To examine the relationships among the match between parent and child temperament, parenting behaviors, parenting stress, and young children's behavior problems, the current study investigated the responses of mothers who are raising children between the ages of 3- and 5-years. Mothers completed the Dimensions of Temperament Scale-Revised for Children (Windle & Learner, 1986), the Dimensions of Temperament Scale-Revised for Adults (Windle & Learner, 1986), the Alabama Parenting Questionnaire-Preschool Revision (Clerkin, Marks, Policaro, & Halperin, 2007), the Maternal Emotional Styles Questionnaire (Lagace-Seguin & Coplan, 2005), the Parenting Stress Index-Short Form (Abidin, 1995), and the Child Behavior Checklist (Achenbach & Rescorla, 2000, 2001). Using cluster analyses, results of this study revealed two temperament clusters (i.e., Difficult Temperament and Easy Temperament) between mothers and their young children. Results revealed that mothers in the difficult temperament cluster report using less positive parenting, less emotion-coaching parenting, and more negative/inconsistent parenting. They also report a higher level of parenting stress. Additionally, results indicated that, when all variables were examined together, only mothers' ratings of parenting stress contribute significantly to their young children's internalizing behavior problems and only mothers' ratings of parenting stress and punitive parenting behavior contribute to their young children's externalizing behavior problems. Further, results also revealed that parenting stress fully mediates the relationship between the mother-child temperament match and young children's behavior problems. Such findings suggested that interventions would benefit from targeting parents' own temperamental characteristics and how these characteristics fit with the characteristics of their young children as well as from addressing the role that this match plays in predicting parenting stress and young children's emotional and behavioral problems.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Sciences
Psychology; Clinical Psychology
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences;Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic
Middleton, Melissa, "Match Between Parent and Child Temperament: Implications for Parenting Behaviors and Children's Behavior Problems" (2012). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 4820.