We examined 261 5-, 7-, and 10-year-olds’ (147 in Hong Kong, 114 in the USA) evaluations of hypothetical scenarios where mothers sought to control personal domain events by prohibiting, persuading, or shaming the child. The scenarios also varied in their description of personal events as either essential or peripheral to the self. Compliance was endorsed least (and emotions attributed to actors were most positive) when mothers gently persuaded and endorsed most (with emotion attributions most negative) when mothers prohibited personal choices. Evaluations of compliance and associated emotions for shaming fell in-between. When mothers were described as gently persuading, young children (and Chinese children) gave priority to personal choices more when acts were described as essential rather than peripheral to the self, based on personal reasons. When mothers were described as shaming, noncompliance increased with age, along with pragmatic justifications for choices, particularly when events were essentialized. Positive emotions in response to shaming also increased with age, but differentially for Chinese and American children. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
CitationSmetana, J. G., Ball, C., Yau, J., & Wong, M. (2017). Effect of type of maternal control on American and Chinese children's evaluations of personal domain events. Social Development, 26(1), 146-164.
- Parent-child communication
- Social cognition
- Middle childhood
- Personal domain events