Enculturative Continuity and the Importance of Caretakers: Cross-Cultural Codes
AbstractUsing Murdock and White's (1969) sample of 186 societies we present here a set of 20 holocultural codes pertaining to two classes of socialization variables: enculturative continuity , and the importance of various categories of child caretakers. Tests of inter relationships among variables showed that worldwide, mothers are generally the most important caretakers of children, although grandparents, siblings, fathers and others also exert substantial socializing influence on children Mothers and fathers tend to be about equally important as caretakers of sons, but mothers tend to be significantly more important than fathers as caretakers of daughters. Regarding enculturative continuity, to the extent that mothers (but not fathers or others) are important in the caretaking role, both boys and girls tend to be continuously socialized to particpate in the social system in essentially adultlike ways. Finally, the relative importance of mothers versus fathers as caretakers is significantly related to parental warmth, hostility, neglect, and control of children .