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Parenting in women from different cultural groups


The social discrimination and its dimensions is a factor correlated with the development of mental health symptoms. Surveys made in general population reveal that dysfunctional parenting is related to the expression of psychopathology. According to our assumption, a) there are differences in parenting among cultural groups, b) social discrimination plays a significant role in the development of dysfunctional parenting, c) social discrimination and dysfunctional parental style experienced in childhood form psychopathological symptoms. This pilot study aims to investigate the first hypothesis using the Measure of Parental Style (MOPS) in order to determine differences in parenting in three cultural groups, which live in the same community.

Material and Methods

The sample consists of 98 women between18 and 40 years, who live in Zefiri, Attica. 65 of them (66%) are Rom and 33 (33.7%) non-Rom. Among Rom group, 34 women (34.7%) call themselves "tzigane" and 31 (31.6%) "roundari" (it is supposed that they came from Romania to Greece during the last century). The second sub-group has better standard of living and quality of life than the first sub-group.

The Measure of Parental Style covers three dimensions: indifference, overcontrol and abuse from both parents, during childhood and adolescence.


Parental abuse is more frequent among "tziganes" in comparison to "non-tziganes". Maternal abuse is more frequent among "tziganes" and "roundari" in comparison to "non-tziganes". Maternal indifference is more frequent among "roundari".

Maternal overcontrol is more frequent among "roundari". To summarize, among "tziganes" appears that maternal and paternal abuse are statistically significant in cross group comparison, while among "roundari" are maternal indifference, abuse and over control.


The results confirm the first part of the assumption, which suggests differences in parenting among cultural groups and therefore it is suggested the investigation of the rest assumptions in the future.

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Ntaliou, K., Lorentzou, A., Tsafou, M. et al. Parenting in women from different cultural groups. Ann Gen Hosp Psychiatry 2 (Suppl 1), S115 (2003).

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