Beneficial Parenting According to the “Parenting Pentagon Model”: A Cross-Cultural Study During a Pandemic

Dorit Aram, Merav Asaf, Galia Meoded Karabanov, Margalit Ziv, Susan Sonnenschein, Michele Stites, Katerina Shtereva, Carmen López-Escribano

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The COVID-19 pandemic introduced a substantial change in the routines of families worldwide. The aim of this chapter is to portray universal and culturally specific characteristics of parenthood during a time of crisis. We studied reports of parenting behaviors during the first lockdown (March–May 2020) in five cultures: Bulgaria (Eastern Europe), Israeli-Arab and Israeli-Jews (Middle East), Spain (West Europe), and the United States (Maryland). Parenting was studied using the Parenting Pentagon Model (PPM), which specifies five constructs of beneficial parenting behaviors: Partnership—collaboration between the child’s caregivers; Leadership—ways in which parents direct their family; Love expressions; Independence—supporting child’s autonomy; and Adherence to Rules. Participants were 1080 parents (93% married): 153 Bulgarian, 192 Israeli Arabs, 290 Israeli Jews, 304 Spanish, and 141 American; 1001 mothers and 79 fathers. Parents answered self-report questionnaires on the frequency of their behaviors, focusing on one of their young children (aged 2–8 years). Findings showed Love behaviors were the most prominent, expressing the recognition of its centrality in parenting, regardless of culture. Partnership behaviors between the parents were reported as least frequent in all cultures, suggesting that collaboration between spouses was most challenging for parents or viewed as less important. Additionally, coping with the lockdown circumstances was more challenging in larger families and for older parents. The COVID-19 pandemic has enhanced fruitful global collaborations, mainly regarding medical issues. Our study suggests that this process should continue and expand to support programs for parents worldwide and to benefit children globally.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEducating the Young Child
Number of pages22
StatePublished - 2022

Publication series

NameEducating the Young Child


  • COVID-19
  • Cultural perspectives
  • Parent
  • Parenting behavior
  • Parenting stress
  • Young children
  • child interactions

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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