The associations among mothers' observed behavior toward child, children's internal representations of the mother (IRMs), and children's behavior problems were examined. Eighty-two preschool children ranging in age from 38 to 55 months (M = 49.2) from a low socioeconomic status, their mothers, and their preschool teachers participated in the study. Mothers' observed behavior, and children's IRMs as revealed in their narratives, made a significant contribution in explaining behavior problems. Ambivalent maternal behavior characterized by inconsistent discipline and by negative touch had the highest unique predictive value in explaining behavior problems. Children with reported behavior problems reported significantly fewer appropriately disciplining IRMs. Only partial support was yielded for a model suggesting that appropriately disciplining IRMs mediate the association between ambivalent maternal behavior and child behavior problems. Findings are discussed in terms of the combined and differential contribution of maternal behavior and IRMs in explaining child behavior problems.
|Number of pages||18|
|Journal||Journal of Social and Personal Relationships|
|State||Published - Oct 2001|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science