Parental Structuring in Response to Toddler Negative Emotion Predicts Children’s Later Use of Distraction as a Self-Regulation Strategy for Waiting

Niyantri Ravindran, Breana G. Genaro, Pamela M. Cole

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Structuring is a parental response to young children’s behavior that may foster children’s attempts to use cognitive skills to engage in self-regulation. Using a rural, economically strained sample, parental structuring in response to 127 eighteen-month-olds’ negative emotion was observed during a home visit. Children’s distraction, a useful cognitive strategy when waiting for a reward, was assessed during a laboratory wait task at 18, 24, 36, and 48 months. More frequent parental structuring at child age 18 months predicted more developmental growth in children’s use of distraction between 18 and 48 months, in contrast with parental directives. Consistent with Kopp’s (1989) framework, parental structuring may capitalize on children’s cognitive development to play a unique role in fostering children’s self-regulation of negative emotion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1969-1983
Number of pages15
JournalChild development
Volume92
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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