Parenting and Positive Adjustment for Adolescents in Nine Countries

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This chapter describes the theoretical background, methodology, and select empirical findings from the Parenting Across Cultures project, a longitudinal study of mothers, fathers, and youth in nine countries (China, Colombia, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Philippines, Sweden, Thailand, and United States). The design of the study is well suited to addressing questions regarding within-family, between-family within-country, and between-country predictors of youth outcomes. Positive development may be characterized in unique ways in different countries, but adjustment outcomes such as social competence, prosocial behavior, and academic achievement also share features and parenting predictors in different countries. Combining emic (originating within a culture) and etic (originating outside a culture) approaches, operationalizing culture, and handling measurement invariance are challenges of international research. Understanding culturally specific and generalizable features of positive youth development as well as how youth are socialized in ways to promote positive adjustment are advantages of comparative international research.