Parental affect and childrearing beliefs uniquely predict mothers' and fathers' ratings of children's behavior problems

Matthew K. Mulvaney, Carolyn J. Mebert, Jacqueline Flint

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

The focus of this study was to examine the relations between parental characteristics and ratings of children's behavior problems. Although there is a considerable body of research that indicates that parental reports of children's behavior are biased by the characteristics of the parent, a number of limitations of past research have precluded definitive conclusions about the impact of individual characteristics. This study examined the role of parental affect and childrearing beliefs in determining parental ratings of child behavior in a selected sample of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development. A series of analyses was specified in which teachers' and co-parents' ratings were controlled to examine the unique associations between parental characteristics and ratings of child behavior. After controlling for the co-parents' and teachers' ratings, both mothers' and fathers' psychological characteristics uniquely contributed to variation in their ratings of children's behavior problems. The specific affective and childrearing belief variables that accounted for variation in parental ratings varied by parent sex and the broadband rating analyzed. These analyses indicate the role that rater-specific characteristics may play in determining parents' assessments of child behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)445-457
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Applied Developmental Psychology
Volume28
Issue number5-6
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2007
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Behavior problems
  • Parent mental health
  • Ratings
  • Traditional childrearing beliefs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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