Date of Award

1-23-2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

Abstract

The current study explores models of parenting constructs in a sample of contemporary urban Ghanaian adults who are raising at least one child between the ages of five and twelve years old. Parenting practices that include high levels of responsiveness to children's needs, as well as high levels of demandingness and firm limits, have been associated with a range of positive outcomes in youth in the United States, Canada, and Western European countries. This parenting style, termed Authoritative parenting, has been promoted by public and private institutions in Euro-American societies for close to forty years. However, research on cultural minority groups in Euro-American dominated cultures suggests that firmer parenting styles with higher demandingness and other related features are practiced among African Americans, Asian Americans, and Latinos in the United States, based on both contextual and cultural influences.

Current results indicated that parenting styles formulated in Euro-American, Chinese, and Indian studies did not completely capture self-reported parenting practices among Ghanian parents. Three modified constructs of Ghanaian parenting practices emerged from the quantitative data, including: 1) Responsiveness-Cherishing, in which parents endorsed high levels of support and freedom of expression for their child, in combination with high levels of demandingness, accompanied by parental control through guilt, as well as high levels of parental expression of caring emotion; 2) Restrictiveness-Containment, in which parents endorsed strong behavioral and emotional control, with firm limits for the purpose of protecting children from harmful extra-familial influences; and 3) Restrictiveness-Intradependence, in which parents placed strong emphasis on collectivist unity and hierarchy of power within the family and community. Demographic and qualitative data related each of these constructs to cultural and contextual factors within Ghanaian societies. Current findings set the stage for further research on culturally-specific features of Ghanaian parenting styles, their relationships to youth outcomes, and the role such styles can play in behavioral, religious, and public health programs.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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