Parenting, attachment, temperament
Research has suggested that the differential experiences of children in the same family were often greater than those of children across different families. Although studies identified potential moderators (e.g., age, gender) associated with differential parenting, there has been less investigation of mediators. The current study examined attachment as a mediator in the relationship between differential parenting and parents' perceptions of their children. As part of this study, 132 culturally diverse mothers with children who ranged in age from 2- to 10-years rated how differently they treat their own children, their children's attachment, their parenting characteristics, and their children's functioning (i.e., temperament and emotional and behavioral functioning). Meditational and hierarchical regression analyses suggested the importance of examining both parenting characteristics as well as attachment variables in understanding how mothers rated both their older and younger children. In particular, results demonstrated that the parent-child attachment relationship is particularly important for older children in families with a younger sibling present. For younger siblings, this study corroborated existing research and found that punitive parenting was especially important in predicting parents' ratings of these children's emotional and behavioral functioning. These findings are particularly helpful for professionals working with families with multiple children and with parents who are reporting troubling behaviors in these children.
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Master of Science (M.S.)
College of Sciences
Psychology; Clinical Psychology
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Mcswiggan, Meagan, "Differential Parenting and Parents' Perceptions of their Children: Can Attachment Help Explain This Relationship?" (2015). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2004-2019. 1152.