A comparison of Estonian, Swedish, and Finnish mothers' controlling attitudes and behaviour
2003 (English)In: International Journal of Psychology, ISSN 0020-7594, E-ISSN 1464-066X, Vol. 38, no 1, 46-53 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The current study examined maternal control of children across families with early adolescents from different sociocultural backgrounds. The intention was to find out whether belonging to the same ethnic group/language community (i.e., Estonian or Finnish) is more important for determination of child-rearing attitudes and practices than sharing the immediate sociocultural context (i.e., Swedish society). In addition, attention was paid to the relationship between attitudes and behaviour. The results were obtained from three monocultural samples of Estonian, Swedish, and Finnish families living in their country of origin; two bicultural samples consisted of Estonian and Finnish families residing in Sweden. Two types of data-mothers' reported attitudes towards the importance of control over children's behaviour (the Control Scale) and video-recorded real-life verbal behaviour-were used to determine how the mothers' attitudes towards control relate to the behavioural control exhibited in their real-life interactions. The study showed that the Finno-Ugric mothers living in their countries of origin controlled their children's behaviour significantly more frequently than those Finno-Ugric mothers who live in Sweden, but both Estonian samples outperformed Finns in their reported control attitudes. The Swedish mothers were the least directive among monocultural mothers both in maternal beliefs and in real-life behaviour, but they differed from Estonian and Finnish mothers residing in Sweden only in their lower scores on the Control Scale. The study revealed that mothers' real-life control behaviour corresponded rather modestly to their reported attitudes toward the importance of controlling children. Analyses of actual mother-child interaction showed that only the Estonian mothers living in Estonia actually put their relatively high scores on the Control Scale into practice in real-life interactions with their children. Finally, some characteristics of Estonian, Finnish, and Swedish languages and cultures are discussed that might determine the cultural differences in child rearing that emerged.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2003. Vol. 38, no 1, 46-53 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-10967DOI: 10.1080/00207590244000278ISI: 000182680200005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-10967DiVA: diva2:436778