Understanding Cultural Issues in Child Development: Introduction

Xinyin Chen, Nancy Eisenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Research findings indicate that children's and adolescents' behaviors may vary in their prevalence, meanings, and developmental patterns across cultures. To explain the cross-cultural variations, researchers often rely on frameworks based on broad categories such as collectivism versus individualism or interdependent versus independent orientations. However, these frameworks have been criticized for a number of limitations, such as offering overly simplistic categorizations of complex cultural systems, failing to take account of the substantial heterogeneity within societies, and the neglect of the processes in which cultural factors at various contextual levels are involved in individual development. The articles in this Special Section review recent progress in empirical and theoretical work on culture and child development, discuss challenges and problems that researchers are experiencing, and suggest directions for future exploration in the area.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages4
JournalChild Development Perspectives
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2012


  • Child development
  • Culture
  • Social change
  • Socialization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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