The study was done by researchers at the University of Minnesota and appears in the journal Child Development.
The researchers looked at more than 260 mothers and their children, following them from the children's birth until first grade. They assessed infants' difficult temperament as well as how they were parented between the first week and the sixth month of life, based on both observations and parent reports. When the children were 2 and a half and 3 years old, the researchers watched mothers with their children doing tasks that challenged the children and required assistance from the parents. Finally, when the children were in kindergarten and first grade, researchers asked moms and teachers to rate the children's behavior problems.
"Before the study, we thought it was likely the combination of difficult infant temperament and negative parenting that put parent-child pairs most at risk for conflict in the toddler period, and then put the children at risk for conduct problems at school age," according to Michael F. Lorber, a research scientist at New York University and lead author of the paper (Lorber was previously at the University of Minnesota). "However, our findings suggest that it was negative parenting in early infancy that mattered most." Negative parenting occurred when parents expressed negative emotions toward their children, handled them roughly, and so forth.
The researchers also found that it was conflict between moms and their toddlers that predicted later conduct problems in the children—and not just a high level of conflict, but conflict that worsened over time. And in a cyclical pattern, when moms parented their infants negatively, that resulted in their children showing high levels of anger as toddlers, which in turn caused more hostility from the moms.
By the same token, moms who parented their infants negatively also may have had angrier kids because these moms were more hostile toward their toddlers. Negative parenting in infancy appeared to set the stage for both moms and their kids being more hostile and angry during the toddler years, bringing out the worst in one another.
"The results of our study move beyond descriptive findings to explain the underlying process linking how mothers parent their children in infancy and the problems children have in early elementary school," Lorber adds.
The study's findings can inform the development of appropriate interventions that target negative parenting as early as 3 months to help prevent later conduct problems in children.
The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health.
Sarah Hutcheon | EurekAlert!
New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Disarray in the brain
18.12.2017 | Universität zu Lübeck
On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.
We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences
19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine
19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy