Understanding how child temperament, negative parenting, and dyadic parent–child behavioral variability interact to influence externalizing problems

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Abstract

To better understand the development of externalizing behavior, the current study examines how multiple levels of influence (child temperament, negative parenting, and dyadic interactions) work together to increase externalizing behaviors over time. Negative parenting (NP) and observed dynamic dyadic behavioral variability (DBV) in parent–child interactions (e.g., in discipline and compliance) are characteristic of coercive family processes. The present study first examined latent profiles of temperament in 3-year-olds (N = 150). Four temperament profiles emerged: high reactive, exuberant, low reactive, and inhibited. Temperament profiles were then examined as moderators of the effects of the age of three NP and DBV on child externalizing problems at the age of four. Exuberant temperament exacerbated the association between higher levels of NP and DBV and higher levels of child externalizing. Additionally, temperament moderated the combined effects of NP and DBV such that at low and mean levels of NP, children with exuberant temperaments who experienced higher DBV had higher externalizing behaviors, whereas at higher levels of NP, the influence of DBV was no longer significant. Results suggest pathways by which children's experiences of NP and DBV with parents contribute to their greater externalizing problems over time, in the context of the child's unique temperament profile.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1020-1041
Number of pages22
JournalSocial Development
Volume31
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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

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