The influence of culture on parenting practices and children’s social competence : a multiple case study.
Thesis DisciplineHealth Sciences
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
Across the literature in Aotearoa New Zealand, there are no known research studies that have explored the influence of culture on parenting practices and children’s social competence among the three dominant cultures in Aotearoa New Zealand; New Zealand European, Māori and Asian (Chinese and Indian). Therefore, this study aimed to investigate whether culture influences parenting practices, and how these parents view their 3 to 6-year-old children’s social competence. Eight families (16 mothers and fathers) responded to two questionnaires; one about their parenting practices and the other about their child’s social competence.
Mothers and fathers were also interviewed about their understanding of culture, and how their understanding may influence their parenting. For the questionnaire data, the results demonstrated that mothers’ and fathers’ reports were similar in regards to their child’s social competence, and parent’s reports on their child’s social competence did not differ significantly between cultural groups. In regards to the qualitative data, results showed that all three cultural groups believed that routine-based parenting was important for parenting their child. Additionally, it was found that New Zealand European, Chinese and Indian parents all used firmer parenting practices than Māori parents. Chinese, Indian and Māori parents also expressed the importance of having a close connection with wider family/whānau, particularly in comparison to New Zealand European parents. A key finding of this study was the importance of culture with all parents from each cultural group acknowledging the important and unique role that culture plans in their parenting. This was articulated wonderfully by a Māori/NZ European father and summarises the thoughts of the other parents who participated in this study.