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07-10-2020 | Original Paper | Uitgave 12/2020

Journal of Child and Family Studies 12/2020

Do Parental Reflective Functioning and Parental Competence Affect The Socioemotional Adjustment Of Children?

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 12/2020
Auteurs:
Leire Gordo, Ana Martínez-Pampliega, Leire Iriarte Elejalde, Patrick Luyten
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Abstract

Parental reflective functioning refers to the parents’ ability to reflect on their children’s mental states, and is increasingly considered to be a key feature of competent parenting. However, to date, no study has empirically investigated this assumption. The main objective of the present study was therefore to investigate the mediating role of parental competence in the relationship between parental reflective functioning and children’s socioemotional adjustment. We also investigated whether these relationships were similar for mothers and fathers. The study was carried out in a sample of 433 mothers and 113 fathers of infants aged from 2 to 36 months. Participants had to complete the Spanish version of the Perceived Parental Competence Scale, the Parental Reflective Functioning Questionnaire and the Ages & Stages Questionnaire. Results showed, as expected, that parental competence mediated the association between parental reflective functioning and infants’ emotional adjustment. Multigroup analysis supported the invariance of the structural model across mothers and fathers. The implications of these results for pediatric and primary care are discussed.

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