Relationship between maternal parenting styles, academic achievement and selfesteem in China, Turkey and USA

Newman J., GÖZÜ H. , Guan S., Lee J., Li S. X. , Sasaki Y.

JOURNAL OF COMPARATIVE FAMILY STUDIES, no.46, pp.265-288, 2015 (Journal Indexed in SSCI)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Page Numbers: pp.265-288


This cross-cultural study investigated country differences in the relationship between maternal parenting styles and two important developmental outcomes of students – high school achievement and self-esteem. 634 undergraduates resident in three countries (China 207, Turkey 196, USA 231) where socio-cultural orientation and previous research suggest that normative family relationships would be different, were selected. We predicted that in the three countries, different maternal parenting styles would be prevalent and would foster positive development in terms of their congruence with the prevailing individualistic or collectivist ethic of the country. Students completed Buri's Parent Authority Questionnaire (which yielded scores on maternal authoritarian, authoritative and permissive parenting), Rosenberg's self-esteem scale, and reported on their high school achievement. Results showed country differences in the prevalence of the three maternal parenting styles, and some differences in the way each parenting style was related to student outcomes. Nevertheless, most differences were not those predicted. In particular, the Chinese findings were unexpected, as the Chinese mothers were the most authoritative, and were the only group for whom authoritarian parenting was negatively associated with high school achievement. Reasons for the unpredicted results are discussed as well as the need for changes in the conceptualization of parenting to accommodate diverse and diversifying cultures. Some novel findings from Turkey suggest the advantages of studying parenting in a wider range of countries to reveal the variety of family processes that contribute to positive child development.