Socialization in the Family: Ethnic and Ecological Perspectives

Social, Emotional, and Personality Development

  1. Ross D. Parke1,
  2. Raymond Buriel2

Published Online: 1 JUN 2007

DOI: 10.1002/9780470147658.chpsy0308

Handbook of Child Psychology

Handbook of Child Psychology

How to Cite

Parke, R. D. and Buriel, R. 2007. Socialization in the Family: Ethnic and Ecological Perspectives. Handbook of Child Psychology. III:8.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Department of Psychology, University of California, Riverside, California, USA

  2. 2

    Department of Psychology, Pomona College, Claremont, California, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 JUN 2007


This chapter reviews advances in our understanding of socialization of children in the family context. Both historical and contemporary perspectives on socialization are outlined. The chapter is guided by a family systems approach to socialization which recognizes the parent-child subsystem, the co-parental, marital and sibling subsystems as well as the family unit as contributors to children's socialization. The effects of each of these subsystems on children's socialization are explored. Next, a variety of determinants of family socialization strategies are discussed, including child characteristics, parental personal resources, community-based social capital and socioeconomic status. In another section, the impact of social change on family socialization practices is considered. Changes in women's and men's employment patterns and job characteristics as well as job loss and unemployment are used as illustrations of how social changes alter socialization strategies. The importance of considering how multiple social changes act together in achieving their effects on socialization is stressed. Another major determinant of socialization patterns is the ethnicity and cultural background of the family. The chapter discusses variations in socialization practices among Latinos, African-American, American Indians, and Asian-American families and the importance of immigration and acculturation in determining socialization patterns. In a final section, a variety of issues that require more attention, including variations in family forms, monitoring of secular changes, the influence of social and physical contexts on socialization, and the importance of locating families in a network of socializations influenced are considered.


  • co-parenting;
  • culture;
  • ethnicity;
  • family systems;
  • family-work links;
  • fathers;
  • marital relationships;
  • mothers;
  • siblings;
  • social capital;
  • social class;
  • socialization