The Associations of Positive and Negative Parenting with Executive Functioning Outcomes During Middle Childhood: Moderation by Early Life Socioeconomic Status
Executive functioning (EF) is the cognitive processing of goal-oriented actions that are predictive of important life functioning skills. Middle childhood is an important time for academic achievement and social development. Positive and negative parenting practices were examined in the prediction of several child executive functioning outcomes in middle childhood, this thesis further examined whether early life socioeconomic status moderated such associations. This sample consisted of 708 twins (32% monozygotic, 36% same-sex dizygotic, and 32% opposite-sex dizygotic) with ethnically and socioeconomically diverse backgrounds at two age points, 12 months old (M = 12.5 months, SD = 1.06) and 8 years old (M = 8.41, SD = .40).There was a significant negative main effect between negative parenting and CPT. Further, positive parenting interacted with SES to predict CPT and Digit Span Forward. A significant positive effect was identified between positive parenting and CPT in low SES families, but not high SES families. Interestingly, greater positive parenting was associated with lower Digit Span Forward in high SES families, but not low SES families. These findings suggest that while negative parenting was associated with worse EF across the entire sample, the relationship between positive parenting practices and executive functioning outcomes differed based on early life socioeconomic status. Future research should examine whether various domains of executive functioning may follow different developmental patterns.