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Parental Bonds in Cultural Context 81


Parental Bonds in Cultural Context:

The transmission of values for relatedness to the next generation

Susan E. Anvin

Pacific Graduate School of Psychology


A review on the literature concerning children's bonds with their parents is conducted. First, the constructs of attachment and parenting are explored, especially focusing on cultural assumptions embedded in the conceptualization of these phenomena. A discussion on culture and culture change follows. The literature on parental bonding is then explored, focusing on Parker, Tupling and Brown's (1979) Parental Bonding Instrument (PBI). The psychometric properties of the instrument are reviewed, with an emphasis on the origins of the instrument and factor analytic studies of parental bonds. Factor analytic studies have tended to find 3 factors in children's descriptions of their parents, However, the 2nd and 3rd factors are not consistent from study to study, and tend to be weaker than the first. A 2 factor model, such as that used in the PBI, emerges as the most useful solution. Common findings with the PBI are then examined in adult, child and adolescent populations. These include a strong and generally non-specific link between scores on the PBI and psychopathology, found in both adults and child populations. Cross cultural findings with the PBI are then examined. Researchers have found differences in parental bonds in several cultures. However, this research is hampered by several significant confounds, as well as a lack of established validity for the constructs of the PBI in non-western cultures. Needs for future research are discussed, focusing in particular on the sources of parental bonds, and how they are passed from one generation to the next within a cultural context.
Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Literature Review

Parenting in the cultural context 4

Attachment theory 4

Culture and culture change 10

Parental Bonding and the PBI: Review of past research 15

Background on the creation of the PBI 18

Reliability and validity studies with the PBI 20

Factor structure of the PBI 23

Common research findings in adult samples 26

Common research findings in child and adolescent samples

Depression and related constructs 29

Non-depressive conditions 36

Cross-cultural research with the PBI

Validity 42

Cultural differences 45

Summary and Conclusions 53

Remaining research questions 59

Chapter 2: Hypotheses 63

Chapter 3: Proposed Methods

Participants 66

Procedures 66

Adult Measures 67

Child Measure 68

Data analysis 69

References 73

Tables 80

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