The main goal of this study was to more closely understand the direction of relations between maternal behavior and young children's defiance and committed compliance. We examined 256 mother–child dyads to explore developmental transactional relations between maternal assertive control, children's committed compliance, and children's defiance at 18 (T1), 30 (T2), and 42 (T3) months of age. After controlling for maternal gentle control, SES, and child sex, results showed parent effects for children's committed compliance, such that T1 maternal assertive control negatively predicted T3 committed compliance. Furthermore, toddlers’ behavior predicted T3 parenting; that is, toddlers’ T1 defiance positively predicted T3 maternal assertive control. Results of the present study indicate relatively long-term prediction (to 42 months) from both parent and child behaviors at 18 months of age, and the findings have implications for understanding the bidirectional and complex processes that account for young children's adaptive and maladaptive behaviors.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology