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14-08-2018 | Original Paper | Uitgave 12/2018

Journal of Child and Family Studies 12/2018

Mothers’ and Fathers’ Roles in Child Adjustment: Parenting Practices and Mothers’ Emotion Socialization as Predictors

Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 12/2018
Rebecca Y. M. Cheung, Courtney Boise, E. Mark Cummings, Patrick T. Davies


Grounded in a conceptual model of family processes underlying socioemotional development and a contextual model of parenting style, the present study addresses the associations between parenting practices, mothers’ emotion socialization, and child adjustment in middle childhood. A total of 217 families involving mothers, fathers, and 8-year-old children (101 boys, 116 girls) were recruited to participate in this study. Findings suggested that fathers’ inconsistent discipline and positive parenting practices predicted greater and fewer children’s adjustment problems, respectively, over and above the effect of mothers’ parenting practices. Mothers’ emotion discussion with children predicted children’s lower externalizing problems. Mothers’ emotion discussion further buffered the association between mothers’ inconsistent discipline and children’s internalizing problems, such that children exhibited fewer internalizing problems when mothers engaged in moderate to high levels of emotion discussion with children. Supporting family systems theory, both mothers’ and fathers’ parenting processes contributed to child development. These findings add to the literature by providing evidence for cumulative family asset and risk underlying child adjustment. Based on the findings, scholars and practitioners may consider adding more emotion-based components of parenting to existing interventions that focus on parenting discipline.

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