This study examined longitudinal, temperament-specific relations between parenting qualities in two interactive contexts and behavioral measures of child self-regulation and conscience. Mother-toddler interactions were observed for maternal gentle control and mutual positivity and responsiveness (MPR) when children were 18 months old (sample N = 134, 53% male, 92% non-Hispanic White). Child temperament was also assessed, yielding exuberant, inhibited, and average-approach temperament groups. Children's behavioral self-regulation and conscience were assessed at 4.5 years of age. Mother gentle control in a free play related to poorer later behavioral self-regulation for children in the average-approach group, whereas gentle control in a clean-up related to better behavioral self-regulation in the exuberant group. MPR during the clean-up related to better conscience in the inhibited group. These results provide further support for temperament- and context-specific relations between different parenting qualities and children's later regulatory skills, which may inform the development of more effective temperament-based parenting interventions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology