Parenting Ideas in Germany and Hungary

Anna Dechant , Federal Institute for Population Research
Norbert F. Schneider, Federal Institute for Population Research (BiB)

Ideas and beliefs about what ‘good’ parents do and do not do, shape parenting behaviors. These ideas might be culture-specific, thus rooted in attitudes, norms, and gender-specific expectations. To understand parenting ideas, it is thus crucial to describe them in different cultural contexts and to examine and explain similarities and differences between them. We do so by focusing on regions that exhibit both cultural differences and similarities, namely post-socialist Hungary as well as formerly divided and since converging East and West Germany. Our analyses draw on an innovative survey (Family Leitbild Survey). We conduct latent class analyses to examine and describe patterns of parenting ideas. Multinomial logistic regression models are used to analyze associations of socio-demographic variables with latent classes. The analysis reveals different parenting ideas in Hungary and East as well as West Germany. In Hungary, two distinct ideas are heterogeneously distributed and do no vary according to socio-demographic contexts. In East and West Germany exist three partly similar parenting ideas. While in East Germany parenting ideas are little associated with socio-demographic contexts, they are heavily connected in West Germany. Overall, parenting ideas are contingent on a composition of regionally and socio-demographically shaped cultures: while the differences between Hungary and East and West Germany seem to stem from regional-societal cultures, the differences within West Germany appear to trace back to socio-demographically shaped cultural contexts. The differences between the German regions, in contrast, seem to be composited of both regional and socio-demographical cultures.

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 Presented in Session 95. Challenges of Parenting