What is it about?

A large body of research shows that parenting practices influence children’s and adolescents’ developmental outcomes. Yet, much remains unknown about the precursors of parenting practices and the intervening mechanisms by which parenting in infancy or toddlerhood transmit relatively long-term influence on self-regulatory, psychosocial, and academic functioning into early and middle childhood. Thus, the primary aims of this study were to test a theoretical model positing that child-rearing beliefs and parenting practices in toddlerhood are precursors to the development of children’s self-regulation in early childhood, with self-regulation serving as a mediating mechanism between parenting in toddlerhood and psychosocial and academic functioning in middle childhood/early adolescence. Results confirm that child-rearing beliefs are precursors to parenting practices, and both parenting practices and self-regulation are mediating mechanisms by which child-rearing beliefs are linked to youths’ psychosocial and academic outcomes. The results have implications for early parent education and parenting interventions, including public health approaches that have the potential for positive impacts on vulnerable children, youth, and families.

Featured Image

Why is it important?

Ethnoracially diverse families living in poverty are vulnerable to stress, discrimination, and adversities that can be ‘toxic’ to parenting and to a wide range of psychosocial and academic outcomes in youth. Our results contribute to our understanding of the processes and mechanisms by which early child-rearing values or beliefs in toddlerhood exert long-standing effects on children’s psychosocial and academic outcomes in middle childhood/early adolescence through parenting practices and through child self-regulation among ethnoracially diverse families living in poverty. In particular, there was evidence for the mediating role of self-regulation in predicting prosocial behaviors, and for the mediating role of parenting practices in predicting academic achievement. These findings highlight the long-term effects of child-rearing beliefs in toddlerhood have on youths’ psychosocial and academic outcomes. The results have implications for early parent education and parent training interventions, including public health approaches (e.g., mass media programs), that have potential for broad positive impacts on diverse and vulnerable families. Our findings suggest that targeting not only parenting practices or behaviors, but also parents’ values and beliefs associated with child-rearing, could be an efficacious approach for low-income families across different ethnoracial backgrounds. While some population-based parenting interventions have been demonstrated to be efficacious (Sanders, Markie-Dadds, Tully, & Bor, ) and can be highly cost-effective and time-efficient, public health approaches and parenting interventions that take into consideration families’ historical, socioeconomic, and cultural contexts are needed. Such interventions may ultimately maximize the likelihood of these programs reaching, and being embraced by, ethnoracially diverse and vulnerable families.

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Parenting beliefs and practices in toddlerhood as precursors to self-regulatory, psychosocial, and academic outcomes in early and middle childhood in ethnically diverse low-income families, Social Development, September 2018, Wiley,
DOI: 10.1111/sode.12306.
You can read the full text:



The following have contributed to this page