Explicit and implicit aspects of the mother-child relationship in middle childhood are thought to contribute to the development of child individuation in the context of close and protective relations. Implicit (nonverbal, procedural and non-conscious) aspects of the mother-child relationship were examined as predictors of children’s adjustment through the Joint Painting Procedure (JPP). A multi-method research design was implemented to assess the implicit interactions between mother and child in terms of mutual recognition and role confusion beyond the child’s temperament (effortful control) on a sample of 87 Jewish Israelis aged 9–12 and their mothers. The explicit aspects of the relationships were assessed on validated relationship questionnaires completed by both mothers and children. A high level of mutual recognition and a low level of role confusion as expressed in the Joint Painting Procedure were associated with better academic adaptation, and a low level of role confusion was associated with social adaptation. The implicit aspects predicted children’s adjustment beyond the measures of explicit aspects and temperament. These findings thus point to the importance of assessing and treating implicit aspects of relationships.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC part of Springer Nature.
- Implicit relationships
- Middle childhood
- Mutual recognition
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Life-span and Life-course Studies