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Cultural Differences in Discipline

Culture permeates many aspects of family life and child development and has a strong influence on parenting. This entry describes different parenting styles, discusses how parenting styles tend to differ among cultures, and examines how cultural differences may affect the way parents treat children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Parenting styles influence various aspects of childrearing, including how nurturant the parent figure is toward the child, who provides the primary caregiving, what expectations are held for the child, and how discipline is administered, including whether or not corporal punishment is used.

The most widely accepted theory of parenting styles was advanced by clinical and developmental psychologist Diana Baumrind. She explained that parents usually fall into one of three parenting styles—permissive, authoritarian, or authoritative—based on the warmth ...

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