Parenting and Children’s Aggression: The Role of Self-Regulation Kim Jordan, Morgan McNally Christian Shelton, Margaret La...
The problem of  childhood aggression <ul><li>Children who are aggressive toward peers are at risk for long-term failure in...
The problem of  childhood aggression: Causes <ul><li>Parents serve as models of social interactions for young children. Ch...
The Proposed Model <ul><li>Parenting </li></ul>Child Aggression
The problem of  childhood aggression: Causes <ul><li>Does harsh parent behavior  directly  cause child aggression? If so, ...
The problem of  childhood aggression: Causes <ul><li>Does harsh parent behavior  directly  cause child aggression? If so, ...
What is self-regulation? <ul><li>Closely monitoring and carefully adjusting experiences of and reactions to challenging si...
Parenting shapes  children’s self-regulation <ul><li>Parenting is known to influence many aspects of children’s self-regul...
Parenting shapes  children’s self-regulation <ul><li>So, perhaps children’s emotional and behavioral dysregulation is the ...
Impact of Self-regulation  on Child Aggression <ul><li>In fact, children’s inability to regulate their emotions and behavi...
Self-regulation as a Mediator <ul><li>Given this body of research, we proposed that parenting impacts child aggression  in...
The Proposed Mediation Model <ul><li>Parenting </li></ul>Child Aggression Self-Regulation
Methods: Participants <ul><li>92 children and one of their parents, recruited from child protective services </li></ul><ul...
Methods: Constructs & Measures IV  Parenting Mediator  Self-Regulation DV  Child Aggression
Constructs & Measures <ul><li>Parent Behavior   </li></ul><ul><li>Parenting was observed during 30 minute parent-child int...
Constructs & Measures <ul><li>Parent Behavior   </li></ul><ul><li>Parenting was also measured by parent report of their us...
Constructs & Measures <ul><li>Child Self-Regulation   </li></ul><ul><li>Children were asked to complete a puzzle inside a ...
Constructs & Measures <ul><li>Child Aggression   </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers completed the  Teacher Report Form  (TRF) of t...
Constructs & Measures <ul><li>Child Aggression   </li></ul><ul><li>Children were observed for 30 minutes on the school pla...
Results <ul><li>Parental regard was an important predictor of childhood aggression </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Parental negative...
Results <ul><li>Likewise Poor Self-Regulation Predicted Aggression </li></ul><ul><li>One measure of self regulation (time ...
Results <ul><li>However, the relations between parenting style and self-regulation do not support the mediational model </...
RESULTS Correlations Between Measures *  p  < .05;  **  p < .01
Discussion A relation between parenting patterns and child aggression appears. A relation between self-regulation and chil...
Discussion <ul><li>This sample was taken from Child Protective Services which limits the ability of this study to generali...
Questions Are there any questions?? Step Variable Model  R 2 B t p 1 Child Adjustment 0.052 -0.22 -1.85 0.068 2 Child Adju...
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Parenting and Children’s Aggression: The Role of Self-Regulation

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Carolina\'s Pyschological Conference April 2010

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Parenting and Children’s Aggression: The Role of Self-Regulation

  1. 1. Parenting and Children’s Aggression: The Role of Self-Regulation Kim Jordan, Morgan McNally Christian Shelton, Margaret Laney Katie Proffit Department of Psychology North Carolina State University Carolinas Psychology Conference, 2010
  2. 2. The problem of childhood aggression <ul><li>Children who are aggressive toward peers are at risk for long-term failure in many domains of functioning. </li></ul><ul><li>Specifically, aggressive children tend to experience: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Peer rejection </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>School drop out </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Involvement in delinquent behavior </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Substance use and abuse </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Depression & other mental health problems </li></ul></ul><ul><li>To successfully prevent childhood aggression, we must have a good understanding of the causes of children’s aggressive behavior. </li></ul>
  3. 3. The problem of childhood aggression: Causes <ul><li>Parents serve as models of social interactions for young children. Children learn how to interact with others from watching their parents. </li></ul><ul><li>Parents who are harsh are likely to have children who imitate that aggressive style with peers. </li></ul><ul><li>In contrast, children of sensitive and responsive parents are less likely to be aggressive; those children are more prosocial with peers. </li></ul><ul><li>Walters, R.H., Brown, M. (1963). Studies of reinforcement of aggression: III. Transfer of responses to an interpersonal situation. Child Development, 34 (3), 563-571. </li></ul>
  4. 4. The Proposed Model <ul><li>Parenting </li></ul>Child Aggression
  5. 5. The problem of childhood aggression: Causes <ul><li>Does harsh parent behavior directly cause child aggression? If so, we should develop interventions to reduce harsh parenting and increase sensitive parenting. </li></ul><ul><li>Or… does parenting impact children’s social competence indirectly through the influence of parent behavior on some other variable that leads to aggression? </li></ul>
  6. 6. The problem of childhood aggression: Causes <ul><li>Does harsh parent behavior directly cause child aggression? If so, we should develop interventions to reduce harsh parenting and increase sensitive parenting. </li></ul><ul><li>Or… does parenting impact children’s social competence indirectly through the influence of parent behavior on some other variable that leads to aggression? </li></ul><ul><li>What could that variable be? </li></ul><ul><li>Perhaps it is children’s self-regulatory abilities. </li></ul>
  7. 7. What is self-regulation? <ul><li>Closely monitoring and carefully adjusting experiences of and reactions to challenging situations. Examples of these challenges are a disappointment, a difficult test, or a peer provocation. </li></ul><ul><li>The process of acquiring self-regulation of emotion and behavior is critical in children’s development. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Parenting shapes children’s self-regulation <ul><li>Parenting is known to influence many aspects of children’s self-regulation, including: </li></ul><ul><li>Encoding social cues </li></ul><ul><li>Understanding consequences of one’s behavior </li></ul><ul><li>Selective attention </li></ul><ul><li>Sustained attention </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to shift focus </li></ul><ul><li>Affect regulation </li></ul><ul><li>Behavioral inhibition </li></ul><ul><li>Lansford, J.E., Dodge, K.A., Pettit, G.S., Criss, M.M., Shaw, D.S., Bates, J.E. (2009). Trajectories of physical discipline: Early childhood antecedents and developmental outcomes. Child Development, 80 (5), 1385-1402. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Parenting shapes children’s self-regulation <ul><li>So, perhaps children’s emotional and behavioral dysregulation is the most important target of intervention for programs designed to address child aggression. </li></ul><ul><li>Programs to change parenting might be secondary. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Impact of Self-regulation on Child Aggression <ul><li>In fact, children’s inability to regulate their emotions and behavior is associated with many aspects of maladjustment, including: </li></ul><ul><li>Low academic achievement </li></ul><ul><li>Depression & low self-esteem </li></ul><ul><li>Substance abuse </li></ul><ul><li>AND…high rates of aggression toward peers. </li></ul><ul><li>Baumrind, D., & Black, A.E. (1967). Socialization practices associated with dimensions of competence in preschool boys and girls. Child Development, 38, 291-327. </li></ul><ul><li>Lasky, M.R. (1993). Family genesis of aggression. Psychiatric Annals, 23, 494-499. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Self-regulation as a Mediator <ul><li>Given this body of research, we proposed that parenting impacts child aggression indirectly , through the influence of parenting behavior on children’s self-regulation. </li></ul><ul><li>In other words, we expected that self-regulation would mediate the relation between parenting and child aggression. </li></ul>
  12. 12. The Proposed Mediation Model <ul><li>Parenting </li></ul>Child Aggression Self-Regulation
  13. 13. Methods: Participants <ul><li>92 children and one of their parents, recruited from child protective services </li></ul><ul><li>95% mothers; Mean age = 32.7 yrs </li></ul><ul><li>62% boys; Mean age = 5.38 yrs </li></ul><ul><li>71% African American </li></ul><ul><li>Full range of SES; 60% at lowest levels </li></ul><ul><li>levels </li></ul>
  14. 14. Methods: Constructs & Measures IV Parenting Mediator Self-Regulation DV Child Aggression
  15. 15. Constructs & Measures <ul><li>Parent Behavior </li></ul><ul><li>Parenting was observed during 30 minute parent-child interactions in the lab setting (Cox 1997) . </li></ul><ul><li>Rating scale = 1-7 on each dimension. High inter-rater agreement. </li></ul><ul><li>Dimensions include: </li></ul><ul><li>Positive regard for the child </li></ul><ul><li>Sensitivity to child’s needs and signals </li></ul><ul><li>Negative regard for the child </li></ul>
  16. 16. Constructs & Measures <ul><li>Parent Behavior </li></ul><ul><li>Parenting was also measured by parent report of their use of harsh disciplinary strategies (e.g., slap, hit, push, grab, shake). </li></ul>Conflict Tactics Scale (Straus, 1990). Possible range of scores is 11-33, with higher scores representing more frequent use of harsh discipline.
  17. 17. Constructs & Measures <ul><li>Child Self-Regulation </li></ul><ul><li>Children were asked to complete a puzzle inside a box (Eisenberg et al, 2001) . They were told to insert their arms through holes in the front of the box to work on the puzzle. Also told not to peek in the box. </li></ul><ul><li>Indicators of self-regulation include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>% of time (seconds) actively working on the puzzle </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>% of time cheating </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Number of cheating strategies used (range = 0-5) </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Constructs & Measures <ul><li>Child Aggression </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers completed the Teacher Report Form (TRF) of the Child Behavior Checklist (Achenbach, 1991) . TRF scales used in this study included: </li></ul><ul><li>Aggression </li></ul><ul><li>Externalizing Problems </li></ul>
  19. 19. Constructs & Measures <ul><li>Child Aggression </li></ul><ul><li>Children were observed for 30 minutes on the school playground during recess. Observers coded the occurrence of Aggression by the target child. </li></ul><ul><li>Inter-observer agreement was excellent (kappa = .94). </li></ul>
  20. 20. Results <ul><li>Parental regard was an important predictor of childhood aggression </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Parental negative regard for a child is positively correlated with childhood aggression as reported by teachers. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Positive regard for the child is negatively correlated with observed child aggression </li></ul></ul>Step Variable Model R 2 B t p 1 Child Adjustment 0.052 -0.22 -1.85 0.068 2 Child Adjustment 0.403 -0.08 -0.82 0.413 Parental psychological distress 0.34 3.10 0.003 Parental tolerance 0.38 3.37 0.001 Step Variable Model R 2 B t p 1 Child Adjustment 0.052 -0.22 -1.85 0.068 2 Child Adjustment 0.403 -0.08 -0.82 0.413 Parental psychological distress 0.34 3.10 0.003 Parental tolerance 0.38 3.37 0.001 Step Variable Model R 2 B t p 1 Child Adjustment 0.052 -0.22 -1.85 0.068 2 Child Adjustment 0.403 -0.08 -0.82 0.413 Parental psychological distress 0.34 3.10 0.003 Parental tolerance 0.38 3.37 0.001
  21. 21. Results <ul><li>Likewise Poor Self-Regulation Predicted Aggression </li></ul><ul><li>One measure of self regulation (time spent cheating) was positively correlated with a measure of aggression (teacher’s report of externalizing) </li></ul><ul><li>Percent of time spent cheating also was positively related to child aggressive behavior as reported by teachers. </li></ul>
  22. 22. Results <ul><li>However, the relations between parenting style and self-regulation do not support the mediational model </li></ul><ul><li>The conflict tactics scale presented a inverse relationship with observed aggression: a higher rating on the conflict tactics scale indicated less observed aggression. </li></ul><ul><li>Parental sensitivity presented an inverse relationship with percent of time spent on task. </li></ul><ul><li>The other measures of parenting style and self-regulation were not significantly correlated. </li></ul>
  23. 23. RESULTS Correlations Between Measures * p < .05; ** p < .01
  24. 24. Discussion A relation between parenting patterns and child aggression appears. A relation between self-regulation and child aggression appears as well. Parenting may interact with the relationship between self-regulation and aggression opening up an opportunity for future research. Step Variable Model R 2 B t p 1 Child Adjustment 0.052 -0.22 -1.85 0.068 2 Child Adjustment 0.403 -0.08 -0.82 0.413 Parental psychological distress 0.34 3.10 0.003 Parental tolerance 0.38 3.37 0.001 Step Variable Model R 2 B t p 1 Child Adjustment 0.052 -0.22 -1.85 0.068 2 Child Adjustment 0.403 -0.08 -0.82 0.413 Parental psychological distress 0.34 3.10 0.003 Parental tolerance 0.38 3.37 0.001 Step Variable Model R 2 B t p 1 Child Adjustment 0.052 -0.22 -1.85 0.068 2 Child Adjustment 0.403 -0.08 -0.82 0.413 Parental psychological distress 0.34 3.10 0.003 Parental tolerance 0.38 3.37 0.001
  25. 25. Discussion <ul><li>This sample was taken from Child Protective Services which limits the ability of this study to generalize to the public. </li></ul><ul><li>Only one measure was used to construct an understanding of a child’s overall self-regulation. </li></ul>
  26. 26. Questions Are there any questions?? Step Variable Model R 2 B t p 1 Child Adjustment 0.052 -0.22 -1.85 0.068 2 Child Adjustment 0.403 -0.08 -0.82 0.413 Parental psychological distress 0.34 3.10 0.003 Parental tolerance 0.38 3.37 0.001 Step Variable Model R 2 B t p 1 Child Adjustment 0.052 -0.22 -1.85 0.068 2 Child Adjustment 0.403 -0.08 -0.82 0.413 Parental psychological distress 0.34 3.10 0.003 Parental tolerance 0.38 3.37 0.001 Step Variable Model R 2 B t p 1 Child Adjustment 0.052 -0.22 -1.85 0.068 2 Child Adjustment 0.403 -0.08 -0.82 0.413 Parental psychological distress 0.34 3.10 0.003 Parental tolerance 0.38 3.37 0.001

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