Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Adolescent Well-Being

There is very limited cross-cultural evidence on the relationship among parenting practices, children’s emotions, children’s social behaviors, and children’s general well-being. I have teamed up with a young scholar, Dr. Laura DiGuinta, in Italy to examine how culture influences these factors. We collected data from 460 11- to 12-year-old children and their parents who were previously involved in the Parenting Across Cultures (PAC) in Durham, NC, USA as well as Rome and Naples, Italy. We hypothesized that culture will affect how parenting practices influence children’s abilities to control and express their emotions as well as accurately interpret social situations.

This project capitalized on the unique intellectual communities at Sapienza and Duke University, stimulating unique scientific cross-cultural conversations. Our in-person discussions and research findings were used to draw implications for child/adolescent policies, prevention programs, and interventions.

Support from the Trent Foundation facilitated data collection and analysis, ultimately expediting scientific reports, national and international presentations, and dissemination of policy briefs.