Must We Abandon Context and Meaning to Avoid Bias in Cultural Parenting Research? : Commentary on “Parenting Culture(s): Ideal-Parent Beliefs Across 37 Countries”
2022-09, Trommsdorff, Gisela
The authors of the current article advocate a culture-sensitive approach in research and interventions, including a culture-informed methodology. They examine how “ideal-parent” beliefs in different countries comprise “parenting cultures,” conceptualized as shared “ideal-parent” beliefs. The authors define “ideal-parent” beliefs as “a higher level construct—the meaning system and lens through which parents perceive, understand, and engage in their parenting practices.” This definition suggests a complex model of interrelations between individual and shared parents’ beliefs and practices, and contextual conditions of parenting and development. From a parenting science view, this definition implies that “ideal-parent” beliefs are closely related to cultural values and norms, parents’ self- and world views, the role of parents, parent’s child-rearing goals and practices, and to parent–child relationships, while all these aspects are impacting the socialization and development of children in given developmental contexts. From a cultural psychological view, shared “ideal-parent” beliefs, defined as constituting a specific “parenting culture” are characterized by shared values and norms. Reciprocal relations among parenting culture, parents’ beliefs, every-day parenting practices, and the general cultural context may be assumed. However, this model is not articulated in the current study, but it is guiding my own research on socialization, parenting, and development in cultural contexts (Mayer & Trommsdorff, 2010; Rothbaum & Trommsdorff, 2007; Trommsdorff, 2006, 2012, 2017; Trommsdorff & Rothbaum, 2008; Trommsdorff et al., 2012; Trommsdorff & Kornadt, 2003).
Linking transition to motherhood to parenting, children's emotion regulation, and life satisfaction : A longitudinal study
2022-03, Richter, Nina, Trommsdorff, Gisela, Bondü, Rebecca
Previous research mostly focused on early parenting stress or postpartum symptoms of mental illness whereas the topic of a successful transition to motherhood and its long-term effects on parenting and child well-being remained more or less neglected. The present longitudinal study investigated whether a successful transition to motherhood influences emotionally warm parenting behavior, children’s emotion regulation, and subjective life satisfaction. A successful transition to motherhood is feeling satisfied, self-efficient, and energetic in the maternal role during the first year after birth. Survey data from a large, nationally representative panel study with four measurement points across 11 years were analyzed using structural equation modeling (SEM). T1 corresponds to child’s first year of life, at T2 children were around 3, at T3 the children were around 8, and at T4 children were around 12 years old. The study sample comprised 322 mother–child dyads. Mothers completed questionnaires to assess their early transition to motherhood (T1), children’s emotion regulation (T1 and T2), and maternal warmth (T3). At age 12 (T4), children self-reported their life satisfaction. Results confirmed that a successful transition to motherhood had positive, long-term effects on maternal warmth and children’s emotion regulation. Moreover, adapting optimally to motherhood had an indirect positive effect on children’s subjective life satisfaction at age 12. Life satisfaction was in turn positively affected by maternal warmth and children’s emotion regulation. The results highlight the importance of a successful transition to motherhood for parenting, children’s emotion regulation, and life satisfaction.
Maternal Education and Children’s School Achievement : The Roles of Values, Parenting, and Behavior Regulation
2023, Weis, Mirjam, Trommsdorff, Gisela, Muñoz, Lorena, González, Roberto
The purpose of this study was to examine psychological factors that may contribute to explain the link between maternal education and children’s school achievement. As explanatory factors, mothers’ self-transcendence values (i.e., altruism, tolerance, and social responsibility), maternal restrictive control, and children’s behavior regulation were studied as part of an integrative framework. The sample consisted of 167 Chilean fourth graders (age: M = 10.16; SD = 0.42), their mothers, and their teachers. Mediation analyses using a bootstrapping method confirmed the proposed integrative model, revealing a triple indirect effect, indicating that mothers’ self-transcendence values, maternal restrictive control, and children’s behavior regulation mediated the positive relation between maternal education and children’s school achievement, even after controlling for intelligence, age, and gender. Mothers with lower levels of education reported lower self-transcendence values and used more restrictive control. Further, children of mothers who often used maternal restrictive control showed lower behavior regulation and poorer school achievement. Thus, the results of this intracultural study contribute to a better understanding of the relation between maternal education and children’s school achievement. Implications of these findings for further research are addressed.
The Role of Culture and Contextual Risk for Maternal Parenting and Children’s Behavior Regulation in Chile and Germany
2022-09, Deffaa, Mirjam, Weis, Mirjam, Muñoz, Lorena, Trommsdorff, Gisela
Children’s behavior regulation development takes place in diverse sociocultural settings. In this study, we take a multilayer ecological perspective and examine cross-cultural as well as intra-cultural similarities and differences in relations between different aspects of contextual risks (i.e., family and neighborhood risk), maternal restrictive control, and children’s behavior regulation in Chile and Germany. One hundred sixty-seven mothers of primary school children in Chile and 109 mothers in Germany (total sample M (child age) = 10.01 years) completed questionnaires on family risk, parenting practices, and their child’s behavior regulation. Mothers in Germany rated children’s behavior regulation significantly higher than mothers in Chile. Further, in both cultural contexts (Chile, Germany), the higher the family risk, the higher was the use of maternal restrictive control and the lower the child’s behavior regulation. In Chile, after including maternal restrictive control, the relation between family risk and children’s behavior regulation remained significant. In Germany, in contrast, there was no direct significant relation between family risk and children’s behavior regulation, instead we found a significant indirect pathway via maternal restrictive control. Further, we investigated the moderating role of neighborhood risk, as distal contextual risk, for the relation between family risk and maternal restrictive control as well as for the relation between maternal restrictive control and children’s behavior regulation. We found no significant overall moderated mediation effect. However, findings in Chile and Germany revealed a conditional indirect effect indicating that family risk and behavior regulation were indirectly related via maternal restrictive control only when neighborhood risk was high. This underlines the need for an integrative consideration of the cultural context as well as family risk and neighborhood risk when investigating the role of maternal parenting for children’s behavior regulation development.
Different functions of emotion regulation in linking harmony seeking and rejection avoidance to life satisfaction and social support in Germany, Hong Kong, and Japan
2023, Schunk, Fabian, Wong, Natalie, Nakao, Gen, Trommsdorff, Gisela
This study examined whether two facets of interdependence, harmony seeking and rejection avoidance, were differently related to life satisfaction and social support from friends across cultures through the differential use of emotion regulation strategies. Specifically, we propose that individuals who seek harmony and avoid rejection regulate emotions differently to achieve social adaptation in their sociocultural contexts. University students from Germany (n = 129), Hong Kong (n = 136), and Japan (n = 123) completed our online survey. Data were analysed through multigroup structural equation modelling. Across cultures, harmony seeking was positively while rejection avoidance was negatively related to indices of social functioning (life satisfaction or social support). For Germans, emotion regulation (more rumination, less reappraisal, more suppression) completely mediated the associations of rejection avoidance with life satisfaction. Germans may emotionally overreact when fearing rejection, which is reflected in using dysfunctional emotion regulation strategies. In contrast, rejection avoidance was only weakly related to emotional dysregulation among Hong Kong Chinese and Japanese who might be adapted to fearing exclusion due to living in low relational mobility societies. Our findings demonstrate cultural similarities and differences in the interplay of harmony seeking and rejection avoidance with emotion regulation, life satisfaction, and social support.
Longitudinal associations of neuroticism with life satisfaction and social adaptation in a nationally representative adult sample
2023, Schunk, Fabian, Trommsdorff, Gisela
Objective: Correlational studies have frequently linked neuroticism to lower well-being and poorer social adaptation. In this study, we examined the longitudinal associations of neuroticism with life satisfaction and aspects of social adaptation (i.e., loneliness, number of close friends, and interpersonal trust).
Method: Cross-lagged panel models (CLPMs) and random intercepts cross-lagged panel models (RI-CLPMs) were used to analyze the prospective associations between variables in a nationally representative adult sample from Germany (N = 5,663 to 11,079 per analysis; 2–4 measurement waves with lags of 4–5 years).
Results: CLPMs indicated that higher neuroticism was related to lower life satisfaction, higher loneliness, fewer friends, and lower interpersonal trust, but not vice versa. At the within-person level, RI-CLPMs revealed similar findings with increased neuroticism predicting decreases in life satisfaction, increases in loneliness, and decreases in interpersonal trust. Indices of social adaptation partially mediated the link between neuroticism and life satisfaction at the between-person but not at the within-person level. Exploratory multigroup analyses support the generalization of the cross-lagged effects of neuroticism on life satisfaction and social adaptation across age, gender, and geographical regions (East versus West Germany).
Conclusions: These findings highlight the role of neuroticism in shaping psychosocial outcomes over time.
Regulation of positive and negative emotions across cultures : does culture moderate associations between emotion regulation and mental health?
2022-03, Schunk, Fabian, Trommsdorff, Gisela, König-Teshnizi, Dorothea
Emotion regulation (ER) has been frequently linked to mental health (MH) with previous research focussing on a limited range of ER strategies. The present study examined whether strategies for the regulation of positive and negative emotions are differently related to MH (i.e. higher subjective well-being, less depressive symptoms) across cultures. Two samples consisting of 524 Japanese and 476 German-speaking (“Germans”) university students completed our survey. Moderation analyses revealed cultural similarities and differences in associations between ER and MH. Across cultures, distraction from negative emotions, savouring positive emotions, and reappraisal were related to better MH, whereas distraction from positive emotions and ruminating on negative experiences were related to worse MH. Moreover, the link between rumination and lower well-being was significantly weaker among Japanese compared to Germans. Expressive suppression was related to lower MH among Germans only. Contrary to the German pattern, suppressing negative emotions out of empathic concern was associated with better MH among Japanese, which was mediated by interdependent self-construal. Our findings suggest that masking negative emotions out of concern for others might be an adaptive strategy for Japanese by reinforcing interdependent values. We highlight the role of culture and the importance of distinguishing different ER strategies and emotion types.