Predicting preschool effortful control from toddler temperament and parenting behavior

Elizabeth A. Cipriano, Cynthia A. Stifter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


This longitudinal study assessed whether maternal behavior and emotional tone moderated the relationship between toddler temperament and preschooler's effortful control. Maternal behavior and emotional tone were observed during a parent-child competing demands task when children were 2. years of age. Child temperament was also assessed at 2. years of age, and three temperament groups were formed: inhibited, exuberant, and low reactive. At 4.5. years of age, children's effortful control was measured from parent-report and observational measures. Results indicated that parental behavior and emotional tone appear to be especially influential on exuberant children's effortful control development. Exuberant children whose mothers used commands and prohibitive statements with a positive emotional tone were more likely to be rated higher on parent-reported effortful control 2.5. years later. When mothers conveyed redirections and reasoning-explanations in a neutral tone, their exuberant children showed poorer effortful control at 4.5. years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-230
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Applied Developmental Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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