Infant Mental Health Journal (Michigan Association of Infant Mental Health)
Numerous studies have shown that children's temperamental characteristics impact the quality and quantity of parent–child interactions. However, these studies have largely focused on middle‐class samples, have not compared multiple domains of parenting across mothers and fathers, and have not considered the possibility of nonlinear associations between temperament and parenting. The present study addresses these gaps by examining the potentially nonlinear role of two temperamental characteristics—negative emotionality and sociability—in predicting the quality and quantity of low‐income mothers’ and fathers’ parenting. Data were drawn from the Early Head Start Research and Evaluation Project, a study of low‐income children and families. Results indicated that whereas parenting quality was somewhat impaired when children were temperamentally vulnerable (low sociability, high negativity), parents increased parenting quantity with the same vulnerable children. There was some evidence that parents were most reactive to children who scored either very high or very low on negative emotionality and sociability in both parenting domains. Patterns also suggest that mothers were more reactive to sociability, and fathers to negative emotionality. Info only
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