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24-06-2019 | Original Paper

Expanding and Extending the Role Reversal Construct in Early Childhood

Auteurs: Amy K. Nuttall, Ruth Speidel, Kristin Valentino

Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Child and Family Studies | Uitgave 11/2019

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Abstract

Objectives

Role reversal or boundary dissolution (BD) refers to the breakdown of expected parent-child roles and poses risk to development. Although retrospective reports in adulthood demonstrate that the emotional aspects of BD negatively influence self-concept, examination of BD in early childhood typically focuses on BD broadly as a reversal of parent-child roles rather than isolating the emotional aspects of BD. In addition, empirical work has yet to distinguish between mother and child engagement in BD despite the strong theoretical emphasis on this distinction.

Methods

We coded (N = 110 mother-child dyads) mother and child (age 3–6 years) engagement in role reversal during play and in emotional BD during mother-child reminiscing discussions to isolate emotional BD.

Results

Child engagement in BD was associated across the contexts of play and mother-child emotional conversations whereas there was no association between maternal engagement in BD across these contexts. We examined associations between mother and child engagement in emotional BD and the extent to which child self-concept was consistent. Maternal engagement in emotional BD during reminiscing emerged as a significant predictor of less consistency in child self-concept in regression models including child engagement in emotional BD, role reversal in play, and child age.

Conclusions

Results provide empirical support for critical components of BD theory (e.g., salience of emotional BD, distinguishing parent versus child engagement in BD, impact on self-concept) and the measurement of these aspects of BD in future studies.
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Metagegevens
Titel
Expanding and Extending the Role Reversal Construct in Early Childhood
Auteurs
Amy K. Nuttall
Ruth Speidel
Kristin Valentino
Publicatiedatum
24-06-2019
Uitgeverij
Springer US
Gepubliceerd in
Journal of Child and Family Studies / Uitgave 11/2019
Print ISSN: 1062-1024
Elektronisch ISSN: 1573-2843
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-019-01490-w

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