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06-02-2020 | Original Paper | Uitgave 4/2020

Journal of Child and Family Studies 4/2020

Applying a Momentary Parenting Goal-Regulation Model to Discipline Episodes with Toddlers

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 4/2020
Auteurs:
Hua Lin, Kathy L. Ritchie, Robert E. Larzelere
Belangrijke opmerkingen
Publisher’s note Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Abstract

Objectives

The purpose of this study is to explore how momentary parenting goals vary by discipline episode-related factors, including type of child noncompliance, mothers’ attributions, maternal negative affect, episode duration, and disciplinary practices used.

Methods

This is a study of 105 mothers and their 17- to 31-month-old toddlers. Most mothers were interviewed first at the university laboratory and then by phone as soon as possible thereafter. They reported details of four turn-by-turn discipline episodes with their toddlers and then described their momentary parenting goals, attributions, and negative affect for each episode.

Results

Whether parenting goals were child- or parent-centered or were short- or long-term was rarely consistent across all four episodes and changed within 26% of the episodes. Changes in goals were more likely during long episodes, in response to whining or tantrums, when mothers were upset emotionally, and when they reported a combination of both dispositional and situational attributions during the episode. Mothers’ dispositional attributions predicted child-centered and long-term goals. Those goals, in turn, predicted increased use of reasoning and less use of physical power assertion and giving in. Child-centered goals also predicted less use of bribes/rewards and ignoring. Maternal negative affect was unrelated to momentary goal types. Hitting and passive noncompliance were marginally associated with child-centered and long-term goals.

Conclusions

The results in this exploratory study provide initial evidence about some antecedents and consequences of momentary parenting goals, which often change across and within discipline episodes with toddlers.

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