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Cultural variations in mothers' acceptability of behavioral child management techniques : examination of underlying mechanisms Mah, Janet W.T.


Behavioral parent training (BPT) is a widely used, evidence-based treatment and prevention intervention for managing noncompliant and disruptive child behavior. However, the cultural sensitivity of the techniques emphasized within the program has been largely unexamined. This study examined cultural differences in mothers’ acceptance of common techniques for managing disruptive child behavior, and the possible roles of parenting styles and implicit theories in mediating any cultural differences. A community sample of 117 Euro-Canadian and Chinese-immigrant mothers of boys aged 4- to 8-years participated. Results indicated that Chinese-immigrant mothers had more favorable attitudes towards punishment techniques (i.e., over-correction and spanking) than Euro-Canadian mothers, and that mothers’ authoritarian and training parenting styles were mediators underlying this cultural difference. No cultural differences were found in mothers’ attitudes towards reward (i.e., praise and token economy) or withdrawal of positive reinforcement (i.e., response cost and time-out) techniques. This study takes a first step to inform efforts to increase cultural sensitivity in approaches to the delivery of mental health services to the underserved population of Chinese-immigrant families.

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