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Parenting in the Digital Age

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According to a 2016 National Cyber Security Alliance survey, "30 percent of teens say their parents are 'not aware at all' or 'not very aware' of their online activities while 57 percent of parents surveyed admit that they are similarly

According to a 2016 National Cyber Security Alliance survey, "30 percent of teens say their parents are 'not aware at all' or 'not very aware' of their online activities while 57 percent of parents surveyed admit that they are similarly in the dark about what their kids are doing online." The Parenting in the Digital Age project (parentingdigitalage.com) aims to provide parents of high schoolers with information about the effects of internet and social media use on their children, as well as information on specific websites and apps their children are using. The goal of the project is to combine cyberpsychology research with journalistic techniques to create an informative, user-friendly website. Parents deserve clear and concise resources to help navigate parenting in the digital age, and this website will serve as one.

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Created

Date Created
2016-12

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Family systems in the context of child risk: an observational analysis

Description

Family plays an important yet understudied role in the development of psychopathology during childhood, particularly for children at developmental risk. Indeed, much of the research on families has actually concentrated more on risk processes in individual family members or within-family

Family plays an important yet understudied role in the development of psychopathology during childhood, particularly for children at developmental risk. Indeed, much of the research on families has actually concentrated more on risk processes in individual family members or within-family subsystems. In general, important and complex associations have been found among family-related constructs such as marital conflict, parent-child relationships, parental depression, and parenting stress, which have in turn been found to contribute to the emergence of children's behavioral problems. Research has begun to emerge that certain family system constructs, such as cohesion, organization, and control may influence children's development, but this research has been limited by a focus on parent-reports of family functioning, rather than utilizing observational methods. With notable exceptions, there is almost no observational research examining families of children at developmental risk. This study examined the longitudinal relations among family risk and family system constructs, as well as how family systems constructs mediated the relations between family risk and child outcome. Further, the study examined how developmental risk moderated these relations. The sample followed 242 families of children with and without developmental risk across the transition-to-school period. Family risk factors were assessed at 5 years, using parental reports of symptomatology, parenting stress, and marital adjustment, and observational assessments of the parent-child relationship. Family system constructs (cohesion, warmth, conflict, organization, control) were measured at age 6 using structured observations of the entire family playing a board game. Child behavior problems and social competence were assessed at age 7. Results indicated that families of children with developmental delays did not differ from families of typically developing children on the majority of family system attributes. Cohesion and organization mediated the relations between specific family risk factors and social competence for all families. For families of typically developing children only, higher levels of control were associated with more behavior problems and less social competence. These findings underscore the importance of family-level assessment in understanding the development of psychopathology. Important family effects on children's social competence were found, although the pathways among family risk and family systems attributes are complex.

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Created

Date Created
2012

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Early predictors of variations in children's emotion understanding: relations with children's disruptive behaviors

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The purpose of this study was to examine the longitudinal relations of maternal behaviors, children`s temperamental negative emotionality, and children`s emotion perception processes, including emotion perception accuracy (EPA) and emotion perception bias (EPB), to children`s conduct disorder symptoms in a

The purpose of this study was to examine the longitudinal relations of maternal behaviors, children`s temperamental negative emotionality, and children`s emotion perception processes, including emotion perception accuracy (EPA) and emotion perception bias (EPB), to children`s conduct disorder symptoms in a normative sample. Separate structural equation models were conducted to assess whether parenting or children`s proneness to negative emotions at 24-30 (T2), 36-42 (T3) and 48-54 (T4) months predicted children`s EPA and EPB over time, and whether T3 and T4 children`s emotion perception processes were predictive of children`s conduct disorder at 72 months of age (T5). None of the hypothesized longitudinal relations was supported; however, other noteworthy results were observed. T3 children`s proneness to negative emotions was positively related to children`s concurrent bias toward anger. The latent constructs of negative parenting, children`s proneness to negative emotions, and the observed measure of children`s emotion perception accuracy showed stability over time, whereas the observed measures of children`s bias toward understanding distinct negative emotions were unrelated across time. In addition, children`s expressive language was predicted by children`s earlier emotion perception accuracy, which emphasized the importance of improving children`s emotion understanding skills during early years. Furthermore, the previously established negative relation between EPA and EPB variables was only partially supported. Findings regarding the relations between parenting, children`s negative emotionality and emotion perception processes are discussed from a developmental perspective.

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Created

Date Created
2011

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The relations of household chaos to children's language development: the mediating roles of children's effortful control and parenting

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This study drew upon a bioecological framework to empirically investigate the relations between environmental chaos and preschoolers' language across time, including the potentially mediating roles of children's effortful control and parenting. Child sex also was examined as a moderator of

This study drew upon a bioecological framework to empirically investigate the relations between environmental chaos and preschoolers' language across time, including the potentially mediating roles of children's effortful control and parenting. Child sex also was examined as a moderator of these relations. For this study, the following data were collected at 30, 42, and 54 months of age. Household chaos and (at 30 months) socioeconomic status (SES) were reported by mothers. Children's effortful control (EC) was rated by mothers and nonparental caregivers, and was observed during a number of laboratory tasks. Maternal vocalizations were assessed during free play sessions with their children (at 30 and 42 months), and supportive and unsupportive parenting behaviors and affect were observed during free play and teaching tasks at each age. Mothers also reported on their own reactions to children's negative emotions. Finally, (at 54 months) children's expressive and receptive language was measured with a standard assessment. Structural equation modeling and path analyses indicated that SES at 30 months and greater levels of household chaos at 42 months predicted not only poorer language skills, but also deficits in children's EC and less supportive parenting in low-income mothers at 54 months, even when controlling for stability in these constructs. Children's effortful control at 42 months, but not parenting, positively predicted later language, suggesting that EC may play a mediating role in the relations between household chaos, as well as SES, and preschoolers' language abilities. Child sex did not moderate the pattern of relations. Post-hoc analyses also indicated that the negative relation between chaos and language was significant only for children who had low EC at 42 months. This study represents a much-needed addition to the currently limited longitudinal research examining environmental chaos and children's developmental outcomes. Importantly, findings from this study elucidate an important process underlying the links between chaos and children's language development, which can inform interventions and policies designed to support families and children living in chaotic home environments.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2012

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Activative fathering, children's self-regulation, and social skills

Description

This study investigated father-child Activation Theory and the impact of activative fathering on children's dysregulation and social skills. The sample followed 145 families of typically developing children across ages 4 to 6. Fathering and mothering behaviors were coded via naturalistic

This study investigated father-child Activation Theory and the impact of activative fathering on children's dysregulation and social skills. The sample followed 145 families of typically developing children across ages 4 to 6. Fathering and mothering behaviors were coded via naturalistic observations at child age 4, children's dysregulation was coded during a laboratory puzzle task at age 5, and children's social skills were rated by parents and teachers at age 6. Results found support for a constellation of activative fathering behaviors unique to father-child interactions. Activative fathering, net of mothering behaviors, predicted decreased behavioral dysregulation one year later. Support was not found for moderation of the relation between activative fathering and children's dysregulation by paternal warmth, nor was support found for children's dysregulation as a mediator of the relation between activative fathering and children's social skills. These results suggest that parenting elements of father-child activation are unique to fathering and may be more broadly observable in naturalistic contexts not limited to play activities alone. Additionally, activative fathering appears to uniquely influence children's self-regulatory abilities above and beyond identical mothering behavior. In the present work, paternal warmth was not a necessary for activative fathering to positively contribute to children's regulatory abilities nor did children's dysregulation link activative fathering to social skills.

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Created

Date Created
2014

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Genetic and environmental influences on parenting, sibling conflict, and childhood sleep in five-year-old twins

Description

Understanding how interpersonal relationships, such as parenting and sibling relationships, may contribute to early sleep development is important, as early sleep dysregulation has been shown to impact later sleep behavior (Sadeh & Anders, 1993), as well as cognitive and behavioral

Understanding how interpersonal relationships, such as parenting and sibling relationships, may contribute to early sleep development is important, as early sleep dysregulation has been shown to impact later sleep behavior (Sadeh & Anders, 1993), as well as cognitive and behavioral functioning (Gregory et al., 2006; Soffer-Dudek et al., 2011). In addition, twin studies provide an optimal opportunity to estimate genetic and environmental contributions to parenting, sibling relationships and child sleep, as they are influenced by both genetic and contextual factors. As such, the current thesis examined whether parental punitive discipline and sibling conflict were associated with child sleep duration, dysregulation and daytime sleepiness at 12 months, 30 months, and five years in a longitudinal sample of young twins recruited through birth records (Lemery-Chalfant et al., 2013). Mixed model regression analyses and quantitative behavioral genetic models (univariate and bivariate) were conducted to explore bidirectional relations and estimate genetic and environmental contributions to parental punitive punishment, sibling conflict and child sleep parameters. Sleep duration and dysregulation showed stability over time. Parental punitive discipline did not predict concurrent or future sleep parameters, nor were there bidirectional relations between punitive discipline and child sleep behaviors. Greater sibling conflict at five years was associated with shorter concurrent child sleep duration and greater daytime sleepiness, suggesting that sibling conflict may be a critical interpersonal stressor that negatively impacts child sleep. Shared environmental factors also accounted for the greatest proportion of the covariance between sibling conflict and sleep duration and daytime sleepiness at five years. These findings hold promise for sleep and sibling interaction interventions, including educating parents about fostering positive sibling relations and teaching caregivers to utilize specific parenting behaviors that may encourage better child sleep behaviors (e.g., establishing bedtime routines). Future studies should aim to understand the nuances of associations between family relationships (like punitive discipline and sibling conflict) and child sleep, as well as other explore person- and family-level factors, such as child negative emotions and parenting, that may influence associations between family relationships and child sleep.

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Created

Date Created
2015

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Parenting, Executive Function, and Children’s Emerging Emotional Intelligence

Description

The construct of adult emotional intelligence has gained increasing attention over the last 15 years given its significant socioemotional implications for the ability to label, understand, and regulate emotions. There is a gap, however, in understanding how emotional intelligence

The construct of adult emotional intelligence has gained increasing attention over the last 15 years given its significant socioemotional implications for the ability to label, understand, and regulate emotions. There is a gap, however, in understanding how emotional intelligence develops in children. Parenting is one of the most salient predictors of children’s behavior and the current study investigated its prospective link to children’s emotional intelligence. More preceisely, this study took a differentiated approach to parenting by examining the distinct contributions of maternal sensitivity and emotion socialization to children’s emotional intelligence. In addition, executive function, considered a “conductor” of higher-order skills and a neurocognitive correlate of emotional intelligence, was examined as a possible mechanism by which parenting influences emotional intelligence. Data were collected from 269 Mexican-American mother-child dyads during 2-year (parenting), 4.5-year (executive function), and 6-year (emotional intelligence) laboratory visits. Both parenting variables were assessed by objective observer ratings. Exeutive function and emotional intelligence were examined as latent constructs comprised of relevant parent-reported and objective measures. Due to a lack of adequate fit, the emotional intelligence variable was separated into two distinct latent constructs, emotion knowledge/understanding and emotion dysregulation. Results indicated that neither dimension of parenting was predictive of dimensions of emotional intelligence. On the other hand, children’s executive function was positively related to emotion knowledge. Finally, executive function did not emerge as a mediator of the relation between parenting and dimensions of emotional intelligence. Taken together, these findings highlight the need for a nuanced developmental and bioecological framework in the study of childen’s executive function and emotional intelligence.

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Created

Date Created
2020

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White Parents’ Color-Blind Racial Ideology and Implicit White Preference as Predictors of Children’s Racial Attitudes

Description

This study examined relations between White parents’ color-blind and implicit racial attitudes and their children’s racial bias as well as moderation by diversity in children’s friends and caregivers, parental warmth, child age, and child sex. The sample included 190 White/Non-Hispanic

This study examined relations between White parents’ color-blind and implicit racial attitudes and their children’s racial bias as well as moderation by diversity in children’s friends and caregivers, parental warmth, child age, and child sex. The sample included 190 White/Non-Hispanic children (46% female) between the ages of 5 and 9 years (M = 7.11 years, SD = .94) and their mothers (N = 184) and fathers (N = 154). Data used were parents’ reports of color-blind racial attitudes (Color-blind Racial Attitudes Scale; CoBRAS), parental warmth, and racial/ethnic diversity of children’s friendships and caregivers, direct assessment of primary parent implicit racial attitudes (Implicit Association Test; IAT), and direct assessment of children’s racial attitudes. Results supported hypothesized relations between parent racial attitudes and some child racial bias variables, especially under certain conditions. Specifically, both mothers’ and fathers’ color-blind racial attitudes were positively related to children’s social inclusion preference for White children over Black children and parents’ implicit White preference positively predicted child social inclusion racial bias, but only for younger children. Fathers’ color-blind racial attitudes positively predicted children’s social inclusion racial bias only when children’s pre-K caregivers were mostly White and were inversely related to children’s implicit White preference when children’s caregivers were more racially heterogeneous. Finally, parental warmth moderated relations such that, when mothers’ warmth was low, mother color-blind attitudes were negatively related to children’s racial bias in social distance preference and fathers’ color-blind attitudes positively predicted children’s social inclusion bias only when father warmth was low or average.

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Created

Date Created
2020

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The Role of Early Parenting Practices, Home Environment, and Children’s Regulation in Predicting Language Development in Emerging Bilingual Children

Description

The goal of this study was to illuminate areas of strength within a sample of Hispanic, Spanish-speaking children (n = 446) from the early head start research and evaluation project, a multi method, multi reporter longitudinal study that involved children

The goal of this study was to illuminate areas of strength within a sample of Hispanic, Spanish-speaking children (n = 446) from the early head start research and evaluation project, a multi method, multi reporter longitudinal study that involved children starting at 14-months through pre-kindergarten, with a 5th grade follow up assessment. A longitudinal path model examined relations between external factors (i.e., parent warmth and responsivity, home cognitive and language environment, child-directed speech), and internal factors (i.e., child self-regulation), and Spanish language before kindergarten, and English language at 5th grade. In addition to direct paths, indirect paths were included from external factors to language outcomes through self-regulation and Spanish language. After controlling for important demographic variables, analyses indicated that parents’ warmth and responsivity was directly related to children’s self-regulation and children’s English language proficiency in 5th grade. Home environment and self-regulation were directly related to children’s Spanish language proficiency. Children’s Spanish language proficiency was directly related to English language proficiency. Significant indirect effects emerged between parent warmth and responsivity to both Spanish and English language via children’s self-regulation. Results additionally evidenced significant indirect paths from home environment and self-regulation to English language through Spanish language. Direct paths between parent warmth/responsivity and Spanish language, home environment and English language, and child-directed speech and child regulation, Spanish language, and English language were not significant. Implications include current and future interventions targeted at bolstering parent-child interactions and regulation skills and to promote early educational programs supportive of both heritage and second languages.

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Created

Date Created
2021