Socialization goals, parenting practices, and peer competence in Chinese and English preschoolers

Emma Pearson, Nirmala Rao*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

77 Citations (Scopus)


This cross-cultural study examines relations between parents' socialization goals and child-rearing practices, as well as their impact upon peer competence during early childhood. Participants were sixty-three Hong Kong-Chinese mothers, sixty-one English mothers and their preschool-aged children. Mothers completed questionnaires measuring socialization goals and practices. Their children took part in sociometric interviews. Results indicate both similarities and differences in child-rearing practices and in their impact on children's peer competence across the two cultures. Among both Hong Kong and English mothers, significant correlations were found between (i) socialization towards Filial Piety and Authoritarian practices, and (ii) valuing Socio-emotional Development and Authoritative Parenting. However, Chinese mothers reported stronger emphasis on socialization for Academic Achievement and Filial Piety, as well as greater use of Authoritarian Parenting practices, than English mothers. The use of Authoritarian practices among English mothers was, in accordance with past research, negatively correlated with peer competence among preschoolers. Findings highlight the influence of cultural values upon child socialization and upon the way that these values are translated into practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-146
Number of pages16
JournalEarly Child Development and Care
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • Chinese and english child-rearing practices
  • Peer competence

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