common; and item-level analysis was the most useful in detecting these differences. Several instances of culturally inappropriate items were found. For example, "Parent introduces interviewer to child," "Child has free access to musical instrument," and "Family member has taken the child on a trip over 50 miles from home" were considered inappropriate for Caribbean households (Dubrow, Jones, Bozoky, & Adam, 1996). Moreover, items from the Responsivity subscale were problematic in several Asian studies. Aina, Agiobu-Kemmer, Etta, Zeitlin, and Setiloane (1993) dropped the Acceptance subscale since Yoruba culture places little value on independence, and Nihira et al. (1987) found the items not reflective of the different emotional aspects of parenting in Japanese. Not surprisingly, European studies mirrored those from the United States and Canada.

It is difficult to summarize what we know about the influence of context on parenting. In one sense, it is safe to say that context (physical, social, political, historical, economic) has a pervasive influence on what parents do, how they do it, how often they do it, and what it means in the lives of their children. Yet, it is clear that no one aspect of context (the closest exceptions perhaps being certain aspects of climate and economics) has a consistent effect across all groups. That is because every aspect of context itself has context and creates context for the others. It is also, as Kitayama (2002) says, often difficult for us as social scientists to penetrate to the most essential aspects of context when examining behavior and development. Lack of access to certain critical resources clearly matters in almost every instance. Extreme environments (climatic, emotional) also tend to have fairly predictable impacts. Beyond that, contextual effects tend to vary as a function of other aspects of context; and their average effect appears modest.

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