Reasoning and negotiation about child responsibility in urban Chinese families

Reports from mothers, fathers and children

Jennifer M. Bowes*, May Jane Chen, Li Qing San, Li Yuan

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

    17 Citations (Scopus)


    The study investigates everyday parental practices involved in the transmission of cultural values and extends current literature on parenting in Chinese families. Children aged 6, 8, and 10 years from 240 Beijing families, and both their parents, were asked about ways in which expectations of child responsibility are transmitted through routine requests, reasoning, and negotiation about household work, an area in which Western parents are known to use such practices. Use of a range of parental requests and reasons was reported. Few child age or gender differences were found for reasons related to child responsibility. Child-initiated negotiation was reported as rare and unacceptable, its use restricted to tagging the relative importance of different spheres of child responsibility.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)48-58
    Number of pages11
    JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Development
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2004

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