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01-10-2011 | Uitgave 7/2011

Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 7/2011

Prospective Relations Among Fearful Temperament, Protective Parenting, and Social Withdrawal: The Role of Maternal Accuracy in a Moderated Mediation Framework

Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology > Uitgave 7/2011
Elizabeth J. Kiel, Kristin A. Buss
Belangrijke opmerkingen
The project from which these data were derived was supported by a National Research Service Award from the National Institute of Mental Health (F31 MH077385) granted to Elizabeth Kiel, and a grant to Kristin Buss from the National Institute of Mental Health (R01 MH075750). We reported a portion of these results at the biennial conference for the Society for Research in Child Development in Denver, CO (March, 2009). We express our appreciation to the families and toddlers who participated in this project.


Early social withdrawal and protective parenting predict a host of negative outcomes, warranting examination of their development. Mothers’ accurate anticipation of their toddlers’ fearfulness may facilitate transactional relations between toddler fearful temperament and protective parenting, leading to these outcomes. Currently, we followed 93 toddlers (42 female; on average 24.76 months) and their mothers (9% underrepresented racial/ethnic backgrounds) over 3 years. We gathered laboratory observation of fearful temperament, maternal protective behavior, and maternal accuracy during toddlerhood and a multi-method assessment of children’s social withdrawal and mothers’ self-reported protective behavior at kindergarten entry. When mothers displayed higher accuracy, toddler fearful temperament significantly related to concurrent maternal protective behavior and indirectly predicted kindergarten social withdrawal and maternal protective behavior. These results highlight the important role of maternal accuracy in linking fearful temperament and protective parenting, which predict further social withdrawal and protection, and point to toddlerhood for efforts of prevention of anxiety-spectrum outcomes.

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