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Growth in temperament and parenting as predictors of adjustment during children's transition to adolescence.

by Liliana J Lengua
Developmental Psychology ()
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The author examined relations among demographic risk (income, maternal education, single-parent status), growth in temperament (fear, irritability, effortful control), and parenting (rejection, inconsistent discipline) across 3 years and the prediction of children's adjustment problems in a community sample (N=190; ages 8-12 years at Time 1). Family income was related to higher initial levels of fear, irritability, rejection, and inconsistency and lower effortful control but was not related to changes in these variables. Higher initial rejection predicted increases in child fear and irritability. Higher initial fear predicted decreases in rejection and inconsistency. Higher initial irritability predicted increases in inconsistency, and higher initial effortful control predicted decreases in rejection. When growth of parenting and temperament were considered simultaneously, increases in effortful control and decreases in fear and irritability predicted lower Time 3 internalizing and externalizing problems. Increases in rejection and inconsistent discipline predicted higher Time 3 externalizing, although sometimes the effect appeared to be indirect through temperament. The findings suggest that temperament and parenting predict changes in each other and predict adjustment during the transition to adolescence.

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