All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Christina M Rodriguez

Advisory Committee Members

Kristi C Guest

Maria Hopkins

Yookyong Lee

Sylvie Mrug

Document Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2018

Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) College of Arts and Sciences

Abstract

The relationships between self-reported parenting styles and observed parenting behaviors with socioemotional behaviors in infants (temperament) and toddlers (behavior problems) were investigated in a longitudinal, cross-lagged design. Both mothers and fathers participated in a prospective longitudinal study, beginning prenatally followed by re-assessments when children were 6 months and 18 months of age. Parents provided self-reports of their parenting styles at all three time points; in the last two time points, parents engaged in an observed structured parent-child interaction and reported on their children’s temperament at 6 months and behavior problems at 18 months. Results suggest that parenting styles remain stable across time whereas observed parenting behaviors change over time. Parenting styles were also stronger predictors of children’s internalizing and externalizing behavioral problems compared to observed parenting behavior, with evidence of both commonalities and distinctions between mothers and fathers—demonstrating that fathers provide a distinct and unique parenting viewpoint of their child. Several moderating effects of child temperament were apparent, in which infant temperament dimensions moderated the relationship between parenting styles and children’s behavioral problems. Children also affected later parenting styles, wherein the evocative effects of child temperament were observed on parenting behaviors and styles; for example, findings suggest that infant temperament styles, particularly effortful control and negative affect, evoke more maternal permissive parenting than paternal parenting. Overall, this study illustrates the complicated processes involved in understanding the emergence of children’s internalizing and externalizing difficulties, underscoring the importance of examining not only the impact of parenting effects but also the role of children in terms of the evocative and interactive effects that may culminate in children’s adverse socioemotional outcomes.

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