Parent-child interactions in france, germany, and italy: The Effects of Gender and Culture

Deborah L. Best, Amy S. House, Anne E. Barnard, Brenda S. Spicker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Previous research has demonstrated that mothers and fathers interact differently with their children and these interactions have important consequences for children's social development. The present study examines gender differences in parent-child interactions and the similarity of these patterns in France, Germany, and Italy. Samples in these countries were used because within Western societies they represent differing cultural expectations concerning the behavior of men and women. Parent-child dyads interacting on playgrounds were observed for affection, play, vocalization, showing and sharing, aggression, discipline, caregiving, soothing, and controlling behaviors. Gender and country differences were found. French and Italian fathers engaged in more play than mothers, but the opposite was found in Germany. French children showed and shared more than did the other children. Overall, French and Italian parents and children were more interactive than were German dyads. Although gender generally influences parent and child behaviors, culture modifies the way that these differences are displayed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-193
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology


Dive into the research topics of 'Parent-child interactions in france, germany, and italy: The Effects of Gender and Culture'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this