Parent—Child Relationships and the Transmission of Culture

  • Kevin B. MacDonald
Part of the Perspectives in Developmental Psychology book series (PDPS)


The parent—child relationship has always assumed a central place in developmental theories of socialization. If the environment is important in social development, then the individuals with the largest potential impact on children would arguably be the parents. Parents begin interacting with the child from birth and, because of their relatively greater power, they are able to control much of the daily life of the child, especially in the early years. As the child becomes older there is more exposure to other possible environmental influences, but even exposure to these factors is often influenced by the parents, as when a parent chooses the child’s school or neighborhood. Moreover, if children are increasingly less susceptible to environmental influences as they become older, it is quite possible that their reaction to the wider world and their choice of a niche in the world is influenced by their early interactions with their parents, so that the later environment has relatively little effect on them.


Social Control Parenting Style Parental Control Parental Investment Physical Punishment 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kevin B. MacDonald
    • 1
  1. 1.California State University-Long BeachLong BeachUSA

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