Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name




First Advisor

Hakim-Larson, J.


Psychology, Developmental.




The relations among mothers' goals for their children's social behaviour, their parenting style and children's social behaviour were examined in Canada and Japan, two countries that differ with respect to individualist/collectivist cultural models. Seventy-four Canadian and Japanese mothers of children between the ages of three and six years old completed questionnaires about their allocentricism (collectivism) in family relationships, their preferences for their children's interdependent and independent social behaviours, the directiveness and explicitness of their parenting style, and their preschool child's social strengths and weaknesses. It was predicted that Canadian mothers, consistent with an individualistic model, would show a preference for children's independent social behaviour, and therefore use a more directive and explicit style of interacting with their preschool child, whereas Japanese mothers, consistent with a collectivistic model, would show a preference for children's interdependent social behaviour, and therefore be more permissive and inductive in their parenting style. It was further expected that mothers' parenting styles would be related to ratings of children's behaviour, with a directive and explicit style being associated with children's social autonomy (i.e., social initiation, social independence, and externalizing symptoms), and a permissive and inductive style being associated with children's social interdependence (i.e., social cooperation and internalizing symptoms). Results supported the hypotheses for cross-cultural differences in mothers' allocentricism, parenting styles, and some preferences for social behaviour. However, mothers' parenting styles were not related to particular preferences for children's behaviour, nor to ratings of their children's actual social behaviour. Moreover, mothers' personal models of individualism/collectivism were not associated with parenting ideas or behaviours. Taken together, these results support existing research regarding parenting styles in individualistic or collectivistic cultures. However, little evidence was found to suggest that these differences are associated with attempts to socialize children specifically towards independence or interdependence. Instead, these differences may represent different ways of socializing children towards a broader social competence in both contexts. Implications for research and clinical applications were discussed. Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 65-07, Section: B, page: 3746. Adviser: Julie Hakim-Larson. Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 2004.