Parenting and child socialization in contemporary China

Qian Wang and Lei Chang

in Oxford Handbook of Chinese Psychology

Published in print February 2010 | ISBN: 9780199541850
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Parenting and child socialization in contemporary China


The ostensible peculiarities, as well as similarities, of parenting and child socialization in China vis-à-vis Western countries such as the United States have been capturing intellectual curiosity and creating debate among investigators over the past few decades. Drawing on relatively recent empirical research in three major Chinese societies (mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan), this article attempts to depict a state-of-the-art picture of parenting and child socialization in contemporary China. It examines the growing body of research conducted with children in urban areas of mainland China, given that they constitute a substantial proportion of the youth population in contemporary Chinese societies. Furthermore, it takes on questions such as how do Western frameworks characterizing parenting and child socialization apply in China, a culture commonly believed to be interdependence-oriented, in contrast to many Western cultures? And, what are the notions of parenting and child socialization indigenous to Chinese culture?

Keywords: child socialization; Chinese parenting; mainland China; independence-oriented; Western cultures

Article.  9822 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Social Psychology

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