Socioemotional Development in Cultural Context

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Filling a significant gap in the literature, this book examines the impact of culture on the social behaviors, emotions, and relationships of children around the world. It also explores cultural differences in what is seen as adaptive or maladaptive development. Eminent scholars discuss major theoretical perspectives on culture and development and present cutting-edge research findings. The volume addresses key aspects of socioemotional functioning, parent-child and peer relationships, autonomy, self-regulation, intergroup attitudes, and aggression. Implications for culturally informed intervention and prevention are highlighted.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"At long last, we have a book that describes the intersections between culture and socioemotional development! Chen and Rubin bring together an impressive array of scholars who have dedicated their careers to understanding the ways that emotions, self-regulation, attachment, ethnic identity, and peer relationships, among many topics, are shaped by the cultural context in which they develop. The chapters are written in a very accessible manner, making the book appropriate for both introductory and advanced psychology courses. I strongly and enthusiastically recommend this book for any student, scholar, or professional who is interested in children and adolescents."--Niobe Way, EdD, Department of Applied Psychology, New York University; President, Society for Research on Adolescence

"This volume signals a new stage in our thinking about the role of culture in socioemotional development. As the distinguished contributors demonstrate, the study of culture has moved from description to process, from static to dynamic, and from a single- to a multilevel enterprise. Scholars and students across a range of disciplines will find the volume's theoretical, applied, and policy insights of great value. Highly recommended."--Ross D. Parke, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Psychology, Emeritus, University of California, Riverside

 "This book is a major step toward the transformation of developmental psychology into a comparative science of human development. Leading developmental psychologists point to the need for cross-cultural research on child development, conceptualize the roles of culture and cultural context in socioemotional development, and present findings from many parts of the world."--Robert A. LeVine, PhD, Roy Edward Larsen Professor of Education and Human Development, Emeritus, Harvard University

"Developmental psychology comes of age in this volume. The book presents multicultural data collected with care by able scientists. Chapters are integrative, conceptually sophisticated, and grounded in evolutionary and attachment theory. A truly state-of-the-art work."--Michael Harris Bond, PhD, Chair Professor of Psychology, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, China

"This timely and needed contribution provides an inspiring, innovative exploration of major areas of socioemotional development across divergent cultures. Instructors and researchers will find the book highly informative and invaluable. Chen, Rubin, and the contributing authors are leading scholars, and this book is a testament to their contributions to the field."--Abraham Sagi-Schwartz, PhD, Department of Psychology and Director, Center for the Study of Child Development, University of Haifa, Israel


"A strength of the book is its usefulness to a broad range of scholars, from introductory psychology students to experts in the fields of cross-cultural psychology, social psychology, and developmental psychology....Another important strength is the recognition of the practical and theoretical shortcomings of cross-cultural psychology to fully capture human development....A useful reference for psychologists and anyone interested in the ways in which culture influences child development. The early chapters provide a strong foundation in the field of socioemotional development, beneficial for students in developmental and cross-cultural psychology. The later chapters provide in-depth summaries and interpretations of specific processes relevant to scholars and experts."--PsycCRITIQUES
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Xinyin Chen, PhD, is Professor of Psychology in the Applied Psychology–Human Development Division, Graduate School of Education, at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Science and a member of the Executive Committee of the International Society for the Study of Behavioral Development. Dr. Chen has received a William T. Grant Scholars Award, a Shanghai Eastern Scholars Award, and several other academic awards. His primary research interest is children’s and adolescents’ socioemotional functioning (e.g., shyness–inhibition, social competence, and affect) and social relationships from a cultural–contextual perspective.
Kenneth H. Rubin, PhD, is Professor of Human Development and Director of the Center for Children, Relationships, and Culture at the University of Maryland in College Park. He is a Fellow of the Canadian Psychological Association, the American Psychological Association, and the Association for Psychological Science. Dr. Rubin is a recipient of the award for Distinguished Contributions to the International Advancement of Research and Theory in Behavioral Development from the International Society for the Study of Behavioral Development and of the Developmental Psychology Mentor Award from the American Psychological Association. He is currently a member of the Governing Council of the Society for Research in Child Development. Dr. Rubin’s research and publications address such topics as social competence, social cognition, play, aggression, social anxiety and withdrawal, and children’s peer and family relationships.

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Table of Contents

I. Theoretical Perspectives and Policy Implications
1. Culture and Socioemotional Development, with a Focus on Fearfulness and Attachment, Joan Stevenson-Hinde
2. Culture and Children's Socioemotional Functioning: A Contextual–Developmental Perspective, Xinyin Chen
3. Culture, Public Policy, and Child Development, Hirokazu Yoshikawa and Madeleine Currie
II. Socialization of Socioemotional Functioning
4. Parental Ethnotheories about Children’s Socioemotional Development, Sara Harkness, Charles M. Super and Caroline Johnston Mavridis
5. Pathways to Emotion Regulation: Cultural Differences in Internalization, Fred Rothbaum and Natalie Rusk
III. Socioemotional Processes
6. Emotion, Self-Regulation, and Social Behavior in Cultural Contexts, Gisela Trommsdorff and Pamela M. Cole
7. Different Faces of Autonomy, Heidi Keller and Hiltrud Otto
8. Ethnic/Racial Identity and Peer Relationships across Elementary, Middle, and High Schools, Tiffany Yip and Sara Douglass
9. Dyadic Relationships from a Cross-Cultural Perspective: Parent–Child Relationships and Friendship, Kenneth H. Rubin, Wonjung Oh, Melissa Menzer, and Katie Ellison
IV. Adaptive and Maladaptive Social Functioning
10. Morality, Exclusion, and Culture, Melanie Killen and Alaina Brenick
11. The Cultural Context of Child and Adolescent Conflict Management, Doran C. French
12. Culture, Families, and Children’s Aggression: Findings from Jamaica, Japan, and Latinos in the United States, Nancy G. Guerra, Amber J. Hammons, and Michiko Otsuki Clutter13. Psychosocial Functioning in the Context of Social, Economic, and Political Change, Rainer K. Silbereisen and Martin J. Tomasik

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