There may thus have been insufficient variation on reported parental nurturance to provide support for a nurturance-liberalism link. However, there may also be reason to re-evaluate the hypothesized relationship and reconsider the nature of the path from parenting to political liberalism. Our findings replicate those of McAdams et al. Perhaps the nature of nurturant parenting itself should give us pause in thinking about the association between parental socialization and political ideology. Differences would be expected to arise as we move further away from similar others to societal groups quite different from our own; it is here that social justice concerns in particular play out.
However, work on trust, a related construct, suggests this is not necessarily the case. More specifically, cross-cultural work has found that in Japan and China, for example, there is strong trust within the family, yet low trust of other society members more generally see, e. This broader empathic net might be captured by the greater openness to experience associated with political liberalism for reviews, see Jost et al.
A moral house divided: How idealized family models impact political cognition
Given that openness seems to be the opposite of restrictiveness, at first glance we might focus on low parental restrictiveness in understanding the link between parenting and political liberalism. It seems important, then, to consider the meaning of restrictiveness as applied to parenting style. Here restrictiveness involves strict control and the use of negative outcomes threats and punishment to enforce proper behavior. An appropriate antonym for this type of restrictiveness would be leniency, which does not seem to describe the openness that would allow for greater inclusion of others.
Rather, here openness would be defined by tolerance and broad-mindedness; these terms characterize the openness one would expect to be associated with Social Justice, rather than low Social Order concerns. These studies were not longitudinal; all findings are correlational, which limits any causal conclusions that can be drawn from this work.
A further limitation of this research is that the two studies were based on college samples in the northeastern United States. More varied samples, in terms of economics, age, and culture are necessary to more fully address the important question of generalizability. In particular the university sample in this study was relatively liberal, and this might have impacted findings.
It is possible that the two-party system in the United States may exacerbate differences between liberalism and conservatism, particularly given the strong associations between the Republican Party and conservatism and between the Democratic Party and liberalism in contemporary politics. Cross cultural work on the links between parenting, morality, and politics remains a task for future investigations.
Interestingly, given past associations between political conservatism and sensitivity to threat e. Identifying the parenting dimension—if one exists—that socializes a Social Justice-mediated liberal ideology remains a task for future research. It seems likely that it will be associated with encouraging tolerance and openness towards those far beyond the boundaries of close family.
In the meantime, although we may not yet have an appropriate parenting metaphor for political liberals, the Strict Parent seems to be an apt metaphor underlying political conservatism.
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