Positive parenting and children’s prosocial behavior in eight countries


Background: Research supports the beneficial role of prosocial behaviors on children’s adjustment and successful youth development. Empirical studies point to reciprocal relations between negative parenting and children’s maladjustment, but reciprocal relations between positive parenting and children’s prosocial behavior are understudied. In this study reciprocal relations between two different dimensions of positive parenting (quality of the mother-child relationship and the use of balanced positive discipline) and children’s prosocial behavior were examined in Colombia, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, the Philippines, Sweden, Thailand, and the United States.


Mother-child dyads (N = 1105) provided data over 2 years in two waves (Mage of child in wave 1 = 9.31 years, SD = 0.73; 50% female).


A model of reciprocal relations between parenting dimensions, but not among parenting and children’s prosocial behavior, emerged. In particular, children with higher levels of prosocial behavior at age 9 elicited higher levels of mother–child relationship quality in the following year.


Pastorelli, Concetta

Lansford, Jennifer E.

Luengo Kanacri, Bernadette Paula

Malone, Patrick S.

Di Giunta, Laura

Bacchini, Dario

Bombi, Anna Silvia

Zelli, Arnaldo

Miranda, Maria Concetta

Bornstein, Marc H.

Tapanya, Sombat

Uribe Tirado, Liliana Maria

Alampay, Liane Pena

Al‐Hassan, Suha M.

Chang, Lei

Deater‐Deckard, Kirby

Dodge, Kenneth A.

Oburu, Paul

Skinner, Ann T.

Sorbring, Emma


The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry

Year: 2016

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