Dimensions of Parenting Associated with Child Prekindergarten Emotion Regulation and Attention Control in Low-income Families

Erin T.B. Mathis, Karen L. Bierman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations

Abstract

Delays in emotion regulation and attention control are common among children growing up in poverty, and they contribute to significant socioeconomic gaps in school readiness and later school attainment. In this study, the emotion regulation and attention control skills of 210 prekindergarten Head Start participants were assessed (M age = 4.80 years old). Home interviews and videotaped parent-child interactions were used to evaluate three aspects of parenting (e.g., warm-sensitive, directive-critical, and parenting stress). Structural equation models documented significant, unique associations linking directive-critical parenting and parenting stress with poor child emotion regulation skills. Directive-critical parenting was also uniquely associated with low levels of child attention control. Warm-sensitive parenting was not uniquely related to either emotion regulation or attention control at this age. The findings suggest that, by prekindergarten, parent stress management and reduced directiveness emerge as the primary correlates of child emotion regulation and attention control whereas warm-sensitive parenting plays a diminished role.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)601-620
Number of pages20
JournalSocial Development
Volume24
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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