Compliance and noncompliance: The roles of maternal control and child temperament

Julia Braungart-Rieker, Molly Murphy Garwood, Cynthia A. Stifter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


This study examined relationships between temperament, maternal control style, and children's styles of compliance and noncompliance. Subjects included 57 30-month-old healthy toddlers and their mothers. Children and mothers visited the laboratory and were involved in two structured procedures-a delay task in which toddlers were asked to refrain from touching an attractive toy, and a clean-up situation. Children's compliant and noncompliant behaviors as well as mothers' guidance and control strategies were rated from each videotaped situation. Results indicate that mothers who rated their children higher in negative reactivity showed less guidance and more control toward their children. Furthermore, children whose mothers were more controlling and less guiding exhibited more aversive styles of noncompliance and less committed compliance. Finally, regression modelling indicated that maternal behaviors mediated the association between temperament and noncompliance, suggesting that the effects of temperament on noncompliance are partially indirect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)411-428
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Applied Developmental Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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