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Child Socialization Goals of Turkish Mothers: An Investigation of Education Related Within-Culture Variation

Bilge Yağmurlu, Banu Çıtlak, Ayfer Dost, Birgit Leyendecker
2009; 24(63):1-15

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This study aimed to explore the long-term socialization goals of Turkish mothers from different educational backgrounds. The participants were low-educated (n = 20) and high-educated (n = 20) Turkish mothers whose ages ranged from 24 to 39 years. In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted to measure long-term socialization goals of mothers. Results indicated that, as predicted, low-educated mothers emphasized the importance of relatedness and obedience more than high-educated mothers; and high-educated mothers stressed autonomy and self-enhancement as desirable characteristics more than low-educated mothers did. The two groups of mothers also reported some common goals such as valuing lovingness, decency, and self-control in their children. Overall, the findings pointed to the relative salience of constructs such as autonomy and relatedness in the socialization goals of Turkish mothers with high and low education levels. The findings provided support for Kağıtçıbaşı’s Family Change Model, shedding light on the variations in family structure across various socio-cultural-economic contexts. It also upholds Kohn’s theory which proposes that occupation influences socialization goals of parents.

Keywords: Long-term socialization goals, education, child-rearing, Turkish family