversity, and child outcomes. Curvilinear patterns would be congruent with other findings in the parenting literature indicating that “more” of a particular parenting behavior does not always correspond to “better” parenting or outcomes for children (Bornstein and Manian, 2013). Intervention experiments in the war recovery literature also confirm the role of caregivers. Dybdahl (2001), in a rare experimental study of parenting, implemented an intervention with Bosnian families exposed to war. The intervention aimed to boost maternal warmth and support to young children ages 5 and 6 years along with providing medical care; the control group received only the medical care. The treatment group showed better maternal mental health and child physical health. Randomized controlled trials to test interventions that target parenting and parent–child relationships provide the most compelling evidence that parenting matters in resilience. Many of the most successful prevention trials in the developmental literature have targeted parenting among children exposed to risky environments, deprivation, or adverse life experiences. These are discussed in the section on intervention.

Stress Management and Inoculation Parents are expected to protect their children from danger, but this does not mean preventing all exposures to adversity and stress. Adaptive systems, including the systems that protect children as they navigate through life, require experience to develop. The immune system requires exposure to challenges, including vaccinations, to develop protective antibodies and adaptive functionality (Abbas, Lichtman, and Pillai, 2016). Although parents must protect children from dangerous pathogens, children need some exposure to dirt and biological challenges for their immune systems to optimize for a particular environment. Children are vaccinated to stimulate the immune system with a milder form of a dangerous pathogen so the immune system acquires adaptive antibodies to a specific danger. Timing also matters, in that exposures early in development can have markedly different effects than later exposures. Growing up on a farm exposed to microorganisms connected to animals and dirt is protective for asthma and some allergies, whereas adult exposures could cause serious allergic reactions (Guerra and Martinez, 2008; Okada, Kuhn, Feillet, and Bach, 2010; von Mutius and Radon, 2008). Similarly, children need experience managing adversity to develop effective adaptive skills at multiple levels, neurobiological to social (Masten and Cicchetti, 2016). Parents can and often deliberately do provide children with exposures to manageable challenges that help them learn conscious skills for managing the expectable challenges of life, including situations that produce stress, fear, anxiety, anger, disappointment, frustration, and other unpleasant reactions to threats and challenges. At the same time, at an unconscious level, the neurobiological systems that regulate these reactions to threats are also changing in adaptive ways, most particularly the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal system that regulates stress (Blair and Raver, 2016; Hostinar et al., 2014; Lupien, McEwen, Gunnar, and Heim, 2009). Animal models of this system indicate that repeated exposures to moderately stressful experiences can have salutary effects on future adaptation to stressors (Parker and Maestripieri, 2011). 163

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Clearly, overwhelming stress is harmful to development in multiple ways, including healthy brain development (Blair and Raver, 2016; Lupien et al., 2009). However, preventing any exposure to mild or moderate stressors would also compromise development, just in different ways. There is growing recognition that parents can be overprotective, so that the capacity of their children to manage psychosocial as well as physical adversities is compromised. An important function of parenting may be to provide developmentally, contextually, and child-personalized “doses” of exposure to stress to facilitate coping skill development (Skinner and Zimmer-Gembeck, 2007, 2016; Zimmer-Gembeck and Skinner, 2016). Contemporary concerns in the media about “helicopter parents” express the idea of risk in overdoing protection as a parent. The resilience literature suggests that parents often strive to prepare their children for the adversities expected in their environment. For example, parents of children who will likely face discrimination on the basis of ethnicity attempt to prepare their children through teaching them how to handle specific situations and also by instilling ethnic pride, discussed further later. Parents of children who live in chronic conflict zones as well as disaster-prone areas also train their children for safety, preparing family emergency plans, for example, or “go bags” (Masten, Narayan, et al., 2015).

Socialization Parents are expected to socialize their young children for life in society and the contexts in which they will grow up (Bornstein, 2015). Many processes are involved in socialization, including direct teaching; modeling desired behavior; discipline; maintaining family rules, roles, and routines; monitoring; and social regulation. Socializing children in the context of adversity, particularly the enduring hardships associated with poverty, discrimination, family or neighborhood violence, and political conflict, poses enormous challenges for parents. Yet many parents in these difficult situations manage to rear their children effectively for success in school, work, community life, and rearing their own children later in life. In the context of family life, parents establish and maintain rules and routines that serve to support well-being and socialization in the family system as a whole and facilitate family adaptation to adversities (Fiese, 2006; Masten, 2014b; Pratt, 1976; Walsh, 2013). Routines around the daily-life maintenance functions of eating, sleeping, health care, home management, and so forth, as well as routines of religious and other cultural practices, are posited to maintain the cohesion and stability of the family as a system and support individual child development. Fiese (2006) studied the complex rules and roles embedded in family mealtime routines, and evidence supports the importance of regular mealtimes for both child competence and marital happiness. Ferretti and Bub (2014) explored the role of family routines in a Head Start population of preschoolers where children from families with consistent routines had improved self-regulation and increased cognitive abilities. Acute and chronic disruptions of families by divorce, illness, death, homelessness, war, disaster, or other adversities take a toll on these routines. Restoring routines of family life, or establishing new routines when that is not feasible, is viewed as a critically important recovery process in disparate literatures, ranging from family therapy (Masten, 2016b; Walsh, 2016) to war recovery (Masten, Narayan, et al., 2015). In refugee camps for survivors of war and disaster, humanitarian activities often are directed at restoring family routines as well as opportunities to engage in other childhood routines, such as play or school (Masten, Narayan, et al., 2015). Another striking example is provided by the work of Boss (2006) to elucidate strategies for promoting resilience in situations of what she termed “ambiguous loss.” Ambiguous loss refers to situations where a loved person is gone without the closure provided by certainty about what happened. Examples include disappearances of planes or ships, disasters where bodies cannot be recovered (such as 9/11), and missing-in-action soldiers. One of the resilience factors Boss delineated in these situations is the reconstruction of family rituals and routines. 164

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In addition to their roles in maintaining family systems, parents serve as external regulators of arousal, affect, and behavior in individual children until such time as children can regulate themselves (Beeghly and Tronick, 2011; Masten, 2014b; Thompson, 2015; Tronick and Beeghly, 2011). Parents soothe upset children, stimulate laughter, set limits on aggression, and help children to verbalize frustration instead of throwing a tantrum. Sensitive co-regulation helps children modulate affect and stress. Over time, many such interactions between parent and child are believed to scaffold the development of a child’s capacity for self-regulation. Tronick and Beeghly (2011) described how infants learn from many brief interactions involving an emotional disturbance and then the reestablishment of equilibrium via parentally scaffolded affect regulation and problem-solving. This process subsequently shapes the dyadic parent–child relationship. Dyadic synchrony in which children and caregivers are affectively and behaviorally in tune with each other facilitates the development of social skills and emotion regulation, particularly for those at risk. Parent–child relationships that are more “rigid” in their interactions can compromise the development of self-regulation and may contribute to the development of psychopathology (MacPhee, Lunkenheimer, and Riggs, 2015). Morris and colleagues (Morris, Silk, Steinberg, Myers, and Robinson, 2007) proposed that three additional processes are also involved in parental influence on child regulation: observational learning from parents, parent coaching and reactions, and the emotional climate in the family. Evidence has accumulated to support and expand their model (Morris, Criss, Silk, and Houltberg, 2017). Parents play a role in socializing children around the experience of particular emotions and their appropriate expression. Positive parenting practices and positive emotional environments support resilient outcomes, including more positive child affect, more prosocial skills, fewer externalizing issues, and higher social-emotional competence overall (Brophy-Herb et al., 2011; Labella, Narayan, and Masten, 2016; McCoy and Raver, 2011; Perlman, Cowan, Gewirtz, Haskett, and Stokes, 2012). Positive and supportive environments may be particularly important for families facing adversity due to the stress-engendered risks for higher negative affect, lower positive emotion socialization, reductions in self-regulation, and mental health problems, such as depression (Brophy-Herb et al., 2011; England and Sim, 2009; Zalewski et al., 2012). Patterns of parenting related to warmth and structure have been examined for decades in the concept of parenting styles, inspired by Baumrind on patterns of interaction between parents and their children (Baumrind, 1966, 1971; Maccoby and Martin, 1983; Steinberg, 2001). Authoritative parenting styles, characterized by a combination of high warmth, structure, and expectations for children, often have been associated with competence and resilience of children in families facing adversity (Masten and Coatsworth, 1998). However, work on parenting styles highlights the importance of context for defining “authoritative parenting” and the differential significance of parenting style (e.g., firmness versus warmth) for different aspects of child functioning. Parents may shift their behavior in reaction to situations of life-threatening danger. In such circumstances, parents may exhibit high levels of strictness, monitoring, or control usually associated with authoritarian rather than authoritative style (DuMont, Ehrhard-Dietzel, and Kirkland, 2012). Yet their warmth and sensitivity remain, along with high expectations for the success of their children. Numerous studies suggest that parents can mitigate risks for antisocial and drug-related problems through monitoring their children and knowing their whereabouts and friends, especially when parents have a positive relationship with their children (Dishion and McMahon, 1998; Hardaway, SterrettHong, Larkby, and Cornelius, 2016; Stattin and Kerr, 2000). A study of African-American girls and their mothers provided evidence that a strong mother–daughter relationship can moderate the influence of negative peer norms and reduce risky sexual activity in adolescents (Emerson, Donenberg, and Wilson, 2012). Additionally, strong parent–child relationships can protect children from the negative outcomes associated with exposure to community violence (Gorman-Smith, Henry, and Tolan, 2004; Hardaway, McLoyd, and Wood, 2012; Labella and Masten, 2017). Interventions, such as The Strong 165

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African-American Families Program (SAAF; Brody et al., 2006), have successfully targeted monitoring as a strategy to reduce risky behaviors and promote resilience among youth, in this case combined with clear communication of expectations and ethnic socialization. In the successful SAAF prevention trial, ethnic socialization was included as a target because evidence indicated that racism could contribute to substance use (Brody et al., 2006) and also because research on naturally occurring resilience among disadvantaged African-American children suggested that their parents prepared them to handle the challenges of racism in American society (Hill and Tyson, 2008; McLoyd, 1998). Parents also can promote positive ethnic identity, which is associated broadly with competence in development and shows protective effects in some studies (Rivas-Drake et al., 2014). Positive ethnic identity shows protective effects for urban adolescent males of African-American or Latino heritage (Williams, Aiyer, Durkee, and Tolan, 2014). Research on acculturation processes among immigrant youth also indicates that positive ethnic identity has protective effects on psychological well-being and adjustment (Motti-Stefanidi, 2015; Umaña-Taylor et al., 2014). Burt, Simons, and Gibbons (2012) suggested that parents can promote resilience for children who know they will face ethnic discrimination by reinforcing a positive identity and teaching their children about bias, what to expect, and how to respond. It is important to note, however, that although parental socialization around ethnic pride is promotive, it is possible that attuning children to biases could have negative consequences (Dunbar, Leerkes, Coard, Supple, and Calkins, 2017).

Transmitting Cultural Beliefs and Practices That Enhance Resilience Parents transmit many ideas, rituals, and practices to their children from their cultural heritages that could contribute to resilience, including values, family routines, and religious or spiritual traditions (Bornstein, 2012; Harkness and Super, 2012; Legare and Harris, 2016; Masten, 2014b). The influences of culture on resilience were neglected for a long period in the early history of resilience science (Luthar, 2006; Masten, 2014b). However, that neglect is giving way as scholars begin to focus on the ways that culture can influence resilience (Masten and Cicchetti, 2016; Ungar, Ghazinour, and Richter, 2013; Wachs and Rahman, 2013). Parents model and also actively teach their children about the cultural beliefs and practices of their ethnic or religious heritage (Harkness and Super, 2012; National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2016). These ideas and practices include concepts of spirituality, family, and community; ways of celebrating, mourning, and childrearing; and self-regulation practices such as prayer or meditation. Cultural beliefs and practices can provide a sense of continuity, coherence, connectedness, hope, positive identity, cultural identity, and meaning in life (Cabrera and the SRCD Ethnic and Racial Issues Committee, 2013; Crawford, Wright, and Masten, 2006; Kağitçibaşi, 2012; Motti-Stefanidi, 2014, 2015). The roles of cultural beliefs and practices for resilience have gained increasing attention in research on children and families in difficult situations of political conflict, poverty, and migration. PanterBrick and colleagues studied resilience in Afghanistan, observing the importance of Afghan values of faith, family unity, service, effort, morals, and honor for surviving the prolonged years of turmoil and danger in that country (Eggerman and Panter-Brick, 2010; Panter-Brick, Goodman, Tol, and Eggerman, 2011). Investigators affiliated with the Resilience Research Center in Halifax elucidated diverse cultural beliefs and practices associated with resilience in countries around the world (Ungar, 2012). For example, parents in Yoruba and Nigeria—an area where food availability often fluctuates—promote the ability to delay gratification, creativity, and proper etiquette by teaching specific culturally appropriate interactions around food (Cabrera and Leyendecker, 2017). A number of studies have implicated a sense of family orientation or obligation, or “familism,” as a protective influence against risky behavior (Cabrera and Leyendecker, 2017; Cabrera et al., 2013). 166

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Some studies of adaptation and development of immigrant youth have revealed an “immigrant paradox” where the first generation appears to be healthier or more successful than later generations (García Coll and Marks, 2012). Although this phenomenon does not occur consistently (MottiStefanidi, 2014), one of the suggested explanations for the resilience of the first generation is that protective cultural traditions and practices carried into a new country and cultural context may be “lost” over time as successive generations acculturate (García Coll and Marks, 2012; Marks, Ejesi, and García Coll, 2014). The idea that cultural beliefs and practices can serve promotive and protective roles does not mean that all cultural practices are promotive and protective (Crawford et al., 2006; Masten, 2014b). In some cultures, parents may transmit practices that promote risk or interfere with resilience of individuals, families, or communities. Some cultural practices can hinder cognitive development (e.g. never talking to children), favor one gender over another (e.g., forbidding girls to go to school), engender violence, (e.g., condoning rape or domestic violence), or impair health (e.g., genital mutilation or sexual practices that spread HIV). Nonetheless, many cultural traditions, particularly the ceremonies and rituals for coping with loss, tragedy, and other vicissitudes of life, have endured because they provide comfort, guidance, or hope, facilitating coping with adversity. Moreover, even when cultural practices or beliefs do not support adaption or recovery from trauma, interventions designed to promote resilience must take cultural perspectives and differences into account.

Intervention Research on Parenting for Resilience Interventions to promote resilience often have focused on parenting. This is not surprising, given the centrality of parenting in resilience theory and research. Experimental intervention studies provide a powerful test of the causal models central to resilience theory (Masten, 2007b, 2014b). Multiple aspects of parenting have been targeted directly or indirectly by interventions intended to help children by protecting or improving the parenting available to them (Doty et al., 2017; Sandler et al., 2011; Toth, Gravener-Davis, Guild, and Cicchetti, 2013). Some of these interventions are designed to promote or protect parenting in families at risk from particular adversities, such as maltreatment, bereavement, or divorce. Some focus on parenting in situations known to pose general risks for children, such as foster care, migration, or natural disasters. Still others target specific outcomes in the children or youth, such as reducing antisocial behavior, substance abuse, or promoting school readiness. Resilience frameworks for intervention suggest that there are three basic strategies to improve adaptation of individuals whose development is threatened by adversity or disadvantage, focusing on risk, resources, or adaptive systems (Masten, 2011, 2014b). Parenting interventions can be considered from this perspective as well, depending on the target for change. Parent-focused interventions could attempt to prevent risks or reduce stress experienced by parents that can undermine parenting, boost resources that can support or enhance parenting, bolster or mobilize adaptive systems involving parents, or some combination of the three basic approaches. In this section, we highlight research on interventions that illustrate one or more these approaches to promoting resilience in children by influencing the parenting they receive.

Risk-Focused Strategies to Address Conditions that Harm or Interfere with Parenting Parents who are overwhelmed by current adversity (e.g., substance abuse, illness, a mental health crisis, violence in the home, violence in the community) may not be able to fulfill the duties and expectations of parents in their family or culture. Extended family, friends, religious communities, and neighbors may step in informally to assist. However, parents in these situations can be isolated, 167

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particularly in low-income families headed by a single parent. Communities in the United States and other countries have developed interventions to support parents struggling to care for their children. These include services that provide caregiving respite to parents, such as crisis nurseries, and emergency social services for parent mental health care. Although there are many examples of efforts to address risks to parenting, one of the best studied is the threat of parental depression. The threat of maternal depression, and postpartum depression in particular, to parenting and consequently to children has been recognized for years. Maternal depression is viewed as an indicator of multiple risks because it is correlated with many other risk factors (Wachs and Rahman, 2013). Threats related to maternal depression include reduced breastfeeding, impaired responsiveness, lower maternal warmth, harsher and less positive parenting, neglect, and child maltreatment. As evidence mounted on depression as a risk factor for parenting and child development, it received increasing attention (England and Sim, 2009; Goodman and Gotlib, 1999; Goodman et al., 2011). Younger children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of maternal depression (Weinberg and Tronick, 1998), which is alarming given that the Centers for Disease Control estimates that one in nine mothers is at risk for postpartum depression (Ko, Rockhill, Tong, Morrow, and Farr, 2017). Interventions to treat parental depression lower the risk of harm to their children (Compas et al., 2011; Cuijpers, Weitz, Karyotaki, Garber, and Andersson, 2015). There also is evidence that maternal depression can be effectively treated in low- and middle-income countries with low-cost interventions (Wachs and Rahman, 2013). This is particularly noteworthy, given that mothers in poverty and social disadvantage experience high rates of depression. With mounting evidence on maternal depression as a threat to child development in addition to its risks for mothers, there is an increasing effort to screen for and treat depression among pregnant and postpartum women (O’Connor, Rossom, Henninger, Groom, and Burda, 2016). A consensus study under the auspices of the U.S. National Academies (England and Sim, 2009) recommended that the problem of depression in parents be viewed as a priority for the nation and that research be expanded to improve the evidence on the effects of depression in parents and strategies for effective screening, treatment, and prevention. The report called for more integrated intervention and treatment approaches that focus not just on depressive symptoms but also parenting skills, comorbid issues such as trauma or substance use, and current experiences of risk and adversity. These integrative interventions are recommended because evidence indicates that treating maternal depression, even with a successful reduction or remission of symptoms, does not necessarily translate to better parenting outcomes.

Interventions to Boost Resources and Skills for Parenting Efforts to improve the resources and skills of parents to enhance their parenting have taken many forms. These often include parent education efforts, for example, aiming to teach parents how to discipline or monitor their children more effectively, or the importance of reading and talking to children for their development. Humanitarian efforts in low- and middle-income countries often provide parents with information and training on methods to stimulate the development of their children as well as methods to keep them healthy (Engle et al., 2011; Yousafzai, Yakoob, and Bhutta, 2013). Landmark intervention studies to promote child development through nutritional supplementation and stimulation have shown that nutrition and stimulation have enduring independent and complementary effects (Walker, Chang, Powell, and Grantham-McGregor, 2005). Similar federally funded programs exist in the United States in an attempt to bolster resources for at-risk families, and ultimately improve parenting as well as child functioning. There are food supplement programs (e.g., SNAP, WIC, the National School Breakfast and Lunch Program) and housing supports (e.g., Tenant-Based Rental Assistance, Project-Based Rental Assistance, Housing Choice Voucher Program) that help families find and maintain homes. Temporary Assistance for Needy 168

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Families (TANF) also provides a variety of family services, such as giving monetary supplements, providing free childcare, educating parents, providing job training, and supplying transportation assistance (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2016). In addition to providing for families’ basic needs, national public health initiatives have historically played a substantial role in boosting parent knowledge—and thus parenting and child outcomes— through public education campaigns and programs. Public education campaigns, for example, to encourage child passenger safety, safe sleeping positions for infants (“Back to Sleep”), and eliminating smoking or drinking during pregnancy, historically have been successful. Their success is attributed to messages that target straightforward behavioral change, consistently reinforced and presented to the public through multiple media outlets and other trusted sources. Other private and public organizations (e.g., ZERO TO THREE, Centers for Disease Control) have attempted this same educational approach with success in increasing positive parenting behaviors. For example, the “Period of Purple Crying Program” educated parents about normal developmental crying periods and observed subsequent reductions in shaken baby syndrome and maltreatment (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2016). In addition to national public service campaigns, numerous efforts have been made to improve supports to parents to facilitate successful child outcomes. For example, school engagement by parents is consistently related to school readiness and functioning of children. Parent involvement in homework, their facilitations of learning opportunities, and how often they have conversations with children about school are related to higher academic achievement (Fantuzzo et al., 2013). Many interventions target these outcomes by providing parents with learning activities and games to participate in at home. Other interventions aim to foster parent–teacher relationships through regular meetings, conversations about behavioral management methods, and education about learning opportunities at home and at school (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2016).

Interventions to Improve or Mobilize Adaptive Systems That Involve Parenting Interventions also target the quality of parent–child interactions, attachment relationships, and family systems in an effort to change the most salient protective processes related to parenting that are implicated in the resilience literature. These interventions implicitly or explicitly represent tests of theory or hypotheses on the protective influence of the change target. One of the most fundamental interventions to boost parenting available to children is restoring or replacing a family for a child who has lost effective caregiving due to death, illness, incarceration, institutionalization, or separation. Foster care, adoption, and many other child welfare systems were developed to address these needs. International adoption of institutionalized children has shown success as an intervention to restore family-based care to children, particularly when children are adopted at young ages (Rutter, Sonuga-Barke, and Castle, 2010; van IJzendoorn et al., 2011). Clinical case studies also illustrate the power of adoption by a loving and well-matched family to facilitate resilience (Masten and O’Connor, 1989). Research also supports the advantage of foster care over institutional care. In a compelling demonstration of the relative benefits of foster care compared to the institutional care in Romania at the time, the Bucharest Early Intervention Project showed that children placed in foster homes with trained caregivers had better development in multiple domains, including cognitive function, brain development, and biological stress response systems (Nelson et al., 2014; McLaughlin et al., 2015). Some effects were dependent on age, suggesting sensitive periods in early development where responsive caregiving is particularly impactful. Research also has demonstrated that the quality of foster parenting matters. Experiments to improve the quality of parenting by foster parents have successfully tested models of change where the 169

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intervention improves parenting with beneficial effects on children. Fisher, Van Ryzin, and Gunnar (2011) showed that training foster parents resulted in better parenting and also normalized biological stress-regulation patterns in foster children. Dozier and colleagues developed and tested the Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-Up (ABC) Intervention, demonstrating that foster parents benefitted from training on ways to nurture and regulate their children (Dozier et al., 2006; Dozier, Peloso, Lewis, Laurenceau, and Levine, 2008). The ABC intervention developed by Dozier is grounded in attachment theory, with the goal of improving the relationship of vulnerable infants and toddlers with their caregivers (Dozier and Bernard, 2017). This intervention focuses on improving parenting sensitivity as a strategy for improving the quality of parent–child attachment and child regulatory capabilities associated with sensitive caregiving at both a biological and behavioral level. Typically, the intervention involves ten sessions of home visiting designed to provide in vivo sensitivity training for parents. Results from multiple studies support the ABC model of change and its efficacy, which supports attachment theory suggesting that sensitive parenting and secure attachment are protective factors for resilience. Other relational interventions designed to enhance attachment relationships and the quality of parent–child interactions for families at risk include Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP, including variations for infants and toddler-age children; Lieberman and Van Horn, 2011) and Parent–Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT; Funderburk and Eyberg, 2011). CPP and PCIT have shown efficacy in randomized controlled trials in families at risk for child maltreatment (Chaffin et al., 2004; Thomas and Zimmer-Gembeck, 2011; Toth and Gravener, 2012). These interventions focus on improving sensitivity and other aspects of parenting theoretically related to the development of attachment security in young children. Many parenting interventions designed to prevent behavior problems in children have focused on improving parent management skills, based on behavioral theories of change and social learning theory. Patterson, Forgatch, and their colleagues developed the Oregon Model of Parent Management Training (PMTO) intervention which has shown efficacy in randomized controlled trials (RCTs) designed to change parenting behavior to improve outcomes among children at risk for behavior problems, particularly in the externalizing domain (Forgatch and Gewirtz, 2017; Patterson, Forgatch, and DeGarmo, 2010). This method of intervention, focused on parenting skills (increasing problemsolving abilities, positive involvement, and skill encouragement while decreasing inept/coercive discipline), has shown impressive growing and spreading effects over time, with benefits observed in multiple members of the family and multiple domains of outcomes (Patterson et al., 2010). These results align with a cascading resilience model described earlier (Doty et al., 2017). The Incredible Years program was designed to improve parenting among younger children, based on models and methods similar to PMTO (Leijten, Raaijmakers, Orobio de Castro, van den Ban, and Matthys, 2017; Webster-Stratton, 1987). This program has shown effectiveness for changing parenting and reducing child behavior problems in clinical treatment studies as well as prevention research (Leijten et al., 2017; Sandler et al., 2011). In a prevention study of families with children enrolled in Head Start, parents randomly assigned to the Incredible Years program (8 to 12 group sessions) showed significant effects on parenting and child behavior after one year compared to a no-intervention control group (Reid, Webster-Stratton, and Beauchaine, 2001). Meta-analysis of this program in Europe concluded that the program improves parent use of praise and reduces some negative parenting behaviors, with beneficial effects on conduct and attentional problems in children (Leijten et al., 2017). Interventions have also focused on changing processes in the family system as a strategy for promoting resilience in children (Sandler, Ingram, Wolchik, Tein, and Winslow, 2015; Walsh, 2016). There is a long history of family-focused intervention in the family therapy field, although there are few randomized controlled trials testing their specific effects on family function or parenting to enhance resilience of children and youth (Goldenberg and Goldenberg, 2013; Masten and Monn, 2015). These 170

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programs often target family communication, emotional climate, control, identity, cohesion, and routines, as well as specific parenting skills (Henry et al., 2015; Walsh, 2016). Fiese (2006), as noted earlier, emphasized the importance of family routines and rituals for child development. She observed that a number of family interventions, such as the Nurse-Family Partnership (discussed later) include a focus on restoring or establishing family routines. Maintenance and restoration of family routines also have been implicated in theory, research, and practice on families adapting well to the adversities that disrupt family life, including war and disaster (Masten, Narayan, et al., 2015).

Interventions That Combine Strategies to Alter Risk, Resources, and Protective Processes Many interventions involving parents that are designed to promote child resilience incorporate multiple strategies and targets for change. These include many of the interventions noted earlier: humanitarian programs in low-income countries that target stimulation along with health, home visiting programs for high-risk or vulnerable families, programs for families experiencing death or bereavement, and interventions to prevent conduct disorders and substance abuse. Home visiting programs are popular and effective (Howard and Brooks-Gunn, 2009; Sandler et al., 2011). The best-known of well-validated programs is the Nurse-Family Partnership (Olds, 2006). In this program, trained nurses visit first-time mothers during pregnancy through the first two years of the child’s life to provide support and education. This intervention not only focuses on physical health but also provides parent skill training and information, as well as access to a variety of community resources including parent social support. Another example is provided by the New Beginnings program, which has shown efficacy over long-term follow-ups of the families that participated in this intervention for divorce (Sandler et al., 2015; Sigal, Wolchik, Tein, and Sandler, 2012; Wolchik et al., 2002). It was designed to help families with 9- to 12-year-old children where the parents were divorcing. The randomized preventive intervention compared parent-only group intervention, a parent group combined with a child group intervention, and a control group limited to education on divorce. Results show lasting effects of the parent group, which focused on improving parent–child relationships, discipline strategies, engaging fathers, and reducing interparent conflict. Positive effects of the parent and parent-plus-child conditions were sustained over time and presented clear evidence that the effects of the intervention were mediated by improvements in parent–child relationships and discipline in the families. A final example illustrates a combined approach and a resilience perspective informed by cultural sensitivity. Familias Unidas is a multilevel family-centered intervention designed to prevent problems and promote resilience of youth in Hispanic families (Coatsworth, Pantin, and Szapocznik, 2002; Pantin et al., 2003). The goal of the program is to enhance parenting skills and knowledge, reduce risks, and boost protective systems in the families of young people at risk for substance abuse and other risky behavior problems. The intervention was grounded in a socioecological model of development that was guided by a multiple-level and multiple-domain approach, as well as efforts to change interactions in multiple systems of family, school, and peer interactions. The intervention also was informed by research on acculturation in these families. Research by the original group and other investigators support this program’s efficacy (Molleda et al., 2016; Perrino et al., 2014; Sandler et al., 2011). The growing body of intervention research focused on parenting to enhance resilience of children in high-risk families or situations offers compelling support for the mediating and moderating roles of parenting for child resilience. These studies also underscore the importance of developmental timing and targeting. Results of these successful interventions, particularly in randomized controlled trials that show change in the targeted process, have translational implications for practice and policy. 171

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Emerging Research on Parenting in Resilience Research on resilience in human development continues to expand rapidly (Masten and Cicchetti, 2016). Many advances in resilience science broadly are affecting research more specifically focused on parenting. In this section, we highlight exciting areas of emerging research that promise to advance theory and understanding about the potential roles of parenting in resilience and further inform applications of this knowledge to efforts to promote positive development in children threated by adversity.

The Neurobiology of Resilience Research on the neuroscience and biology of resilience has expanded dramatically along with advances in technologies for studying neurobiological processes (Karatsoreos and McEwen, 2013; Kim-Cohen and Turkewitz, 2012; Masten and Cicchetti, 2016). These advances include research on the neurobiological processes underlying adaptive systems, such as caregiving; how processes experienced prenatally or postnatally interact with individual contexts to alter neurobiological functions; and the moderating role of individual differences measured at a biological level, such as genes or neuroendocrine function. The effects of parenting often are central in this work. Meaney and his colleagues demonstrated the power of parenting behaviors in an animal model to alter development and gene expression (Meaney, 2010). Similarly, research with primates by Suomi (2006, 2011) demonstrated at behavioral and biological levels how good caregiving could buffer stress responses in developing monkeys. Cross-fostering studies are particularly compelling demonstrations of gene–experience interactions, showing how “foster” mothers could alter the development of genetically sensitive mammalian pups or monkey infants. Research also expanded on the biological processes underlying the observed buffering of stress by a caregiver that was initially observed at a behavioral level. Increasing evidence in animal models and humans has delineated the moderating effect of a caregiver on stress and immune function at a biological level (Hostinar et al., 2014). Concomitantly, research on the “biochemistry of love” has shown how oxytocin and vasopressin influence social affiliation and attachment behavior in animals and humans (Carter and Porges, 2014; Feldman, 2019). Work on gene–environment interaction and on epigenetics has illuminated some of the potential processes by which the mediating and moderating influences of parents on children observed at a behavioral level may occur (Masten and Cicchetti, 2016). This body of research is burgeoning but still in its early stages, with many inconsistencies in methods and findings. Nonetheless, it is clear that genetic variation and changes in gene expression are implicated in risk and resilience of parents and their children as individuals and in the consequences of their interactions. Brody and colleagues have shown, for example, moderating effects of their preventive interventions for African-American families on genetic risk for problem behaviors in adolescents (Brody, Beach, Philibert, Chen, and Murry, 2009; Brody, Chen, and Beach, 2013). Variations in sensitivity to experience indexed at the genetic level hold keen interest in research on risk and resilience (Belsky and van IJzendoorn, 2015; Karatsoreos and McEwen, 2013). Epigenetic research is particularly exciting because gene expression, including measurable short or long-lasting changes in methylation and RNA, could be targets for intervention. Such changes are also intriguing because they hold the possibility for intergenerational transmission (Roth, 2013; Szyf and Bick, 2013). Altering gene expression theoretically could account for moderating effects of parenting on development, which could have cascading consequences on near-term and lifelong adaptation of their children and future generations. Another growing area of resilience research combines observations of parent–child behavioral interactions with simultaneous assessments of biological functioning. The goal is to elucidate the 172

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processes in which parental biological and behavioral co-regulation influences the development of child self-regulation. For example, in a group of low-income parents and their children, Morris and collogues (Cui, Morris, Harrist, Larzelere, and Criss, 2015) found that within-dyad and between-dyad positive affect was associated with more adaptive adolescent physiological regulation. Parasympathetic physiological regulation is best understood in the context of social interactions, and is theorized to be essential for the development of adaptive social engagement and emotion regulation. Better physiological regulation is often related to more positive child outcomes and emotion regulation abilities. More consistent positive behavioral synchrony between parents and children has also been related to adaptive parental parasympathetic physiological regulation and ultimately more adaptive parenting behaviors in at-risk groups (Giuliano, Skowron, and Berkman, 2015; Skowron, Cipriano-Essel, Benjamin, Pincus, and Van Ryzin, 2013). These examples provide just a small sample of the expanding research on biobehavioral processes involved in parenting and resilience. We anticipate rapid growth in studies linking biological changes and processes to the elucidation of how parenting matters for child development.

Cultural and Societal Contributions to Parenting Resilience Research on resilience also is rapidly expanding to consider how the resilience of children is influenced by culture, community, and society (Masten, 2014a, Ungar, 2012; Ungar et al., 2013; Vindevogel, 2017; Wachs and Rahman, 2013). Many of these processes are mediated by parenting because parents are conduits of culture and make choices that influence the exposure of children to diverse people, religion, or media, as well as the contexts in which children grow up. The Resilience Research Center in Halifax has played a leading role in expanding research on resilience to more diverse cultural contexts (Theron, Liebenberg, and Ungar, 2015; Ungar, 2012; Ungar et al., 2013). Until recently, there were relatively few studies of resilience in low- and middle-income countries, other than studies of disasters and war. This group sponsored international research networks and conferences on resilience that served to diversify research and also developed the resilience research “workforce” focused on studying the range of resilience processes in very different cultures and situations. Similar efforts by humanitarian organizations, including UNICEF and the World Bank, have added to the growing body of research on “what works” to promote resilience in different cultures and regions (Britto et al. 2013; Huebner et al., 2016; Lundberg and Wuermli, 2012). A new pattern of research is emerging in which scientists collaborate with humanitarian agencies on the ground to implement important research on resilience that would not be feasible without the trust and frontline experience of these agencies in communities. An example is provided by recent work of Dajani, Panter-Brick, and colleagues (Dajani, Hadfield, van Uum, Greff, & Panter-Brick, 2018) to study Syrian refugees in Jordan, where the researchers teamed with Mercy Corps. In her studies of former child soldiers, Betancourt also collaborated with humanitarian nongovernmental agencies, both local and international (Betancourt, McBain, Newnham, and Brennan, 2013). Research on positive development of ethnic minority and immigrant youth is also growing rapidly, bringing greater attention to resilience in the context of ethnic and cultural diversity (Cabrera and Leyendecker, 2017; Masten, 2014b; Masten, Liebkind, and Hernandez, 2012). The Society for Research in Child Development sponsored an international conference in Prague on this theme, resulting in a volume published in 2017, edited by Cabrera and Leyendecker, with a multiple-chapter section focused on parenting. We anticipate that studies of resilience in diverse cultures and minority children and families will continue to expand, enriching and refining the methods, knowledge, and applications concerned with the roles of parents in promoting positive development. 173

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Integrating and Coordinating Evidence and Interventions Across Systems Another growing edge of resilience models and applications is focused on integrating theory, research, knowledge, and actions across system levels and sectors that influence development and resilience (Masten, 2014a; Masten and Monn, 2015). This direction of theory and practice is an expectable outgrowth of conceptualizing development and intervention from a systems perspective, recognizing the interdependence of individuals, families, communities, and societies, and the many systems operating within and across socioecological contexts. This trend is evident in humanitarian efforts to promote child survival and well-being (Britto et al., 2013; Huebner et al., 2016) as well as a resurgence of interventions that adopt a two-generation approach (Chase-Lansale and Brooks-Gunn, 2014; Shonkoff and Fisher, 2013). The concept of resilience is surging in multiple disciplines, yet central disciplines reflecting systems closely linked to children and their parents are not well integrated, either conceptually or empirically. The lack of and need for integration in theory and research on individual child resilience and family resilience was highlighted in a special issue of the journal, Family Relations (Henry et al., 2015; Masten and Monn, 2015). Similarly, the need to integrate ideas and findings on community resilience and family or individual resilience has been noted, particularly in the literature focused on disaster response (Aldrich and Meyer, 2014; Masten, Narayan, et al., 2015; Walsh, 2016). The cascading resilience model articulated by Doty and colleagues (2017) calls for integrated theory and research to delineate processes that connect individual, family, and community systems, focusing on changes in parent–child relationships and parenting as key levers for generating positive cascades.

Implications of Resilience Research for Practice and Policy The overview in this chapter describing theory and evidence on parenting with respect to resilience underscores the salience of parents in promotive and protective processes for child development consistently found in this literature. The literature also corroborates early observations by pioneers in resilience science that multiple aspects of parenting are central to child resilience in multiple ways. Those pioneers were well aware that children and parents cannot wait for all of the evidence to be gathered and distilled for applications to help children and their caregivers (Masten, 2014b). Parents, clinicians, and policymakers often are called on to act in the best interests of children and their future with incomplete evidence, particularly in the context of ongoing or expected threats. Thus, it is important to discuss the implications of the reviewed evidence by addressing the following question: What are the implications of these findings for stakeholders in child resilience, particularly parents, families, communities, and societies? Given the extraordinary diversity and range of developmental resilience science, discussing all the implications for particular constituents and situations would be impossible. Thus, we highlight takehome messages with broad applicability across diverse children, families, cultures, and societies. A list of ten conclusions based on evidence we have summarized in this chapter about parenting and resilience is presented in Table 6.1, with corresponding recommendations and illustrative examples. These recommendations align with many other efforts to summarize the implications of resilience science for practice and policy (Bernard, 2004; Cicchetti, Rappaport, Sandler, and Weissberg, 2000; Fernandez, Schwartz, Chun, and Dickson, 2013; Hawley, 2013; Luthar et al., 2015; Masten, 2011, 2014b; Masten and Powell, 2003; National Academies, 2016; Newman, 2004; Peters, Leadbeater, and McMahon, 2005; Sanders, Kirby, Tellegen, and Day, 2014; Yates and Masten, 2004). Given that resilience science is always changing, our conclusions and recommendations will undoubtedly need to be updated and improved on the basis of ongoing and future research. These broad recommendations also do not delineate developmentally strategic timing and targeting, which are important for the implementation of any of these recommendations and, indeed, any interventions intended to alter the course of development. 174

Table 6.1 Broad Take-Home Messages on Parenting to Promote Resilience in Child Development Conclusion


Practical examples

Child resilience depends on Support resilience of parents parents and families, who depend and families on other ecological systems

Parental leave; emergency services for families in crisis; earned income tax credits for families with children; health care for families; family advocates; community groups that support families

Attachment bonds with stable and responsive caregivers provide emotional security essential for learning, socialization, and stress regulation in child development

Foster secure attachment relationships; ensure that every child has a secure bond with at least one consistent, caring, and responsive parent figure

Restore a primary caregiver when parents are lost; invest in evidence-based programs to improve and sustain the quality of attachment in challenging times, including foster and adoptive parents; support positive parent–child interactions for parents in special situations (e.g., incarcerated, deployed, or divorcing)

Children with parents who stimulate and nurture brain development and learning later have more tools to overcome adversity

Educate parents about supporting brain development, language, cognition, and learning

Public health messages for mass and social media, mobile devices, pediatrician offices, and schools; professional development programs on brain development (e.g., for educators, health care providers, first responders); museum exhibits and library programs; give books to families

Skilled parents foster children’s self-regulation and coping skills in multiple ways

Educate parents on modeling, co-regulation, and how to scaffold self-regulation and coping skills in child development

Easy access to early childhood and family education programs and efficacious parenting programs to promote parent skills and prevent problems

Family stability and routines foster child resilience

Foster family stability and knowledge about routines

Expand affordable housing; end homelessness in families; educate parents, teachers, health care providers, and first responders about supporting/restoring family routines

Engaged parents can foster the synergy of systems that support family and child resilience

Support bidirectional engagement of parents in education, health, and community systems

View and treat parents as partners in school and community programs designed to enhance the positive development of children; tailor services and treatments to family needs and culture; enhance workforce training in trauma, culture, and parent engagement

Many cultural belief systems, rituals, and practices transmitted by parents and families support resilience in their children

Support transmission and practice of protective cultural practices; restore cultural traditions harmed by trauma

Provide opportunities for learning, celebrating, and sharing cultural traditions that convey emotional security, hope, meaning, coherence, identity, comfort, and social support to parents and children

Child maltreatment and family violence pose grave risks and undermine adaptive systems for child development

Prevent or mitigate exposure of children to maltreatment and family violence

Provide respite care and evidence-based treatments for families at risk for violence; train teachers and first responders to recognize and refer families at risk

Illness, depression, and stress of pregnant mothers and caregivers undermine family and child resilience

Support the health and wellbeing of pregnant mothers and caregivers

Provide access to free or low-cost screening and treatment for prenatal and postpartum depression and crisis intervention for parents; provide routine “well caregiver” as well as “well baby” health care visits (Continued)

Ann S. Masten and Alyssa R. Palmer Table 6.1 (Continued) Conclusion


Practical examples

Parents can prepare their children to weather expected storms and adapt to the unexpected challenges of life

Educate parents on emergency response, ways to promote resilience in particular contexts, and how to provide their children with diverse, manageable challenges to hone their flexibility, adaptability, confidence, and coping skills

Train parents as first responders; post family emergency planning templates and supply lists for “go bags;” prepare families for normative child transitions (e.g., starting school, leaving home); disseminate findings on effective, developmentally strategic ways for parents to foster resilience in young people facing marginalization, discrimination, divorce, bereavement, natural disasters, and other common life adversities; provide opportunities for families to challenge children in safe spaces

Developmental Timing and Targeting Resilience research and frameworks for action that flowed from this research emphasize the importance of developmental perspectives for efforts to promote resilience (Cicchetti, 2010, 2013a; Masten, 1994; 2011, 2014b). Clearly, interventions and policy focused on processes to promote resilience through parents must be mindful of developmental variation in processes that shape parenting and child development. Parenting an infant and a teenager are very different tasks. The roles and responsibilities of parents change dramatically as children develop and also as the family develops. The nature of “effective parenting” will vary across the course of development, as will individual differences in children, parents, and contexts. Resilience theory and research also suggest that there are windows of opportunity when conditions converge for change in developing systems (Masten, 2014a, 2014b). These windows may reflect periods of high normative plasticity in systems of human development (such as periods of high brain plasticity discussed earlier) or periods of system instability triggered by normative transitions or disruptive adversities (e.g., death or illness of a parent). Several windows of opportunity with leverage for change through parenting have been suggested in this chapter: infancy, when it is crucial to provide sensitive and consistent caregiving; early childhood, when children rapidly acquire self-regulation skills crucial for school success and transition into primary school; early adolescence, when pubertal change and social transitions are altering patterns of interaction in youth, their families, schools, and peer system; and late adolescence, when many youth begin to function more independently and live away from parents. Each of these transitional windows is characterized by multiple changes at multiple levels, including biological, neural, relational, and contextual. Because unstable systems are more “vulnerable” or amenable to change or transformation, these windows of flux pose both challenges and opportunities for growth (Dahl and Spear, 2004; Masten, 2014b). Cascade models from the literature on competence and resilience underscore the crucial relevance of timing, particularly when cascading changes are linked to periods of high plasticity (Doty et al., 2017; Masten and Cicchetti, 2010, 2016; Masten et al., 2005). Some cascades, both in conceptual and empirical literature, are likely to occur in particular windows of development. For example, Patterson and colleagues (Patterson, Reid, and Dishion, 1992; Patterson et al., 2010) hypothesized that the interplay of parenting issues and child noncompliance in early childhood at home would spill over to school as children went to school, subsequently disrupting learning and relationships with teachers and peers. As a result, early behavior problems would spread to school and other domains of behavior, engendering dual failures in academic and social adjustment. Their longitudinal empirical studies of 176

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families corroborated these ideas, and their intervention studies aimed at increasing parenting skills (described earlier) verified cascading effects of interrupting these processes to promote better outcomes in children by intervening to improve parenting (Patterson et al., 2010). The evidence on high returns of early investments in quality parenting and childcare for disadvantaged children documented by economists and other studies of longitudinal prevention can be viewed as support for well-timed and targeted interventions, cascading effects, and the importance of caregiving for resilience (Huebner et al., 2016; Masten, 2014b). The cascading resilience model of Doty and colleagues (2017) extends cascade models from the literature to integrate pathways linking biology, behavior, family, and community processes of resilience. They discuss leverage points that can be targeted in parenting interventions to initiate positive cascades in development. Resilience research additionally indicates that strategies for promoting resilience that involve parents would vary by period of development because the nature of threats, resources, and developmental tasks varies by development, for both children and their parents. For an unborn or very young child, parents, and the family system represent the central developmental context. Thus, efforts to promote resilience during pregnancy and early childhood focus on the parent and family system. Risk reduction strategies during early development include prenatal care, education on the dangers to children of prenatal smoking or drinking, crisis nurseries for parental respite to prevent child maltreatment, and services to reduce maternal stress from domestic violence. Asset-focused strategies include public programs to support maternal and infant health care and nutrition, provide income supports (e.g., tax credits) or material supplies (e.g., diapers, toys, books) for infants, and access to free or low-cost childcare or housing. Asset-oriented efforts also include provision of an advocate and “navigator” to help parents connect to resources, schools, or supports for their children. Interventions directed at promotive or protective parenting and family processes often focus on supporting communication, family routines, age-appropriate monitoring, and cultural traditions. Process-focused strategies aim to bolster the quality of parenting and the attachment bond of parent and child, helping parents to provide stimulating and sensitive care, as well as age-appropriate monitoring, engagement, and discipline. As indicated earlier, early childhood programs often include multiple strategies. Home visiting programs, for example, typically combine efforts to reduce risk, boost resources, and facilitate the quality of parent–child interactions. Programs for parents and families of older children include some of these early childhood strategies, but they also shift to reflect changing development tasks of childhood and adolescence. Parent education provided by communities, schools, and health care settings often focus on school readiness and then school success; consistent discipline; monitoring of child activities outside the home; and reducing the risk of substance use, victimization by bullying, gang involvement, truancy, and other problems that often emerge in the transition to adolescence among children exposed to high cumulative risk. Risk reduction strategies include parent education and awareness campaigns about identifying risks and preventing antisocial peer pressure or gang involvement. There remains much to learn about promoting resilience in human development, particularly from randomized controlled trials to test models of change. By understanding the model of change, communities will be able to promote child resilience, intervention efforts, and studies of system dynamics and leverage points for triggering change. Nonetheless, there is a considerable body of literature to guide practice and policy aiming to support the capacity of children and their families for resilience. There is good reason to believe that resilience can be promoted in many different ways, including multiple strategies focused on parenting. Optimizing strategies will depend on tailoring with respect to goals, developmental timing, the nature of threats and resources, individual and cultural variations affecting children and families, and the function of many systems interconnected to children through parents. 177

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Conclusions This chapter highlights advances in resilience science pertaining to parenting and the implications of that knowledge for applications. Parenting has played a central role in research on resilience in children from its inception. There is progress and also much work ahead to understand the complex roles of parenting in the development and manifestation of human resilience. Over the decades, the meaning of resilience in research shifted in concert with the emergence of developmental systems theory as the prevailing theoretical framework for the study of human development (Masten, 2014a). In early reviews on resilience, effective parenting or a close relationship with a caring parent was described as a protective factor associated with better outcomes among children at risk for diverse reasons. Contemporary views on resilience emphasize the dynamic nature of human development emerging from many interactions over time across many levels of embedded systems. From this perspective, a child’s resilience is dynamic, developing and changing over time as a result of the ongoing interplay of the context with the organism at many levels. The capacity for adaptation to adversity develops and changes. Relationships and a host of individual adaptive skills, including language, problem-solving, and social skills, emerge in a child from these interactions. Parents play critical roles in the formation and change of these relationships and skills through their roles in caregiving and family functions, interactions that shape individual adaptive competencies of children, exposure of children to challenges, and many other aspects of child– environment interactions that build resilience. The resilience of a child at any given time will depend on the development and current function of complex adaptive systems in the child, interactions of the child with parent and family and other aspects of the environment, and the nature of challenges impinging on these systems. Thus, the resilience of a child will be distributed across interacting systems that involve parents in many ways, as well as the systems interacting with parents. Although the role of parenting in child resilience is viewed from a more dynamic, systems perspective, many of the roles identified early in resilience theory and research continue to be corroborated by contemporary studies. These include sensitive and consistent caregiving, emotional security, and socialization for competence in the family culture and society. Nonetheless, knowledge about these roles has increased with the expanding literature. Moreover, there are many more studies of resilience in low- and middle-income countries, including intervention studies. Evidence also has increased on parenting in the context of poverty, racism, war, disaster, migration, and many other challenging situations, particularly in regard to studies outside of North America and Western Europe. Research also suggests that there are windows of opportunity for intervening to promote resilience related to developmental plasticity, transitions, and adversity itself. In some of these windows, particularly during childhood and adolescence, it appears that change can be leveraged effectively through parents with developmentally and culturally attuned strategies. There is increasing attention to strategies for triggering positive cascades and integrating strategies for change across system levels. Clearly, more knowledge is needed on tailoring and timing interventions strategically. In addition, however, it is now possible to study resilience processes in ways that were impossible in the past. Resilience research has benefitted from advances in research methods for studying genetics, brain function, biological stress systems, social interaction, and culture, as well as statistical techniques for studying growth and change over time and multiple levels of analysis. These advances spurred research on how adverse experiences “get under the skin” and, concomitantly, how parents may prevent, mitigate, compensate for, or counteract these processes. Strategies for studying parent–child interaction have improved at multiple levels of analysis, leading to advances in understanding how parental coregulation contributes to resilience among high-risk children. Methods for studying developmental cascades and intraindividual growth in longitudinal research also contribute to advances in resilience and roles of parenting in these processes. Prevention science matured, providing powerful tests of


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hypotheses about the causal role of parenting in mitigating risks and promoting or protecting positive child development. As a result of expanding research and more sophisticated designs, knowledge on parenting for resilience has grown and matured. Research continues, but there is a body of consistent knowledge to inform practice and policy aiming to promote resilience in children and families. As a working guide, we distilled the evidence on parenting in resilience into a set of ten general conclusions with recommendations and examples for practitioners and policymakers to consider. They are intentionally broad because any intervention will need to be tailored for goals, context, culture, and, of course, development. In the future, research on resilience promises to provide a deeper understanding of processes linking parents to resilience of children. Exciting research is underway on many fronts, including the biology of resilience and how it may be transmitted across generations through parenting as well as genetic transmission; cultural processes that support the resilience of parents, family, and children; the nonlinear relation of stress to resilience and how parents regulate exposure to foster resilience; and many other intriguing lines of research with implications for parents, practice, and policy. Parents and children will face many challenges in the years ahead due to global threats of natural disaster, terror, and political conflict, along with enduring adversities of poverty, inequality, and family violence (Masten, 2014a). Parents will play a central role in preparing families for these challenges and helping their children to navigate through and recover from the inevitable adversities of life. They need knowledge and support to enhance their own resilience as parents and foster resilience in their families because the future of children and societies depends on their success.

Acknowledgments Preparation of this chapter was supported by the Irving B. Harris Professorship (ASM) and a graduate fellowship award from the University of Minnesota (ARP).

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7 LANGUAGE AND PLAY IN PARENT–CHILD INTERACTIONS Catherine S. Tamis-LeMonda, Yana A. Kuchirko, Kelly Escobar, and Marc H. Bornstein Introduction Parents are children’s first teachers, and the home environment is children’s first classroom. Before children begin formal schooling, they spend most of their waking hours at home, in unstructured interactions with parents. A substantial portion of children’s “everyday lessons” revolves around learning how to use language to communicate with other people and learning what can be done with the objects around them. Children’s everyday practice with words and objects makes the first years of life a time of astounding growth in language and play skills—two major hallmarks of early development. It is thus fitting to consider the role of parents in the foundational domains of language and play. Parents are the primary source of young children’s language experiences. They talk about what they and others are doing, ask questions to encourage children to talk about what is happening, and respond to children’s actions and vocalizations with timely, topic-relevant statements. Parents modify their language and actions when communicating with their young children by using a special register of speech that is accompanied by exaggerated actions and gestures to make topics of talk salient (Tamis-LeMonda and Bornstein, 1991;1993). Parents also shape children’s play experiences, sometimes intentionally and oftentimes serendipitously. They structure children’s environments to make playtime safe. They provide children with materials for play, including toys and common household items (consider the fun toddlers have playing with remote controls and cell phones). They demonstrate how things work through their own engagement with objects and help children manipulate and play with objects through hands-on assistance and verbal guidance. These play interactions provide an ideal setting for children to learn words and develop conversational skills. Beyond the role of parents, there exist important theoretical reasons to examine language and play together. Historically, developmental scholars have considered the two domains to be meaningfully related, although debates on the precise nature of those associations abound. Piaget (2013) and Vygotsky (1962, 1978) noted that language and play similarly depend on a capacity for symbolic representation: Both forms of expression require children to use symbols to represent objects, actions, and events. Language and play also share important communicative functions. As children vocalize and play, they elicit meaningful feedback from parents and other adults (Bates, Benigni, Camaioni, and Volterra, 1979; Werner and Kaplan, 1963). Empirically, two lines of evidence highlight developmental connections between language and play. First, there are striking parallels in the timing of language and play skills: Both progress from basic to more advanced forms in lock-step unison (Gillespie and Zittoun, 2010; McCune, 1995). For


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instance, children transition from using single words in language and single acts in pretense (around the start of the second year) to combining words and stringing actions (toward the end of the second year) (Bornstein and Hendricks, 2012; McCune, 2008; Shore, O’Connell, and Bates, 1984). Second, at an individual level, children’s skills in symbolic play relate to their skills in language. A meta-analysis of language–play associations—across 31 correlational studies comprising over 6,000 children—revealed medium effect sizes regardless of study design (concurrent, longitudinal) or measures of language (receptive or expressive) (Quinn, 2016). Associations were most pronounced prior to 3 years of age, which aligns with Piaget’s claim that language–play relations are confined to the early period of transition to symbolic functioning. Finally, symbolic play is an important context for language exchanges and learning, which supports later academic and socioemotional outcomes (Hirsh-Pasek, Golinkoff, Singer, and Berk, 2009). In light of the developmental importance of children’s language and play, and their interconnections in the first years of life, we consider parenting in these two critical domains. We begin by reviewing parents’ role in children’s early language development and the features of child-directed speech that promote language learning. We then turn to parenting in play. We examine how parent–child play interactions support children’s exploratory, nonsymbolic, and symbolic play skills through children’s second year of life, and review evidence for cross-domain associations between parent–child play and children’s language development. We focus specifically on object play, which provides children with opportunities to engage in joint attention with parents, learn language, and use their imaginations in pretense. Finally, we examine how cultural contexts shape parent–child language and play interactions and end with pedagogical implications and future research directions.

Parenting in Language Most children acquire language primarily through interactions with their parents (Golinkoff, Can, Soderstrom, and Hirsh-Pasek, 2015; Hirsh-Pasek et al., 2015). As children process the speech directed to them by their parents, they extract phonological, semantic, and grammatical rules about word sounds, word meanings, and how words combine into sentences (that you “wash your hair,” but don’t “hair your wash”). Several properties of child-directed speech and action are especially conducive to infant language learning: (1) parental contingent responsiveness—the temporal alignment of language inputs with children’s vocalizations and actions—facilitates infants’ connection of words to objects and events; (2) the didactic content of parental speech promotes infant word growth; and (3) the physical cues parents use to mark the referents of speech. In the sections that follow, we describe these features of parent language input and how parents developmentally scaffold word learning in children by modifying their speech to accommodate children’s changing skills.

Child-Directed Speech and Action Parent speech to infants and toddlers is special. Mothers, fathers, and other adults across many cultures intuitively modify the prosody, content, and form of their language when addressing infants (Fernald, 2000; Golinkoff et al., 2015; Kitamura, Thanavishuth, Burnham, and Luksaneeyanawin, 2001; Thiessen, Hill, and Saffran, 2005). Child-directed speech is characterized by higher and more variable pitch and intonation, shorter utterances, longer pauses, limited vocabulary, vowel alterations, and frequent repetitions compared to adult-directed speech (e.g., Fernald et al., 1989; Ma, Golinkoff, Houston, and Hirsh-Pasek, 2011). Additionally, when adults talk with infants and young children, they almost always refer to concrete objects and people in the here-and-now (e.g., Phillips, 1973; Snow et al., 1976) and tend to use phrases that contain many simple labels, descriptors, and questions (TamisLeMonda, Baumwell, and Cristofaro, 2012). 190

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Parents adjust the prosody and content of child-directed speech to be developmentally appropriate for their children’s developmental level. When speaking to infants and toddlers, parents modify the amplitude of their speech to highlight specific words in a sentence, such as the names of objects. For example, labels are likely to be the loudest word in the sentence compared to nonlabels (Messer, 1981) and are perceptually prominent in the speech stream—that is, they are likely to be positioned in utterance-initial or utterance-final position (Golinkoff and Alioto, 1995; Seidl and Johnson, 2006). Parent speech to infants and toddlers contains shorter and simpler sentences, fewer subordinate clauses, and higher repetition and redundancy (Longhurst and Stepanich, 1975; Phillips, 1973), thereby simplifying the language learning task. Repetition in child-directed speech supports early vocabulary development by providing multiple instances of novel words for processing word meaning, and is shown to be a key ingredient to the language experiences of even preverbal infants. Repetitions in maternal speech to 7-month-old infants uniquely contributes to children’s vocabulary at age 2 years above children’s own speech segmentation skills (Newman, Rowe, and Ratner, 2016). As children grow in vocabulary and grammar, parents increase the quantity (total number of words, or word “tokens”) and diversity (number of different words, or word “types”) of their language. Amount and diversity of parent language to children relate to children’s vocabulary in both middleclass and lower-socioeconomic status (SES) families (Bornstein, Haynes, and Painter, 1998; HoffGinsberg, 1991; Hoff and Naigles, 2002; Rowe, 2012; Shimpi, Fedewa, and Hans, 2012). Both mothers and fathers engage in child-directed speech. Mothers and fathers were videorecorded on separate occasions while playing with their 2-year-olds, and both parents modified their speech in line with the complexity of their toddlers’ language. The number of words, diversity of words, and grammatical complexity of parent utterances matched the level of their toddlers’ language skills (Tamis-LeMonda et al., 2012). Fathers likewise modify the prosodic features of their speech when speaking to their infants. A study of fathers and their infants ranging from 10 days to 14 months of age found that across six different languages (French, Italian, German, Japanese, British English, and American English), fathers used a simplified speech register, higher pitch, and adjusted their language in direct response to their infants’ communicative skills (Fernald et al., 1989). Mothers in bilingual families display the same speech modifications as do monolingual mothers. For example, mothers living in Belgium (where both Dutch and French are spoken) modified their speech to infants in each of their two languages across infancy to toddlerhood—that is, when talking to preverbal 5-month-olds and verbal 20-month-olds (De Houwer and Bornstein, 2016). Mothers generally used a single language (either Dutch or French) at 5 months, although two mothers used both languages at this age, presumably in response to language developments in their children. By 20 months, the mothers who spoke with two languages reported switching to one language. By 53 months, a quarter of mothers added a second language, and another quarter switched languages completely (e.g., spoke only French at 5 months, but only Dutch by 53 months). Thus, mothers changed their distribution of language use across two languages as children grew first in one and then in two languages. Even deaf mothers modify their sign language to their infants in very much the way hearing mothers use child-directed speech (Erting, Thumann-Prezioso, and Benedict, 2000). Children as young as 4 years of age also systematically adjust their speech when speaking to infants (Weppelman, Bostow, Schiffer, Elbert-Perez, and Newman, 2003). Cross-cultural research has confirmed that child-directed speech may be intuitive and present in communities across the globe (Broesch and Bryant, 2015, 2017; Kitamura et al., 2001). Adults from WEIRD (Western, educated, industrialized, rich, and democratic; Henrich, Heine, and Norenzayan, 2010; Marklund, Marklund, Lacerda, and Schwarz, 2015) cultures (such as the United States and countries in Europe and Asia) and adults from traditional, nonindustrialized communities (such as Fijians, Kenyans, the Marathi in India, Native American Comanche, and the Nivkh) produce similar features of speech when talking to young children (e.g., Blount and Padgug, 1976; Broesch and Bryant, 2015, 2017; Ferguson, 1964; Grieser and Kuhl, 1988; Kelkar, 1964). 191

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For example, Swedish-speaking adults tend to use longer pauses with children and respond more quickly when speaking to children than when speaking to adults, regardless of children’s vocabulary size (Marklund et al., 2015). Mothers in Fiji and Kenya use higher and more variable pitch frequencies when speaking to children than when speaking to adults, similar to the child-directed speech of North American mothers (even when controlling for education; Broesch and Bryant, 2015). However, the prevalence and specific features of child-directed speech vary across cultural communities and are more pronounced in some cultures than in others. Some communities lack child-directed speech, and adults show little accommodation to the communicative needs of infants and young toddlers (e.g., Ochs, 1982; Ochs and Schieffelin, 1984; Schieffelin and Ochs, 1979; Pye, 1986). Adults also modify their actions when interacting with infants, by producing exaggerated, repeated movements referred to as “motionese” or infant-directed action (Brand, Baldwin, and Ashburn, 2002; Brand, Shallcross, Sabatos, and Massie, 2007; Koterba and Iverson, 2009). Middle-class, EuropeanAmerican mothers interact with their infants in ways that are qualitatively distinct from their interactions with familiar adults. When asked to demonstrate how to play with an unfamiliar object (e.g., a neon green “twisty” that could form shapes and be taken apart and put back together), mothers’ infant-directed action was more enthusiastic, repetitive, simpler, and included a greater range of motions than did adult-directed action (Brand et al., 2002). Additionally, mothers exhibit longer pauses between child-directed actions compared to adult-directed actions, and they coordinate their exaggerated actions with their modified speech during demonstrations (Meyer, Hard, Brand, McGarvey, and Baldwin, 2011). The signing of caregivers to infants likewise involves slow and highly repetitive and exaggerated movements (Masataka, 1992), suggesting that child-directed actions are not restricted to the hearing population. Why might child-directed speech facilitate word learning? First, the prosodic contours of childdirected speech function to elicit infant attention. From birth, infants prefer and respond more to child-directed speech than to adult-directed speech by mothers and even strangers (Fernald, 2000). Regardless of speaker, babies prefer adults who use infant-directed speech and attend more to those adults than those using adult-directed speech (Schachner and Hannon, 2011). Thus, child-directed speech serves as a cue for selection of social partners. Child-directed speech also provides cues about the emotional signals of adult speakers, thereby creating rich, informative contexts for babies to bind speech to emotional states and learn new words (Saint-Georges et al., 2013). Second, the exaggerated prosody of child-directed speech provides acoustic cues to the grammatical and syntactical boundaries of language input, thereby aiding infants’ segmentation of the speech stream (Fernald, 2004; Soderstrom, 2007; Soderstrom, Blossom, Foygel, and Morgan, 2008). For example, infants discriminate speech sounds embedded in multisyllabic sequences better in streams of childdirected speech than in streams of adult-directed speech (D’Odorico and Jacob, 2006). Within the first few months of life, infants neurologically process child-directed speech differently than other auditory stimuli. Electroencephalogram (EEG) activity resulting from hearing child-directed speech is greatest in the temporal regions (Naoi et al., 2012) and frontal lobes (Saito et al., 2007), and child-directed speech elicits increased neural activity in brain regions involved in attention (Zangl and Mills, 2007). Infants’ heightened attention to child-directed speech relative to adult-directed speech, coupled with the cues provided by prosody features, increases the likelihood that babies will learn the words directed to them. Similarly, motionese maintains infant attention and highlights the structure and meaning of actions. Infants looked longer when their primary caregivers moved a novel object with either high amplitude or high repetition or both—the two parameters on which infant-directed action differs from adultdirected action (Brand et al., 2002)—than when caregivers moved the object with low amplitude and low repetition (Koterba and Iverson, 2009). Beyond eliciting attention, motionese may make actions easier for infants to parse by stressing subactions within the motion (Brand et al., 2009; Brand, Hollenbeck, and Kominsky, 2013). Infants learn to imitate adults more quickly when taught new actions characterized by motionese than when exposed to adult-directed action (Williamson and Brand, 2014). 192

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Responsiveness Infants’ interest in the objects and people of everyday life is expressed through their spontaneous actions—looks, vocalizations, facial expressions, manual actions, and body movements. Parents and other adults often respond to these infant behaviors with prompt, contingent, and appropriate in-kind behaviors, such as by looking at and pointing to a cat while naming it. Indeed, “contingent responsiveness” is an essential characteristic of infant–parent social interactions and is observed across contexts and cultures (Bornstein, Tamis-LeMonda, Hahn, and Haynes, 2008; Lohaus, Keller, Ball, Elben, and Voelker, 2001; Tamis-LeMonda, Kuchirko, and Tafuro, 2013). Parental contingent responsiveness fosters language development throughout the first years of life (Tamis-LeMonda, Kuchirko, and Song, 2014). Before infants produce conventional words, they benefit from parental responses to their vocalizations. For instance, mothers who are responsive to their infants’ babbles have babies whose babbles mirror the phonological structure of their mothers’ verbal input (Goldstein and Schwade, 2008). By the time infants are 2 years old, they increasingly understand and produce words and simple phrases and benefit from verbal input that is temporally and conceptually connected to their actions (Tamis-LeMonda, Cristofaro, Rodriguez, and Bornstein, 2006). Mothers’ contingent responsiveness to infants’ and toddlers’ vocalizations, social bids, object exploration and play, and emotional expressions predicts infant vocabulary size (Tamis-LeMonda, Bornstein, Kahana-Kalman, Baumwell, and Cyphers, 1998), the pragmatic diversity of toddlers’ communications (Beckwith and Cohen, 1989), and the timing of language milestones (Nicely, Tamis-LeMonda, and Bornstein, 1999; Tamis-LeMonda et al., 1998; Tamis-LeMonda, Bornstein, and Baumwell, 2001). Moreover, the effects of responsiveness on language development are consistent across samples and large in magnitude. In one study, infants of high-responsive mothers (90th percentile) at 9 and 13 months achieved language milestones, such as first words, vocabulary spurt, and combinatorial speech, four to six months earlier than did infants of low-responsive mothers (10th percentile) (TamisLeMonda et al., 1998, 2001). Although much research in this area is correlational and prevents causal inferences, associations between parent responsiveness and children’s language development is not merely explained by genetic heritability or unobserved characteristics of parents and infants. Parental responsiveness predicts language skills of adopted children (Stams, Juffer, and van IJzendoorn, 2002), predicts infant learning in experimental laboratory manipulations (Goldstein, King, and West, 2003), and promotes children’s language and cognitive skills in interventions that target responsiveness (e.g., Mendelsohn et al., 2005, 2011). Further, parental responsiveness to infants’ vocalizations helps infants learn about conversational turn-taking—the timely back and forth that characterizes social interactions. Turn-taking is fundamental to the structure of conversations and an important first lesson in pragmatics (namely, the understanding that “a person expects a reply when they pause in their talk”). Mothers promote turn-taking by responding to infants’ vocalizations with language within two or three seconds and pausing their speech when infants are off-task (Tamis-LeMonda et al., 2013). Infants adjust the timing of their vocalizations to follow their mothers’ language inputs as early as 5 months (Bornstein, Putnick, Cote, Haynes, and Suwalsky, 2015), and toddlers grow in their responsiveness to mothers’ language and gestures across the second year of life (Kuchirko, Tafuro, and Tamis-LeMonda, in press). Infants ages 14 and 24 months who are high on responsiveness to their mothers’ communications also have mothers who are high on responsiveness to their infants (Kuchirko et al., in press).

The Informational Content of Social Input Beyond temporal features of infant-directed speech, the “content” of input matters. Specifically, the didactic (information laden) and embodied (multimodal) features of infant-directed speech support word learning (Tamis-LeMonda et al., 2013). 193

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Didactic language is child-directed speech that is “referential”—statements that contain information about referents through descriptions, labels, and questions (“That’s a spoon” and “What color is the spoon?,” “The rabbit’s hopping” and “Where is he going?”). When parents respond to their infants’ exploratory or communicative actions, the likelihood of didactic (or referential) language is high, and this type of speech contains a diversity of nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. The lexically rich nature of referential language can be contrasted with regulatory commands—language that directs or prohibits infant actions, typically with many pronouns (e.g., “Do it,” “Sit there,” “Stop that”). During play and booksharing with infants, mothers’ increase referential language following infant vocalizations and/or object exploration but decrease regulatory language in the presence of these actions (Tamis-LeMonda et al., 2013). Thus, infants’ actions serendipitously evoke language from mothers that is responsive and rich. As might be expected, mothers’ referential, but not regulatory, language predicts infants’ productive vocabulary (Tamis-LeMonda, Song, Leavell, Kahana-Kalman, and Yoshikawa, 2012). The diversity of parental language to infants (i.e., the use of different word types and different communicative functions) relates to children’s vocabulary size, rate of vocabulary growth, and communicative diversity in early language development (e.g., Hart and Risley, 1995; Hoff, 2003, 2006; Huttenlocher, Haight, Bryk, Seltzer, and Lyons, 1991; Tamis-LeMonda, et al., 2012a). Further, lexically diverse language input supports efficient processing of new information in monolingual and bilingual infants alike, regardless of language. For instance, a composite measure of infant vocabulary relates to infant processing speed in both Spanish and English (Marchman, Fernald, and Hurtado, 2010; Weisleder and Fernald, 2013). Embodied input refers to the multimodal coordination of parents’ language with physical cues to meaning, as seen, for example, when a mother simultaneously labels, looks at, and touches or points to objects (Tamis-LeMonda et al., 2013; Yu, Smith, and Pereira, 2008). Infant language learning is enhanced through the constellation of nonverbal behaviors parents produce during social interactions, with one key action being gestures (Goldin-Meadow, 2006, 2009). When mothers label a novel toy, they often point to the toy or move the toy in synchrony with their verbal label, which helps infants connect the word to its referent (Gogate, Bahrick, and Watson, 2000). For example, a mother might point to a toy and ask, “What is that?,” “A teddy bear?,” which signals clearly to the infant the topic of her talk. Embodied verbal input supports infant word learning (e.g., Matatyaho and Gogate, 2008; Rowe and Goldin-Meadow, 2009; Tamis-LeMonda et al., 2012) through effects on infant attention. Multimodal information eases infants’ task at mapping words to the world because infants attend to and exploit contextual and other cues to decipher the meaning of unfamiliar words (Yu, Ballard, and Aslin, 2005). Infants perceive the synchronization of actions and words to be a unitary experience that “belong together” (Rader and Zukow-Goldring, 2010). Additionally, mothers are more likely to coordinate their gestural and manual actions with didactic language than with regulatory language as they respond to infants’ exploratory or communicative actions, (Tamis-LeMonda et al., 2013). As indicated, didactic language is high in lexical diversity (i.e., the number of different words mothers produce) and fosters infants’ vocabulary growth more than other lexically sparse language inputs (Song, Spier, and Tamis-Lemonda, 2014).

Developmental Scaffolding Parent–child interactions change across developmental time (Bornstein, 2013). Parents continually modify what they respond to and how they respond as their infants and toddlers gain new skills. Parents also adjust how quickly they respond to children depending on infant vocabulary size. For instance, mothers of 18-month-olds with relatively large vocabularies on the MacArthur Communicative Development Inventory (MCDI) display shorter pauses and quicker responses than do mothers of toddlers who have average or small vocabularies (Marklund et al., 2015). Moreover, mothers respond 194

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to their 1-year-olds with simple labels and descriptions but include more questions in their verbal exchanges a year later as infants grow in their language skills (Bornstein et al., 2008). Mothers are also more likely to respond when their 2-year-olds use new words than when their toddlers produce words they had been saying for some time (Masur, 1997). Mothers increase their referential responses to infant vocalizations and decrease their responses to infant gestures between the infant ages of 14 and 24 months (Tamis-LeMonda et al., 2013). Finally, mothers of crawling infants respond differently to the social bids of their 13-month-olds than do mothers of walking infants, largely because crawling infants bid from stationary positions, whereas walking infants are able to carry objects to mothers for sharing (Karasik, Tamis-LeMonda, and Adolph, 2011, 2014). Infants who carry objects to their mother for play provide salient cues about what they want, and mothers attune to these social bids accordingly. Collectively, these studies indicate that parents respond in developmentally appropriate ways as infants gain new skills. Why might parents’ attunement to child developmental level matter for language learning? Most centrally, as infants acquire new language skills, they attend to and require different cues for learning new words (Hollich, Hirsh Pasek, and Golinkoff, 2000). Child-directed speech is therefore likely to operate nonlinearly across development; the features of language that benefit learning change as children’s learning progresses (Bohannon and Hirsh-Pasek, 1984). During the earliest period of word learning, infants primarily learn words that align with objects that are salient and coincide with their perspective, whereas more advanced word learners are able to consider another person’s perspective (for example, where the person is looking) to infer word meaning. Therefore, novice infants require more frequent word repetitions and multiple cues to learn words than do infants who are more advanced in their lexicons and understanding of social cues to reference (Hollich et al., 2000). In line with the changing nature of language learning, the quantity and quality of parent language input changes in its importance across the first three years. For novice word learners (i.e., in the first two years of life), the amount of caregiver language input is very important for language development, as infants require repetition and lots of input to build a lexicon and discern the phonological, semantic, and morphosyntactic features of language. As toddlers develop language skills, the lexical diversity of parent language input becomes increasingly critical for propelling vocabulary gains (Rowe, 2012). For example, repeatedly labeling the word “cup” will support word learning in an infant who does not yet know the word “cup,” but may not be necessary to an infant who is quite familiar with the word “cup.” In contrast, infants with more advanced lexical skills are able to participate in simple conversations and will benefit from being asked simple questions (e.g., “What is that?”) and hearing new words tagged to those they already know (e.g., “shiny cup”). As such, parents scaffold children’s language development by providing developmentally appropriate language inputs that help children understand communicative intentions (Bornstein, 2013).

Summary Parent speech to children contains several features that facilitate language learning. Child-directed speech and action are characterized by redundancy, simplicity, and exaggerated forms that promote infant word learning by eliciting infant attention and helping babies parse actions and sounds into meaningful units. Parental responsiveness aids referent mapping by presenting language that is temporally and conceptually connected to the objects and events that are most salient and of greatest interest to infants. The didactic content of parental input promotes growth in vocabulary because of its rich lexical content. The embodied multimodal feature of parent input elicits infant attention and establishes the referents of talk by accompanying language with physical cues, such as gestures and touch. Finally, developmental attunement in child-directed speech and action provides infants and young children with the specific supports needed to learn new words and grammatical structures as children grow in their language competencies. 195

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Parenting in Play Parent–child play is a primary context for learning. In particular, children’s play with objects has received much attention. Children’s object play shows notable developmental changes, and parents attune to those changes by modifying their play behaviors, just as they do for language. Further, social interactions around object play provide children with rich opportunities to learn language. As children play with objects, parents often describe the features of objects and ongoing or possible actions, which facilitate children’s vocabulary growth. Next, we describe developmental changes in children’s object play, how parents adjust their own play behaviors in line with those changes, and the ways that social interactions during object play promote language learning in children.

Developments in Children’s Object Play Play with objects provides a valuable window on development. Over the course of the first two years, children show notable changes in their interactions with objects. Early on, infants explore and discover the unique features of single objects; with age, they combine objects in logical ways (such as by placing a shape in a shape sorter); and they eventually use objects in elaborate pretend scenarios. These progressions in object play are categorized into three general types: exploratory play, nonsymbolic play, and symbolic play, with symbolic play considered the most advanced due to its representational demands (Piaget, Inhelder, and Häfliger, 1977; Tamis-LeMonda and Bornstein, 1991).

Exploration The earliest forms of object play appear toward the middle of the first year as infants gain control over their manual actions. From around 4 to 5 months of age to approximately 9 months of age, children’s play is predominantly characterized by sensorimotor manipulation. Infants’ mouth, finger, manipulate, rub, bang, and rotate objects to discover their features. These exploratory actions produce rich perceptual information about the size, texture, shape, and forms of objects that feed into learning. For instance, infants’ object exploration relates to their understanding that objects are three-dimensional and have backsides (Soska, Adolph, and Johnson, 2010). As infants develop fine motor skills, they explore objects in new ways to discover what can be done with those objects. Infants adjust their manual actions to accommodate the specific features of objects, such as object texture and shape (Fontenelle, Kahrs, Neal, Newton, and Lockman, 2007). Infants are skilled at detecting objects’ overt affordances: They finger textured surfaces more than smooth ones and bang hard objects more than soft ones (Bushnell and Boudreau, 1993; Gibson and Walker, 1984; Lockman and McHale, 1989; Palmer, 1989; Ruff, 1984). Between the ages of 6 and 12 months, infants decrease in their mouthing of objects and increase in their fingering and other fine motor actions (Ruff, 1984).

Nonsymbolic Play Toward the end of the first year, children engage in nonsymbolic play (Ruff, 1984). Infants’ actions are aimed at extracting the unique functions of objects, such as pressing buttons or turning dials on busy-boxes. Infants’ first direct nonsymbolic activities to single objects (e.g., squeezing a foam ball) but shortly incorporate object combinations. Initially random juxtapositions of objects develop into appropriate and logical combinations. For instance, a triangle might be placed on top of a nesting block but later be inserted into its appropriate spot on a shape sorter (Bornstein and Tamis-LeMonda, 2006; Damast, Tamis-LeMonda, and Bornstein, 1996).


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Symbolic Play Around the start of the second year, children produce brief bouts of symbolic play, in which they project “a supposed situation onto an actual one, in the spirit of fun rather than for survival” (Lillard, 1993, p. 349). Over the course of the next few months, bouts of symbolic play grow in complexity and length. Children string actions together to tell a story (such as feeding a doll and then putting the doll to sleep) and creatively substitute certain objects for others (such as using a stick rather than a spoon to pretend to stir in a teacup). These symbolic bouts are important to the development of creativity and divergent thinking (Bruner, 1978). According to Bruner, children’s abilities to pretend in play and combine actions and objects in novel ways are fundamental to tool use.

Parents’ Role in Children’s Object Play Parent–child play is seen in animals and humans. Observations of young animals at play with parents point to the evolutionary significance of play (e.g., Fossey, 1983; Goodall, 1986). In humans, parent– child play is a common, important context for learning and development. Parent–infant play might be especially important early in development when babies are insufficiently mature to engage in and benefit from play with peers (MacDonald, 1993; Power, 2000). This is a reason that most studies of parent–child play interactions focus on infancy or toddlerhood. In the sections that follow, we examine parent support of children’s exploratory, nonsymbolic, and symbolic play and the functions that these types of play might serve.

Parents’ Exploratory, Nonsymbolic, and Symbolic Play Parent play closely tracks developmental changes in children’s play, and therefore encourages children to practice and extend skills in their repertoire. Prior to independent locomotion, infants depend on adults to access objects. Parents create opportunities for learning by introducing new toys and objects and repositioning infants so that they might more readily reach and manipulate them (Bornstein and Tamis-LeMonda, 1990). As infants progress to nonsymbolic play, parents demonstrate how objects work and might be combined, by pressing buttons, nesting blocks, and the like, and then offering objects to their infants to encourage similar actions. In doing so, parents engage in “infant-directed action,” as was seen for language, by exaggerating their actions as they play with their infants (Brand et al., 2002). In essence, parents make obvious to infants the affordances that objects offer. As children advance in their symbolic play skills, parents increasingly support children’s engagement in and embellishment of pretend scenarios (Bretherton, 1984; Damast et al., 1996). Mothers also use pretend play to model a “right” way to do things, for example, by demonstrating how to pour tea with a pretend teapot. Mothers of 2-year-olds initiate and sustain pretend play by modeling behaviors and then prompt child play, for example, by pretending to talk on a toy telephone and then handing the phone to her child. If the child accepts the bid, coaching follows: “Daddy wants to talk. Say hello,” (Dale, 1989). Conversely, parents correct pretend actions when infants violate would-be reality, for example, protesting (seriously or playfully) when children drink tea from a teapot instead of a cup (Howes, 1992). Finally, mothers’ symbolic play behaviors become more prevalent with child age: Mothers are more likely to initiate symbolic play than nonsymbolic play with their 21-montholds than compared to 13-month-olds (Dunn and Wooding, 1977; Haight and Miller, 1993; TamisLeMonda and Bornstein, 1991).


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Relations Between Parent Play and Children’s Play Do mothers’ exploratory, nonsymbolic, and symbolic play behaviors facilitate advanced play in children? To investigate this possibility, researchers compare children’s behaviors during solitary play to their behaviors during play with parents, and sometimes investigate changes in parent and child play across age. Comparisons of children’s solitary and interactive play indicate that play with mother is more sophisticated, complex, diverse, frequent, and sustained than is solitary play (e.g., Bornstein et al., 1998; Dunn and Wooding, 1977; Fiese, 1990; Haight and Miller, 1992; O’Connell and Bretherton, 1984; Slade, 1987). Children engage in more symbolic play of greater complexity after witnessing a social partner perform those actions (Bretherton, O’Connell, Shore, and Bates, 1984). For instance, mothers’ play with their 13-month-old children relates to children’s level of play during solitary play based on codes of children’s exploratory, nonsymbolic, and symbolic play (Vibbert and Bornstein, 1989). Moreover, there is high specificity in child–mother play sophistication at an individual level. At child ages of 13 and 20 months, mothers’ nonsymbolic play relates positively to toddlers’ nonsymbolic play, but not symbolic play, and mothers’ symbolic play relates positively to toddlers’ symbolic play, but not nonsymbolic play (Tamis-LeMonda and Bornstein, 1991). Over age, the play of individual mothers and toddlers changes in parallel: Between 13 and 20 months, mothers who increase play at particular levels have toddlers who also increase at those levels. Age-related alignment in mother and child play is also seen in the real-time unfolding of play: Mothers prompt nonsymbolic play following instances of infant nonsymbolic play and prompt symbolic play following instances of infant symbolic play (Damast et al., 1996).

Parent–Child Play and Children’s Language Development Play interactions between children and parents provide a valuable platform for learning language, thus extending benefits beyond child play per se. Most centrally, object play represents the quintessential example of a “triadic” or “triangular” social interaction, in which parent and child jointly attend to an activity through mutual gaze to the object and to one another (Tomasello, 1999; Tomasello, Carpenter, Call, Behne, and Moll, 2005). Children’s object play and visual attention to objects during play elicit verbally contingent information and feedback from mothers about the events and activities of children’s actions, such as declarative information about what objects are and their characteristics (“blue truck”; “soft bunny”). As noted previously, child-directed speech in response to toddler object play is lexically diverse, providing infants with opportunities to expand their vocabularies (Tamis-LeMonda et al., 2013). Furthermore, language quality during symbolic play in particular may support language learning. Symbolic play is characterized by more language, more diverse language, and unique forms of reciprocal interaction and language (such as mental state terms on the part of parents) to negotiate symbolic transformations (“Let’s pretend we’re cooking breakfast. What yummy eggs!”) (Fekonja, Umek, and Kranjc, 2005; McCune-Nicolich, 1981; Pellegrini, 2009). During symbolic play, parents use language and gestures to share familiar routines and mutually negotiate play situations, which facilitates children’s learning of new words (Adamson, Bakeman, Deckner, and Nelson, 2014; HirshPasek et al., 2015). For instance, during doll play (which tends to elicit high symbolic play), parents produced the most and longest utterances, labeled objects more, used a greater variety of words, and asked more questions compared to play with vehicles and shape sorters (which pull for nonsymbolic play) (O’Brien and Nagle, 1987). Similarly, experimental comparisons of different types of object play show that during symbolic play (compared to nonsymbolic play) mothers produce more childdirected speech to establish a shared understanding about what objects stand for and more frequently use questions to engage infants in conversations (Quinn, 2016). Symbolic play also results in more 198

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frequent and longer joint attention episodes and greater gesture use by parents and infants. Consequently, mothers’ language during symbolic play predicts children’s language development between 18 and 24 months (Quinn, 2016), and the quality of interactions between parents and 2-year-olds during free play predicts child language growth better than the quantity of language input to 3-year-olds (Hirsh-Pasek et al., 2015). Notably, the specific objects or content of play interactions does not explain the rich language seen during symbolic play. When mothers and their 18-month-olds were randomly assigned to two conditions—a pretend snack and a reality condition in which they ate real food—mothers spoke more to, looked at, and smiled at infants more frequently during the pretend episode (Lillard and Witherington, 2004). The same patterns were seen for pretend play around grooming relative to real grooming in 15- to 24-month-olds (Nishida and Lillard, 2007). The high-quality language inputs children experience during object play interactions in turn promote children’s language development. In a series of longitudinal studies, relations between parent–child play and language development were examined (Bornstein, Vibbert, Tal, and O’Donnell, 1992; Tamis-LeMonda and Bornstein, 1991, 1993; Tamis-LeMonda et al., 1998, 2001). Mothers and infants were visited in their homes when the children were 9, 13, and 20 months old and provided with toys for play. Mothers’ who contingently responded to their infants’ play and communicative initiatives had infants who achieved language milestones, such as first words, vocabulary spurt, and combinatorial speech, sooner in development. Some longitudinal relations between language use during mother–child play and children’s language development also emerged. As children enter preschool, play continues to be a central activity of children, and teachers can help guide children’s play to facilitate learning. Preschool children from low-income backgrounds who experienced guided play improved their vocabularies more so than did children who learned through traditional teaching practices (Han, Moore, Vukelich, and Buell, 2010). Specifically, children assigned to a group in which guided play was incorporated into book reading learned significantly more words than did those who engaged in book reading only.

Summary Children’s engagement with objects changes over the first three years of life. Early on, infants explore objects by mouthing, fingering, and rotating them to discover object features. Closer to the end of their first year, children engage in nonsymbolic play in which they use objects in concrete, functional ways—pressing buttons on toy phones or sorting and aligning cups. In the second year of life, children advance to symbolic play in which they pretend to feed a dolly as if she were a real child, or talk into a block as if it were a phone. Parents attune to children’s changes in play by introducing new objects for play, demonstrating actions that can be performed on toys, and co-constructing stories in children’s pretend play. Parents’ adjust their language to children in line with children’s development: they provide contingent, lexically rich language as infants explore objects in the first year, and increase their grammatical complexity, questions, and use of mental state words as infants engage in symbolic play in the second and third years of life.

Cultural Considerations in Language and Play Parents everywhere are key participants in children’s learning. Regardless of the cultural beliefs and practices of one’s community or where one lives, parent’s speech to children is the “raw data” from which children learn language and build knowledge about the world. Similarly, parents everywhere structure children’s physical environments and engage in behaviors that facilitate children’s playful discovery and learning—ranging from providing children with access to objects for play to plopping down on the floor to participate in a “pretend birthday party.” Nonetheless, parents from different 199

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cultural communities vary in their beliefs about the meaning and value of language and play in development and their encouragement and participation in language and play interactions with children. Consideration of cultural context is therefore vital to understanding parents’ role in these two critical developmental domains.

Cultural Considerations: Language Which features of parent–child language interactions does sociocultural context influence? Parents’ views, socialization goals, passed-on traditions and practices, and larger socioeconomic and political contexts influence how much and how parents talk and respond to their infants, what they talk about and respond to, and why they talk (Bornstein, 2013; Bornstein and Lansford, 2012; Tamis-LeMonda and Song, 2012). These cultural variations reflect the extent to which parents accommodate to their children’s language skills and needs. High accommodation indicates a child-centered orientation to communication, and relatively low accommodation indicates a situation-centered orientation (Ochs and Schieffelin, 1984).

Cultural Differences in Child-Directed Speech and Parent Responsiveness Parents from different cultural communities vary in their views and practices around infants’ participation in everyday social interactions and the extent to which they adjust their communicative behaviors when interacting with infants. In many communities, parents bend over backwards, so to speak, to engage infants in everyday conversations. In the United States and across many WEIRD countries, infants are treated as conversational “equals.” Parents simplify their speech in response to infants’ limited cognitive and language skills to inculcate infants into reciprocal turn-taking in social interactions (Solomon, 2011). In other communities, parents do not deem it necessary or appropriate to talk to infants. For instance, Kaluli (Papua New Guinea) and Samoan caregivers rarely engage in child-directed speech because they believe that infants do not yet understand language. Instead, when interacting with infants and other members of the community, mothers become “ventriloquists” for babies, talking on behalf of infants when interacting with interlocutors, using high-pitched voice but refraining from modifying their grammar and lexicon. In Western Samoa, infants are raised communally by parents and extended family members and are “talked about” but rarely “talked to.” Although caregivers occasionally vocalized to infants, they rarely engaged them in the types of reciprocal, dyadic interactions typical of European-American families (Ochs, 1982; Schieffelin and Ochs, 1986). Variation among parents in child-directed speech might also stem from broader cultural values about desired child behaviors. European-American and Canadian families commonly encourage their prelinguistic infants to vocalize, suggesting that they place high value on infants’ expressions (Tamis-LeMonda and Song, 2012). In contrast, Gusii people of Kenya do not encourage their babies to vocalize because they believe that doing so might socialize infants to grow up selfish and disobedient (LeVine et al., 1994). Japanese mothers likewise discourage their infants from vocalizing frequently, considering it to be impolite and undesirable. Instead, Japanese mothers believe that infants should blend into the environment and not call attention to themselves (Minami and McCabe, 1995; Markus and Kitayama, 2003). Parents from different cultural communities also diverge in their patterns of contingent responsiveness, perhaps due to the infant behaviors they consider to be important and salient. Cross-cultural comparisons show that mothers from Berlin and Los Angeles respond to infant nondistress vocalizations and gaze more often than do mothers from Beijing, Delhi, and the Nso of Cameroon (Kärtner et al., 2008). In contrast, Nso mothers respond more often to infant touch than do mothers from other cultures. In a study of New York City mothers, Mexican immigrant mothers were most likely to respond to their 14-month-olds’ gestures than were Dominican and African-American mothers, 200

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indicating Mexican mothers’ strong emphasis on nonverbal actions (including gestures) as a mode of communication (Tamis-Lemonda et al., 2012, 2013).

Cultural Differences in the Content of Parental Speech Across cultural communities, parents also differ in what they talk about with their infants and toddlers, suggesting that language may serve different purposes for different groups. Broadly speaking, parent speech to children can be categorized along two primary functions: (1) to teach infants “about the world” (a referential function) and (2) to teach infants “how to act in the world” (a regulatory function) (Tamis-LeMonda and Song, 2012). Parents across communities differ substantially in their relative emphases on these two language functions. For example, middle-income EuropeanAmerican parents frequently use referential language with their infants and toddlers as a way to instill knowledge in children and expand vocabularies, thereby teaching children about the world. During everyday interactions, parents label and describe objects infants are interested in (Bornstein and Tamis-LeMonda, 1990), repeat novel words, expand on infants’ babbles (Masur, Flynn, and Eichorst, 2005), and encourage their infants to produce words or phrases (Tamis-LeMonda et al., 2012). In contrast, parents in other communities emphasize regulatory speech over referential speech when interacting with their young children. For instance, parents in Botswana often use regulatory language in the form of short commands to keep their infants and children safe (e.g., “Stop that” and “Don’t touch the dog”) (Geiger and Alant, 2005). Similarly, U.S. Mexican and Dominican immigrant mothers are more likely to rely on regulatory language when communicating with infants compared to third-generation U.S. African-American mothers. The emphasis on regulatory language aligns with the Latino emphasis on regulating infants’ behavior to promote respeto, a cultural value of obedience and proper demeanor.

Cultural Considerations: Play Cultures differ with respect to parents’ views around child play, which can affect the frequency of their play engagements with children and the nature of those engagements (Bornstein, 2007).

Parent Participation in Play In many WEIRD cultures, parents actively encourage children’s play through modeling and scaffolding and believe that play provides educational benefits to children (Farver and Howes, 1993; Teti, Bond, and Gibbs, 1988; Turkheimer, Bakeman, and Adamson, 1989; Zukow, 1986). Within European and U.S. communities, it is common for parents to actively participate in play, especially with young children (e.g., Haight and Miller, 1992). Parents’ participation in play may be due to parents’ sense of responsibility for their children’s learning and their related belief that play is a valuable context for teaching children new skills (Rogoff et al., 1993). A comparison of parenting across 12 cultures found that middle-class mothers in the United States engaged in play with their children most frequently (Whiting and Edwards, 1988). However, parent direct participation in play with children is far from universal. In many “traditional cultures,” including Mexico, Guatemala, and Indonesia, parents consider the purpose of play to be amusement and do not believe that it is important for them to play with their children (Farver and Howes, 1993; Farver and Wimbarti, 1995; Power, 2000; Rogoff, Mosier, Mistry, and Goncu, 1993). Rather, play is viewed solely as a child’s activity, and children engage in play primarily with peers and siblings. In hunting-and-gathering and agricultural village cultures, children are the principal playmates of one another, even in early development (Edwards and Whiting, 1993; Goncu, Mistry, and Mosier, 1991). 201

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The Nature of Play Cultural forces also guide how parents play with their children. For instance, the common “Western” model of triadic object play (as reviewed previously) is one in which the parent and infant or toddler attend jointly to an object of play while alternating gaze between the object and one another’s faces. However, this form of interaction does not reflect the triadic interactions of traditional cultures. One study compared interactions between mothers and toddlers in U.S. middle-income families and Ni-Van caregivers from Vanuatu, a non-Western indigenous community. Caregivers were equally responsive to their children’s object play across the two cultural communities. However, U.S. caregivers showed higher levels of visual triadic engagement, whereas Ni-Van caregivers showed higher levels of physical triadic engagement—in which they shared touch of an object with toddlers in the absence of visual attention to one another’s faces (Little, Carver, and Legare, 2016). Findings such as these illustrate how cultural practices around sharing attention can differ from the dominant view represented in the developmental science literature. Cultural ideologies pertaining to individualism and collectivism may also inform the nature of parent–child object play. U.S. and Japanese mothers differ in the types of object play activities they encourage in their toddlers. U.S. mothers encourage independent play with objects, whereas Japanese mothers emphasize the importance of interpersonal connectedness in toddler play. For example, Japanese mothers are more likely to engage their children in symbolic play that incorporates important “others” (e.g., such as feeding a doll a bottle or serving mother tea), whereas U.S. mothers are more likely to engage children in nonsymbolic, functionally oriented play with toys (e.g., such as nesting shapes in shape sorters), perhaps reflecting the value they placed on “independent discovery” in learning. These differences are seen even though both groups of mothers and toddlers were presented with identical toys (Tamis-LeMonda, Bornstein, Cyphers, Toda, and Ogino, 1992). Finally, cultural views about the importance of academics can affect how parents play with children. In cultures where academic success is a high priority, such as China, parent–child play is infused with child-centered teaching opportunities (Pang and Wong, 2002). Asian-American parents place high emphasis on the importance of children getting an academic head start and tend to buy more typically educational toys and engage in more preacademic activities than European-American parents. In turn, European-American children have been reported to spend more time in free play than their Asian counterparts, who spend more time at home preparing for academics (Parmar, Harkness, and Super, 2004, 2008).

Caveats on Cultural Differences Although cultural differences in parent–child language and play interactions were highlighted, children from all cultures become competent users of language in their local communities, and children everywhere spend much of their waking hours in play during the early years. And, as noted previously, parents everywhere provide their children with learning opportunities in domains of language and play, even if they simply allow children to be nearby to overhear conversations or ensure that their children are safe as they play with siblings and peers. For the most part, although cultural differences exist in many core features of parenting, cross-cultural similarities abound. As one example, mothers from all communities display contiguity, contingency, and embodiment in their responses to infant behaviors, even if they differentially attune to different behaviors in their infants. Notably, differences in average levels of parental behaviors do not imply differences in associations between parenting and infant learning and development. The benefits of parents’ lexical diversity, responsiveness, multimodal input, and so forth have been documented across families from different cultural communities and socioeconomic strata (e.g., Bornstein and Tamis-LeMonda, 1989, 1997; Bornstein, Tamis-LeMonda, and Haynes, 1999; Hsu and Lavelli, 2005; Rodriguez and Tamis-LeMonda, 202

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2011; Tamis-LeMonda et al., 2001; Weisleder and Fernald, 2013). And parents’ engagement in play with children scaffolds children in play, regardless of cultural setting, supporting Vygotsky’s (1978) writings on ways that adults can promote learning within children’s zone of proximal development. Finally, within-cultural variation often surpasses between-cultural variation, and general statements about cultural tendencies mask the huge individual differences that exist within a given community. For instance, low-income African-American mothers in the United States vary in how much they consider play to be a context for learning. Some mothers consider play to offer a range of developmental benefits, whereas others consider play to be less important than academic-focused activities such as reading (Fogle and Mendez, 2006). Variation among parents in their views around play might influence how often they encourage play at home and whether and how often they participate in play with their young children (LaForett and Mendez, 2016).

Pedagogical Applications In the United States, psychological research on the importance of language and play in learning and development, and the role of parents in supporting their young children, has been put to practical use through educational initiatives, parenting programs, and various interventions with young infants and children from low-income households.

Language Programs and Interventions Children’s early language environments are core to learning and development and springboards to academic success. By the time children say their first words, significant disparities exist between children growing up in poverty and their middle-class peers in the quality and quantity of language input they hear from their parents. In their seminal study, Hart and Risley (1995) estimated that by the time they reached 3 years of age, children from high-SES homes would hear 30 million more words than children from low-SES homes. It is well known that intervening early can be valuable to children from disadvantaged families (e.g., Heckman, and Masterov, 2007), and interest continues to grow among researchers and practitioners on ways to best promote language development and school readiness starting in the early years. Parent-directed approaches to intervention are the most logical format for intervening early, because parental language input most often lies at the heart of the word gap (Leffel and Suskind, 2013). A meta-analysis of 18 parent-directed language interventions found positive effects on children’s expressive and receptive language skills (Roberts and Kaiser, 2011). Notably, these interventions were effective even with relatively moderate training, underscoring the cost-effectiveness of relatively straightforward interventions, as long as they occur early. Interventions have likewise been designed to promote parent responsiveness. When caregivers interact with their children in warm and responsive ways and actively engage in a back-and-forth communicative style, children are highly likely to learn new words. One intervention that capitalizes on this parenting style is the Play and Learning Strategies (PALS) program (Landry, Smith, Swank, and Guttentag, 2008). PALS uses a video training strategy in which parents are visited in their homes and shown videos that illustrate responsive strategies for promoting language, social, and cognitive development. Parents are videorecorded interacting with their infants and toddlers while a coach watches and provides live feedback. At the end of such sessions, coaches review the footage with parents and discuss which PALS strategies worked in parents’ interactions. The PALS implementation study, with a targeted sample of parents from low-income neighborhoods in Texas, produced gains in parents’ responsive language stimulation skills, and consequently children improved on their vocabulary and language complexity. Although results from home visitation programs are promising, the strategies are often too costly to serve larger numbers of low-income families. For this reason, interventions implemented through 203

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regular pediatric visits might be cost-effective in reaching a large portion of low-income families. Nearly all families visit the pediatrician frequently for regular well-care visits throughout their infant’s first year of life, creating frequent opportunities for interventions at no additional time-cost to families. The Video Interaction Project (VIP; Mendelsohn et al., 2005, 2011) exemplifies a program that uses the pediatric visit platform for early intervention. This program takes place from birth through age 3 and consists of fifteen 30- to 45-minute sessions with child development specialists on days of primary care visits. Specialists sit down with families and deliver a curriculum that is specifically focused on enhancing and infusing language interactions during daily activities, such as reading and play. Much like PALS, mothers are videorecorded interacting with their infants during brief five- to ten-minute segments, and then videos are reviewed with the specialist, who reinforces positive interactions and points to times when opportunities for interaction might have been missed. Mothers can then take home their video and are also sent home with developmentally appropriate learning materials to use during their everyday interactions with infants. Last, messages are reinforced through pamphlets written in plain language specific to each visit, with the specialist’s notes about what each mother can do to enhance language. The VIP intervention has had remarkable success. One study showed that when VIP begins in infancy, parent–infant interactions were already enhanced by 6 months. Moreover, higher dosage of VIP was associated with greater effects on parents’ language interactions, including shared reading, teaching, and responsiveness (Mendelsohn et al., 2011). The lessons learned from language interventions with disadvantaged populations are applicable to families of all socioeconomic statuses or nationalities. One program developed for low-income families in Wales, the Incredible Years Parent-Toddler Programme (IYPTP; Webster-Stratton, 2008), taught parents strategies to scaffold children’s early language development. A randomized control study of the program found that six months after parent participation in group discussion and role play around key parenting principles, parents more actively initiated conversations with their toddlers than control families (Gridley, Hutchings, and Baker-Henningham, 2015). Finally, interventions using the LENA (i.e., Language Environment Analysis) technology are also on the rise. LENA is a small device that can be worn by children to record how much speech is directed to them at home over extended periods. The device produces home language environment reports (including number of words adults used and number of conversational turns between adult and child) that are easy to interpret. A study with low-income families in south Chicago found that parents who received detailed feedback about their language inputs to their children based on LENA recordings became more aware of the effects of their language use for children’s school readiness and increased the number of interactions and diversity of their language input to children (Suskind et al., 2015). Similarly, an intervention in Korea used LENA recordings to provide middle-to-upper-income parents with feedback about their verbal interactions with their infants and toddlers (Pae et al., 2016). Notably, even in this more advantaged sample, there were still parents who engaged in fewer than average (compared to U.S. norms) language interactions with their children, and these parents benefited the most from detailed feedback. That is, parents in the treatment group who received LENA feedback reports, compared to control parents who did not, increased their use of words and conversational turns (a measure of responsiveness) when categorized as having below-average language use, but not when categorized as average or above-average language use. Thus, the effects of promoting rich and plentiful language interactions among high-SES families can also be effective for subsamples of parents who engage in low child-directed speech, highlighting the universal importance of supporting language-rich interactions between parents and infants.

Play Programs and Interventions Several intervention programs geared toward enhancing children’s cognitive and academic potential have included play as an important element. During the 1960s, concerns that children from lower 204

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socioeconomic backgrounds were at risk for poor academic achievement spurred the establishment of programs such as Head Start, and some years later led to the establishment of home-based intervention programs that included play (e.g., Andrews et al., 1982). Parent–child play intervention programs have also been encouraged for high-risk infants (Field, 1983; Scarr-Salapatek and Williams, 1973), including in the treatment of children who exhibit problematic or disruptive behavior (Guerney, 1991). One of the earliest success stories was seen in the Verbal Interaction Project’s Mother-Child Home Program, which was designed around mother–child joint play and began when children were 2 years of age (Levenstein, 1970). A caseworker, known as a “Toy Demonstrator,” visited participants’ homes twice a week for two years, brought toys and books for the child, and modeled activities meant to foster maternal verbal play with children. The IQ scores of participant children were higher than those of nonparticipants at follow-up assessments, and the advantage persisted through eighth grade (Levenstein and O’Hara, 1993). Moreover, mothers’ interaction styles with their young adolescents continued to reflect the techniques encouraged by the Toy Demonstrators. Today, several play interventions and programs have been developed to foster children’s development in areas such as language. For instance, one invention designed to promote playful language between parents and toddlers (Christakis, Zimmerman, and Garrison, 2007) had positive benefits for vocabulary. In the treatment condition, parents were given a set of toy blocks along with explicit encouragement of how to use playful language during play at home. The control group did not receive block sets or instructions on how to play and were assumed to carry on with their daily routines. Toddlers in the intervention group displayed greater vocabulary growth than children in the control group. Play has also been used to foster preschool children’s learning in the classroom. In Tools of the Mind, a Vygostkian-based curriculum, researchers incorporated play in a randomized trial with 3- and 4-year-olds to foster cognitive, emotional, and social outcomes. Teachers and students were randomly assigned to either a control or treatment condition: the control group received a preestablished literacy curriculum, whereas the treatment group received the Tools of the Mind intervention. Children who received the intervention had better social and language skills, suggesting that a curriculum with a strong emphasis on play can enhance learning and development in pre-K children (Barnett et al., 2008). The abundance of evidence on the benefits of play for children’s learning counteracts the false dichotomy between “learning versus play” that often pervades education circles. Developmental scientists recognize that it is through play that children learn, and they seek to spread this message to parents and educators. In fact, there is growing emphasis on “guided play” as a promising approach for teaching children foundational skills in early childhood curricula (Weisberg, HirshPasek, Golinkoff, Kittredge, and Klahr, 2016). In guided play, children are encouraged to express their autonomy and curiosity through initiation of playful activities, and adults then respond by scaffolding children’s play and learning. In this guided play approach, children’s spontaneous attention and engagement with objects and activities is met with structured feedback from parents or teachers, thereby creating an optimal context for learning. Evaluations of guided play curricula indicate impressive benefits for children’s learning (Alfieri, Brooks, Aldrich, and Tenenbaum, 2011; Fisher, Hirsh-Pasek, Newcombe, and Golinkoff, 2013) and indicate that guided play can be effectively incorporated into ongoing curricula. Teachers can present the guided play materials in a game-like fashion (Morris, Croker, Zimmerman, Gill, and Romig, 2013) or offer children the opportunity to express self-direction in a structured setting (Neuman and Roskos, 1992). Curricula that build on the strong knowledge base on the role of play in development will continue to yield many success stories, as seen in the Tools of the Mind (Bodrova and Leong, 2015), Montessori (Lillard, 2013), and guided play (Weisberg et al., 2016). Children have a lot to learn, without sacrificing their time to play. 205

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Conclusions Language and play interactions are vital to learning and development and are critical springboards for children’s school readiness and lifelong success. Across the first years of life, infants and toddlers show rapid gains in these interconnected domains, and parents are key participants in these developments. Parents support children’s language and play through child-directed speech and action, responsiveness to children’s communications and play initiations, scaffolding of children to higher play levels, and incorporation of rich language into everyday play interactions. As children advance in their language and play skills, parents respond with a wider variety of words, increasingly complex grammatical structures, more sophisticated forms of play, and greater encouragement of children’s language and play. Notably, variations among parents in language inputs and play with children are substantial and reliably predict individual differences in children’s learning within and across developmental domains. Although parents’ interactions with children differ substantially across cultural communities, parents everywhere shape children’s language and play experiences through what they do and how they structure their children’s everyday activities. Consequently, a growing number of intervention and educational programs aim to arm parents with the tools necessary to support their children’s learning and development in these key developmental domains. Some interventions focus exclusively on language, others exclusively on play, and some incorporate elements of both, for instance, by teaching parents how to recognize play as a context for rich social interactions. As developmental science continues to break new ground on parents’ role in children’s language and play, we will make enormous strides toward ensuring that all children become skilled members of their communities while having some fun along the way.

Acknowledgments We thank the children and parents who have participated in our studies over the years and helped us discover the ways that children learn through the rich play and language interactions they share with parents. We acknowledge support from the LEGO Foundation, which continues to advance our research on the science of everyday play.

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8 HOW PARENTS CAN MAXIMIZE CHILDREN’S COGNITIVE ABILITIES Karin Sternberg, Wendy M. Williams, and Robert J. Sternberg

Introduction I took a good deal o’ pains with his eddication, sir; let him run in the streets when he was very young, and shift for hisself. It’s the only way to make a boy sharp, sir. —Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers, 1836

If children grew up according to early indications, we should have nothing but geniuses. —Goethe

Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve. —Roger Lewin

When I was a kid my parents moved a lot . . . but I always found them. —Rodney Dangerfield

When asked, most parents state that they seek to maximize their children’s abilities, whether cognitive, social, emotional, or physical. But how, precisely, can parents accomplish this goal? What actions should be a part of their daily routine? The information parents receive about exactly how to maximize their children’s abilities takes many forms and comes from many sources: pediatricians and other medical experts; family members and friends; television shows, books, and magazines; and teachers and other parents. The quality of this information varies widely, and in fact some or even much of what parents hear (and do) may work against the best interests of their children, as the quote from a Dickens classic well illustrates. In this chapter we present 12 lessons for parents who wish to maximize their children’s cognitive potential. These lessons are based on rigorous empirical evidence from a range of disciplines and are designed to be placed into immediate practical use. The science behind the lessons is intriguing, but it is not necessary to become mired in facts and figures to benefit from the lessons we present: each one can be put into use today to help children make the most of their abilities. Our goal is to cut through the misinformation and disinformation and to equip parents with meaningful tools useful in rearing competent and successful children. We argue in this chapter that there are, in fact, many things parents can do to foster cognitive competence in their children. Consider one example. It is well known that achievement test scores in the United States lag behind those in other countries. However, our educational failings are not due to lack of cognitive competence or underlying genetic deficit. If our children are not 214

Maximizing Children’s Cognitive Abilities Table 8.1 Twelve Lessons for Parents for Maximizing Their Children’s Cognitive Abilities Lesson 1: Lesson 2: Lesson 3: Lesson 4:

Recognize what can and cannot be changed in your children. Aim to meaningfully challenge your children, not bore them and not overwhelm them. Teach children that the main limitation on what they can do is what they tell themselves they cannot do. It is more important that children learn what questions to ask, and how to ask them, than they learn what the answers to questions are. Lesson 5: Help children find what really excites them, remembering that it may not be what really excites you, or what you wish would really excite them. Lesson 6: Encourage children to take sensible intellectual risks. Lesson 7: Teach children to take responsibility for themselves—both for their successes and for their failures. Lesson 8: Teach children how to delay gratification—to be able to wait for rewards. Lesson 9: Teach children to put themselves in another’s place. Lesson 10: It is not the amount of money you spend on your child that matters, but rather the quality of your interactions with your child and the nature of your child’s experiences. Lesson 11: Help children understand themselves and others. Lesson 12: Integrate digital devices into your child’s life in a reasonable way.

performing, it is because we are not teaching them adequately. Indeed, much of what students get in school is review, and review of review. There has been a “dumbing down” of American textbooks at all levels (Hayes, 1996): the typical texts for a third-grader in the early 1950s would today be used for sixth-graders. (These findings lend credence to the statements many parents make to their children regarding how much more difficult school was when the parents were young.) The books students read in 12th grade are on average only at a 5.2 grade level, and summer readings for college freshmen are on average written at a 7.3 grade level (Renaissance Learning, 2015). Small wonder our children are lagging behind. As parents, we may or may not have the power to effect changes in schools. Without question, however, we have the power to effect changes in the home. This chapter describes how we can effect meaningful change to encourage and enhance the cognitive development of our children. Our goal is that, after reading this chapter, the reader will have mastered a number of strategies and can start implementing immediately to improve the cognitive competence of children. Each lesson makes just one point, illustrated through examples. It is easy to be overwhelmed by a book of strategies, or to understand the strategies but not how to implement them. This is why we present our strategies along with clear take-home messages. First, we describe what not to do, and, second, we describe what to do and how to do it. To provide an overview of all the strategies at the outset, the 12 lessons are summarized in Table 8.1.

Lesson 1: Can You Change Your Children? Recognize what can and cannot be changed in your children. What not to do: View your child as if composed of modeling clay that you can shape into anything you wish. Decide what your child will become and accomplish and expect your child to fulfill your vision. What to do: Watch carefully as your child attempts to acquire new skills and meets new experiences. Be alert for signs of interest and/or talent in a given area or pursuit, and then encourage your child to pursue these skills and explore these areas. Ensure that your child is broadly exposed to many skill areas so that you can identify the full range of her or his interests and natural gifts (even if they do not overlap with yours!). How much of what children become can parents influence? The nature versus nurture question is a subject of heated and timely debate, particularly as it relates to childrearing. Adding fuel to this 215

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already-rich fire was Harris’s (1996) book, The Nurture Assumption, which chronicled the evidence for the omnipresent role of genes and peers—as opposed to parents—as the most critical forces in shaping children’s development. Harris’s book set off a media frenzy, leading to cover stories in major weeklies and top stories on television news magazine shows. The cover of Newsweek even asked, “Do Parents Matter?” Thus, today’s parents have seen a phase transition from an emphasis by leading scholars primarily on the role of environmentalism to an emphasis increasingly on the role of genetics. It is an old question, and much of the debate is, in fact, an old recipe served on a new platter. Consider that, in 1930, John Watson made the extraordinary claim that, with control over the environment, he could make any infant into anything he wished: Give me a dozen infants, well-formed, and my own specified world to bring them up in and I’ll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select—doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant-chief, and, yes, even into beggar-man and thief, regardless of his penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations, and race of his ancestors. (Watson, 1930, p. 104) Today, most people, psychologists included, would tend to dismiss his claim. Any of us who has tried to shape our children—even down to the level of trying to get them to practice music for a few more minutes per day or to spend just a few minutes more on homework—has seen how hard it can be to effect even small changes, much less large ones. It is understandable that from the practical perspective of daily parenthood we scoff at Watson’s claim of the unlimited malleability of human potential. The emphasis today tends to be on the importance of the genetic control of behavior. Studies reviewed by Plomin (1988) and Plomin et al. (1997) for example, suggest that at least half and probably more of the variance in general cognitive ability as measured by IQ is due to genetic factors, with the importance of such factors increasing (rather, than, as one might expect, decreasing) with age. Bouchard (1997; Bouchard and McGue, 1981) estimated heritability as somewhat higher. The heritability of more specific abilities, such as verbal and spatial abilities, appears to be somewhat lower than that of general intelligence as measured by conventional tests. So much, it would appear, for John Watson. But then again, maybe not. First of all, Watson himself, despite his strong environmentalism, subscribed to the importance of biology; he believed that innate biological tendencies made some things considerably more difficult to effect than others. Watson was surely sophisticated about the importance of biology in the origins of learned behavior; he himself did not believe that “all behavior is learned.” In fact, Watson believed that all behavior is based initially on congenitally given, unconditioned responses, consisting of fear, rage, and love. He regarded these as “emotional reactions” (Watson, 1919, pp. 198–202). In the same volume, Chapters 3 and 4, respectively, are titled “The receptors and their stimuli,” and “Neuro-physiological basis of action.” There is much here about the power of biology in shaping outcomes—Watson was actually well trained in the physiology of the day. He wrote: “Human action as a whole can be divided into hereditary modes of response (emotional and instinctive) and acquired modes of response (habit)” and “instinctive positive reaction tendencies displayed by the child soon become overlaid with the organized habits of the adult” (p. 194). Thus, it is clear that Watson himself, often cited as the ultimate environmentalist, was a firm believer in the balance between the forces of biology and environment in shaping behavior and child development. The relative importance of biology and genetics, however, is often misunderstood; people confuse what are actually genetic influences with the ultimate control of genetics over human destiny. It is a myth that, just because a phenomenon is partially genetically based, it is not amenable to environmental interventions. Consider height. The heritability of height (that is, the extent to which individual 216

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differences among people are due to genetic factors) is well over 90%. Yet average heights in Japan have risen close to four inches in one generation. The seeming contradiction, as Ceci (1991, 1996) noted, is due to the fact that heritability is based on variance (the relative positions of individuals when ranked on an attribute), whereas the impact of the rearing environment is documented not by changes in variation but by changes in the mean or average. Thus, everyone can become taller in a second generation (due to better nutrition, for example), but their heights relative to one another can still be the same as were their mothers’, thus retaining the high heritability of height: taller mothers (relative to their peers) still have taller children (relative to their peers). To take a more extreme example, consider phenylketonuria (PKU), a hereditary disease that results in an inability of the body to metabolize an amino acid, phenylalanine. Susceptibility to this disease is 100% heritable. In the past, sufferers of this disease always became severely mentally retarded and suffered other ghastly symptoms as well. Today, because we understand the nature of the disease, symptoms can be almost wholly eradicated if phenylalanine is eliminated from the diet of the child immediately at birth. Thus, a disease that is wholly hereditary can be controlled environmentally, although it has been shown that some cognitive deficits linger throughout the lives of PKU individuals despite dietary intervention (see, for example, Christ, Huijbregts, de Sonneville, and White, 2010). The point is that the existence of a genetic contribution to intelligence does not prevent parents from intervening in their children’s cognitive growth or environmental forces in general from having powerful effects (Grigorenko, 2000; Grigorenko and Sternberg, 2001; Sternberg and Grigorenko, 2001). Children can be helped to achieve cognitive competence, regardless of the role of genetics. However, genetic influences are real. Thus, parents should not view their children as lumps of clay that parents can form into any shape they wish. Rather, parents should work with and not against children’s natural gifts, interests, and tendencies to discover children’s ultimate potential. Any child can learn and practice and become more proficient in virtually any endeavor, but the room for real and meaningful achievement is greatest when this practice is built on underlying genetic potential. Sampling broadly across a ran