negative emotionality, childhood aggression, cross-culture, China, parenting


Whether specific patterns of parenting are similarly associated with child outcomes in diverse cultural contexts has been a topic of inquiry for the past several decades. Most recently, attention has focused on Asian parenting and the indigenous meanings of parental control among specific Asian groups as contrasted with Western cultures (Chao & Tseng, 2002). Recent debates in this literature center on whether coercive parenting has similar meanings for mainland Chinese and North American children and their parents (e.g., Grusec, 2002; Lau & Yeung, 1996). To further address the question of whether there is a universal nature to parenting and its linkages to child behavioral outcomes, we designed this chapter to consider whether coercive fathering in mainland China is related to childhood aggression in a manner similar to that which has been discovered in other cultural contexts (e.g., Hart, Nelson, Robinson, Olsen, & McNeilly-Choque, 1998). When referring to mainland China, we recognize that it is a vast country composed of many ethnic and minority groups. The available research synthesized in this chapter and explored in our Beijing sample captures only a small fraction of that population. Although a somewhat coherent picture is beginning to emerge, one should not assume that the findings discussed here are representative of what might be occurring with fathers and their children in the Chinese culture at large. Nevertheless, this and recent studies conducted in various parts of China provide a beginning point for understanding way that Chinese fathering might be linked too child behavioral outcomes.

Original Publication Citation

Yang, C., Hart, C. H., Nelson, D. A., Porter, C. L., Olsen, S. F., Robinson, C. C., & Jin, S. (2004). Fathering in a Beijing, Chinese sample: Associations with boys’ and girls’ negative emotionality and aggression. In R. D. Day & M. E. Lamb (Eds.), Conceptualizing and measuring father involvement (pp. 185-215). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Document Type

Book Chapter

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Lawrence Erlbaum Associates




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor