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Melike Nacak, Bilge Yağmurlu, Elif Durgel, Fons van de Vijver
2011; 26(67):85-100

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The aim of this study is to investigate parenting cognitions, behaviors, and home environment in metropolitan and rural cities (in Anatolia) to explore the generalizability of parenting research that frequently includes high- and/ or low-educated populations in big cities. The data were obtained from 162 mothers (88 high-educated) living in Istanbul (metropolis) and 73 mothers (32 high-educated) living in much smaller cities in Anatolia. Mother reports and structured observations were used to measure mothers’ developmental expectations, child-rearing practices, and home environment. Results showed that mothers living in Istanbul reported earlier ages of development on all domains of skills except for moral values and lower levels of obedience-demanding and punitive behaviors compared to mothers living in rural cities. The physical environment of home was found to be safer in rural cities. Comparisons based on educational background showed that high-educated mothers in Istanbul reported earlier ages of mastery on all domains, and also lower levels of obedience-demanding and higher levels of permissive behaviors than low- educated mothers. High-educated mothers also provided more learning materials to their children and the physical environment of their homes was safer. Findings regarding the relation between background characteristics (e.g., education and residency), child-rearing environment and parenting behaviors of mothers were discussed in reference to existing literature. The importance of studying parenting issues with respect to socioeconomic characteristics of different groups within one country is stressed.

Keywords: Parenting, child-rearing behavior, developmental expectations, home environment, metropolis, rural, education level