2022 Undergraduate Research Showcase


The Effect of Culture on Parental Beliefs and Attitudes Toward Children’s Play

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Iryna Babik


Cultural values affect parents' beliefs and attitudes toward their children's play.

Asian parents tend to have higher expectations for their children's academic achievement and promote group mentality. They prefer to use playtime to teach children morals or etiquette, viewing play as an opportunity to learn rather than amusement or fun.

Western parents foster their children's individualistic qualities and personality traits on most occasions: they specifically support play as a valuable activity for children's social and personal development. Self-expression and individualism are the main benefits European and American parents expect as an outcome of playing with their children. Amusement, children's enjoyment, and social development are among the most common reasons why European and American parents approve the idea of playing. The generalized positive view of playtime in the West is influenced by society's strive to individualism.

Immigrant parents hold conflicting opinions regarding the value of children's playtime depending on their personal values and experiences. In most cases, migration and acculturation changes parent's perspectives on some of their values, but they retain others from their home culture. Chinese immigrant parents who acculturated to their host culture and learned about the benefits of play in a child's cognitive and social development tend to see playtime as an important activity.

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