This study examined the array of associations among the emotional valence and the coherence of mothers’ representations of their relationship with their toddlers, mothers’ reported parenting stress, and toddlers’ internalizing and externalizing behaviors. To evaluate maternal representations, 55 mothers were interviewed using the Five Minute Speech Sample procedure (FMSS; Magaña et al., 1986), which was coded for criticism and positive comments (Magaňa-Amato, 1993), as well as coherence (Sher-Censor & Yates, 2015). Mothers also completed the Parenting Stress Index − Short Form (PSI; Abidin, 1997) to evaluate their parenting stress and the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL/1.5–5; Achenbach & Rescorla, 2000) to assess their toddlers’ internalizing and externalizing behaviors. Results indicated that parenting stress was associated with maternal criticism and fewer positive comments in the FMSS, but not with the coherence of mothers’ FMSS. Parenting stress, criticism, and lower coherence in the FMSS were associated with maternal reports of externalizing behaviors. Only parenting stress and lower coherence in the FMSS were related to mothers’ reports of internalizing behaviors of the child. Thus, the emotional valence and the coherence of mothers’ representations of their relationship with their child and parenting stress may each constitute a distinct aspect of parenting and contribute to the understanding of individual differences in toddlers’ internalizing and externalizing behaviors. Implications for research and practice with families of toddlers are discussed.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Infant Behavior and Development|
|State||Published - Feb 2018|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by the Anita Morewitz foundation through the Schwartz Graduate Program in Early Childhood Studies at Hebrew University of Jerusalem. We express our sincere gratitude to the parents who participated in this research.
© 2017 Elsevier Inc.
- Expressed emotion
- Five minute speech sample
- Parenting stress
- Toddlers’ internalizing and externalizing behaviors
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology