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Researchers have identified specific parenting practices used by parents of preschoolers in mainland China (e.g., physical coercion, overprotection, shaming, directiveness, encouragement of modesty). Some of the intrusive practices have been linked to social withdrawal in western societies (e.g., United States, Canada). It seemed important to examine these associations in China because recent research suggests that young Chinese children who exhibit wariness in peer settings may be at risk for negative outcomes such as peer rejection. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the relation between Chinese parenting practices and preschoolers' social withdrawal. Mothers of preschool-age children from mainland China (N = 446) completed self-report parenting questionnaires. Teachers rated children's reticent, solitary-passive, solitary-active, and modest behaviors. Results showed that (a) maternal directiveness was positively associated with reticent behavior in girls and negatively associated with solitary-passive behavior in boys, (b) maternal overprotection, for girls, was positively related to both reticent behavior and solitary-passive behavior, and negatively related to modest behavior, (c) coercion was positively associated with solitary-active and reticent behavior in girls, and (d) shaming was positively related to all forms of withdrawn behaviors in boys and girls, as well as positively related to modest behavior in boys. © 2006 The International Society for the Study of Behavioural Development.

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International Journal of Behavioral Development

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