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1 - Development in context: Cultural influences from infancy to adolescence

Thu, March 21, 2:15 to 3:45pm, Baltimore Convention Center, Floor: Level 3, Room 313

Session Type: Paper Symposium

Integrative Statement

This symposium includes four studies examining cross-cultural differences in behavioral development from infancy into adolescence, considering a multitude of cultures and ethnic differences within the US, acculturation and enculturation.

The first study was conducted with first-generation American-Chinese families. Results indicated mothers chose less physically-oriented discipline for children with internalizing problems. High warmth did not buffer children from the negative effects of physical punishment, contributing to more internalizing behavior. Effect of physical punishment on externalizing problems were stronger for children of highly acculturated mothers.

The second study considered relations between behavioral inhibition and peer interactions in toddlers from rural China. Behavioral inhibition was initially observed individually in an experimental paradigm coding for latency to approach, then interaction patterns of each child with an unfamiliar peer were assessed. Results indicated that inhibited toddlers received more positive and less negative initiations/responses from peers.

The third investigation concerned the structure of prosocial behavior for ethnic groups within the US (European American and Hispanic adolescents), expanding this work to nine additional countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and South America. Correlational analyses showed differences in patterns of covariation between prosocial behavior and total well-being. The strength of associations was greater for Hispanic compared to European American youth.

The final study considered 51 cultures, linking temperament attributes (Negative Affectivity, Surgency, and Regulatory Capacity/Effortful Control) with Hofstede’s cultural orientation dimensions. High Negative Affectivity was linked with Collectivism and low Power Distance and high Surgency with Short-Term Orientation, consistent with an earlier meta-analysis.

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