Parenting Goals of Mothers and Fathers of Toddlers and Preschoolers and Mothers and Fathers of Adolescents

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Title: Parenting Goals of Mothers and Fathers of Toddlers and Preschoolers and Mothers and Fathers of Adolescents
Authors: Horvath, Catherine
Date: 2014
Abstract: Parenting is one of the most influential as well as modifiable factors influencing healthy child development (Grusec, 2011; Sanders, 2012). This dissertation includes two studies that were designed to broaden our understanding of parenting in developmental periods widely recognized to present parenting challenges: Study 1 focused on the toddler and preschool years (Crnic & Low, 2002; Kwon, Han, Jeon, & Bingham, 2013) and Study 2 focused on adolescence (Eisenberg et al., 2008; Laursen & Collins, 2009). Both studies involve analysis of data on self-reported parenting responses and parenting goals, as well as parent-rated child adjustment from community samples of mothers and fathers. In the first study parenting similarity in the parenting responses and parenting goals of mothers and fathers of toddlers and preschoolers were examined. As well, I examined whether these were linked to parents’ ratings of their children’s adjustment on the Child Behavior Checklist Preschool form (Achenbach & Rescorla, 2000). In addition, I examined whether there were differences between parenting situations involving child misbehaviour and child withdrawn behaviour. Participants were 148 families of children aged between 18 months and 60 months. Parenting similarity was found both for parenting responses and for parenting goals. However, neither similarity in parenting responses or parenting goals differed for situations involving child misbehaviour versus child withdrawn behaviour. Furthermore, parenting similarity in parenting responses and parenting goals were not found to be related to each other or to child adjustment. The second study was conducted with mothers and fathers of adolescents and was designed to extend on the work of Hastings and Grusec (1998). In this study I also examined parenting similarity in parenting responses and parenting goals. Participants were 285 parents of adolescents aged 14 to 17 years old (mothers n = 213, fathers n = 68, dyads n = 43). Parenting goals were influenced by characteristics of the situation, but not by parent or adolescent gender. Parenting goals were not related to parents’ ratings of their adolescent children’s adjustment on the Child Behavior Checklist School Age form (Achenbach & Rescorla, 2001). As in the first study, I found parenting similarity for parenting responses and parenting similarity for parenting goals, but the two types of similarity were not related to each other. The findings with respect to parenting goals indicate that there is insufficient evidence to justify future parenting goals studies given the limitations of the extant methodology for measuring them. Future parenting similarity studies that use statistical analyses, such as cluster analyses, that allow for the examination of the links between specific parenting similarity (e.g., having two parents that are authoritative vs. two that are authoritarian) and child adjustment hold promise for informing clinical practice with families.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/31750
http://dx.doi.org/10.20381/ruor-6509
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -
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