Temperament, parenting, and moral development: Specificity of behavior and context

Mairin E. Augustine, Cynthia A. Stifter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


This longitudinal study highlights the role of specific parenting behaviors in specific contexts when predicting moral development in children of varying temperament types. A sample of mother-child dyads took part in a competing demands task involving differing 'do' and 'don't' contextual demands when the child was 2 years of age. Child temperament was also assessed at this time, yielding inhibited, exuberant, and low-reactive temperament groups. Children's moral behavior was assessed at 5.5 years of age. Models examining the interaction of temperament and mother behaviors in each context indicated that mother's reasoning/explanation and ignoring in the 'do' context predicted later moral behavior in inhibited children whereas redirection and commands in the 'don't' context predicted moral behavior in exuberant children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-303
Number of pages19
JournalSocial Development
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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