Socialization Processes

Social, Emotional, and Personality Development

  1. Daphne Blunt Bugental1,
  2. Joan E. Grusec2

Published Online: 1 JUN 2007

DOI: 10.1002/9780470147658.chpsy0307

Handbook of Child Psychology

Handbook of Child Psychology

How to Cite

Bugental, D. B. and Grusec, J. E. 2007. Socialization Processes. Handbook of Child Psychology. III:7.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Department of Psychology, University of California, Santa Barbara, California, USA

  2. 2

    Department of Psychology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 JUN 2007


The processes of interest in the study of socialization have extended in a number of ways during the most recent review period. New directions include changes in both biological and cultural perspectives. A cross-cutting theme across perspectives concerns new ways of conceptualizing causal pathways, and increased recognition of the situational specificity of socialization. With respect to biological influences, the brain is thought of as both experience-expectant and experience-dependent in terms of the pathways involved in socialization. We review the ways that humans are receptive to social influences, along with the ways in which biological systems are altered by those experiences. These include forms of control and socialization practices such as sensitive caregiving, use of routines, modeling, and discipline. Also discussed are the ways in which cultural goals have an impact on parenting practices, as well as how the study of cultural differences sheds light on mechanisms of socialization. New developments in the field of socialization are considered with respect to the interdisciplinary nature of future research, as well as the implications for their potential impact on the physical and mental health of the developing child.


  • autonomy;
  • caregiving;
  • corporal punishment;
  • interdependence;
  • life history;
  • parental cognitions;
  • parental control;
  • parental goals;
  • parental practices;
  • parenting;
  • social domains;
  • socialization