What is it about?

Parenting behaviors are important for children’s healthy development, but we do not know a lot about the factors that drive these behaviors. This study investigated parenting warmth and discipline to see how differently parents treated siblings within families of 4-year-old twins to examine how parent personality traits and child temperament related to observed differences in parenting behaviors. We showed that parents generally gave similar levels of warmth to both children, but they treated children less similarly in terms of discipline, regardless of whether the twins were monozygotic or dizygotic. Within twin pairs, the child with higher temperamental effortful control received less discipline from parents than their co-twin. Also, parents who were high on agreeableness showed more warmth to both children.

Featured Image

Why is it important?

Parents experiencing difficulty in their parenting strategies or in their relationship with their child may benefit from better understanding the reasoning behind it, and clinicians may use this information to help parents in their parenting behaviors.


RLW: As a student of clinical child psychology who frequently works with parents struggling to find the best ways to respond to their children’s behaviors, I was very interested in understanding the qualities of both the parent and child that need to be considered in therapy. I hope that the information in this study can be helpful and thought-provoking to other clinicians, child development researchers, and, ultimately, the parents and caregivers we serve.

Lisabeth DiLalla
Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Parent versus child influences on differential parent warmth and discipline within twin pairs., Developmental Psychology, March 2024, American Psychological Association (APA),
DOI: 10.1037/dev0001737.
You can read the full text:



The following have contributed to this page