Children's behavioral self-regulation and conscience: Roles of child temperament, parenting, and parenting context
Augustine, M.E.; Stifter, C.A.
Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology 63: 54-64
ISSN/ISBN: 0193-3973 DOI: 10.1016/j.appdev.2019.05.008
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.