What Kind of Parenting Is Associated With Early Self-Control Among Toddlers Living in Poverty? The Importance of Learning Support

Ye Rang Park, Robert L. Nix, Sukhdeep Gill, Michelle L. Hostetler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

The present study examined what kind of parenting best supports toddlers’ self-control in the context of poverty. Parents and toddlers (52% female; Mage = 2.60 years) in 117 families (35% White, 25% Black, 22% Latinx, 15% Multiracial, and 3% Asian; M family income = $1,845/month) engaged in structured interaction tasks, and toddlers completed a snack delay task concurrently and after 6 months. Latent profile analysis based on eight observed parenting behaviors representing learning support and responsiveness/sensitivity (e.g., teaching, technical scaffolding, teamwork, instructions, choices, language use, specific praise, and warmth) identified four parenting profiles: Lower Learning Support/Lower Responsiveness, Moderate Learning Support/Moderate Responsiveness, High Responsiveness, and High Learning Support. Toddlers with parents in the High Learning Support profile demonstrated the greatest self-control 6 months later, compared with toddlers of parents in the other three profiles, and there were no statistically significant differences in self-control among toddlers of parents in those other three profiles. Results were robust even after controlling for initial levels of self-control, as well as multiple other child, parent, and family characteristics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)425-437
Number of pages13
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Volume58
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 10 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Demography
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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