To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Temperamental behavioral inhibition (BI) is a robust endophenotype for anxiety characterized by increased sensitivity to novelty. Controlling parenting can reinforce children's wariness by rewarding signs of distress. Fine-grained, dynamic measures are needed to better understand both how children perceive their parent's behaviors and the mechanisms supporting evident relations between parenting and socioemotional functioning. The current study examined dyadic attractor patterns (average mean durations) with state space grids, using children's attention patterns (captured via mobile eye tracking) and parental behavior (positive reinforcement, teaching, directives, intrusion), as functions of child BI and parent anxiety. Forty 5- to 7-year-old children and their primary caregivers completed a set of challenging puzzles, during which the child wore a head-mounted eye tracker. Child BI was positively correlated with proportion of parent's time spent teaching. Child age was negatively related, and parent anxiety level was positively related, to parent-focused/controlling parenting attractor strength. There was a significant interaction between parent anxiety level and child age predicting parent-focused/controlling parenting attractor strength. This study is a first step to examining the co-occurrence of parenting behavior and child attention in the context of child BI and parental anxiety levels.
Children of mothers with serious mental health difficulties are at increased risk of developing mental health difficulties themselves in their own lifetime. Specialist interventions delivered in perinatal mental health services offer an opportunity to support the infant's development and long-term mental health. This review aimed to systematically evaluate the shared elements of successful perinatal mental health interventions that underpin improved outcomes for infants whose mothers experience perinatal mental health difficulties. Nine electronic databases were searched comprehensively for relevant controlled studies of perinatal mental health interventions, and a narrative synthesis undertaken to assess whether statistically significant benefits were noted. Sixteen studies, trialing 19 interventions, were analyzed using a narrative approach and grouped according to reported effectiveness. Eight interventions demonstrated significant improvements in infant outcomes and/or mother–infant relationship outcomes and were used to inform the analysis of the included interventions’ components. While the interventions identified were diverse, there were common components which potentially underpin successful interventions for infants whose mothers are experiencing mental health difficulties, including: facilitation of positive Mother×Infant interactions; helping mothers to understand their infant's perspective or inner world; and the use of video feedback.
In an age of environmental crisis, ecological theologians call for the “ecological conversion” of humanity. This article, a work of practical theology, plays on the grammatical ambiguity of Mark 10:15, in which disciples are told to “receive the kingdom as a child,” to argue that ecological conversion is a twofold conversion to the child. One conversion is a turn to the well-being of children in an age of climate crisis, which involves an adult personal transformation into the role of caregiver—and thus greater maturity. The other conversion is a recovery of certain childlike capacities, including presence in the moment, interdependence in relationship, urgency, animism, and love of the small. The article draws on Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’, discussions of childhood by the nineteenth-century Protestant theologian Friedrich Schleiermacher, and contemporary explorations of children and childhood, including the author's own experience of caregiving with children.
Parents serve important functions in regulating children's responses to stress and challenge. However, the parental characteristics that modulate the effectiveness of parents as stress buffers remain to be fully characterized. To address this gap, this study examined parental characteristics and behaviors that may explain variation in parents’ ability to buffer cortisol responses to acute stress of 180 children (ages 9–11 years old, M = 9.9 years, SD = .58). Children were randomly assigned to either participate in a public speaking task, the Trier Social Stress Test – modified for children (TSST-M) or a control condition. Children in the TSST-M condition were randomly assigned to prepare for the public speaking task either with their parent (N = 59) or alone (N = 60), whereas 61 children were assigned to the control condition (no TSST-M). We found that parental education moderated the effect of condition on children's responses to acute stress. Children whose parents had lower levels of education exhibited reduced cortisol responses in the parent condition compared to the alone condition, showing a buffered pattern of reactivity. In contrast, children of parents with high levels of education displayed higher cortisol reactivity in the parent condition compared to the alone and control conditions. Parental education was also positively associated with higher levels of state anxiety within the parent condition. These results suggest that highly educated parents may emphasize performance over comfort, amplifying their children's state anxiety and cortisol responses to a public performance.
Experiencing poverty increases vulnerability for dysregulated hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis functioning and compromises long-term health. Positive parenting buffers children from HPA axis reactivity, yet this has primarily been documented among families not experiencing poverty. We tested the theorized power of positive parenting in 124 parent–child dyads recruited from Early Head Start (Mage = 25.21 months) by examining child cortisol trajectories using five samples collected across a standardized stress paradigm. Piecewise latent growth models revealed that positive parenting buffered children's stress responses when controlling for time of day, last stress task completed, and demographics. Positive parenting also interacted with income such that positive parenting was especially protective for cortisol reactivity in families experiencing greater poverty. Findings suggest that positive parenting behaviors are important for protecting children in families experiencing low income from heightened or prolonged physiologic stress reactivity to an acute stressor.
The focus of this Element is on the environment and how it is implicated in children's development.A very broad array of social and physical features connected to children's home life and to the neighborhoods where children live, including multiple aspects of parenting, housing characteristics and the increased prevalence of media in daily life are addressed.Attention is also given to the broader social, economic, and geographic contexts in which children live, such as neighborhood surroundings and conditions in less developed countries.There is a focus on how various aspects of the home context (e.g., crowding) and key parental characteristics, such as mental illness and substance abuse problems, affect the behavior of parents. Consideration also given to how various forms of chaos and instability present challenges for parents and children and how those circumstances are implicated in both children's development and caregiver behavior.
Parental autonomy and relatedness support are crucial aspects of parental involvement and address core psychological needs. Although parental autonomy support has been incorporated into successful prevention programs, broader preventive possibilities will be examined. Six parental autonomy support intervention studies have been conducted with mostly middle to high socioeconomic status (SES) students in the United States, Canada, and Italy, yielding positive effects on intrinsic motivation, emotions toward learning, engagement, altruism, and mental health. Although cross-sectional and longitudinal studies have indicated that parental autonomy support promotes positive outcomes among students across all SES levels and in diverse countries, it is time to assess whether parental autonomy support interventions are equally or more effective for youth of low-SES backgrounds, diverse ethnicities, and diverse nationalities. The specific components of parental autonomy support will be discussed, as well as the potential to integrate autonomy supportive parenting with other valuable aspects of parent involvement.
Multiple interventions have been developed to improve the caregiver–child relationship as a buffer to the effects of early life adversity and toxic stress. However, relatively few studies have evaluated the long-term effects of these early childhood interventions, particularly on parenting and childhood behaviors. Here we describe the early school-age follow-up results of a randomized controlled trial of Minding the Baby ® (MTB), a reflective, attachment-based, trauma-informed, preventive home-visiting intervention for first-time mothers and their infants. Results indicate that mothers who participated in MTB are less likely to show impaired mentalizing compared to control mothers two to eight years after the intervention ended. Additionally, MTB mothers have lower levels of hostile and coercive parenting, and their children have lower total and externalizing problem behavior scores when compared to controls at follow-up. We discuss our findings in terms of their contribution to understanding the long-term parenting and childhood socio-emotional developmental effects of early preventive interventions for stressed populations.
Each day more than three-quarters of a million adults around the world experience the joys and heartaches just as they do the rewards and fears of becoming parents to a newborn infant. Each infant is an individual, of course, as is each parent and each parent–infant dyad. Yet, parents and infants around the globe share a large number of commonalities. No matter their homeland, parents have the same responsibilities to guide their infants’ survival and success in life, and their infants have the same biological needs and must meet and succeed at the same developmental tasks and challenges. Although infancy encompasses only a small fraction of the life span, it is a period that parents the world over attend to and invest in. Parenting an infant is a 168-hour-a-week job. With good reason: Parenting responsibilities are arguably the greatest during the time of their child’s infancy because human infants are totally dependent on caregiving and their ability to cope alone is minimal.
To characterise the parenting priorities of mothers and fathers of infants hospitalised with CHD and generate recommendations to support parenting during infant hospitalisation.
Through online crowdsourcing, an innovative research methodology to create an online community to serve as a research sample, 79 parents of young children with CHD responded to questions about parenting during hospitalisation via private social networking site. Responses were analysed using qualitative research methods.
Three broad themes were identified: (1) establishing a bond with my baby, (2) asserting the parental role, and (3) coping with fear and uncertainty. Parents value provider support in restoring normalcy to the parenting experience during infant hospitalisation.
Care teams can support parenting during infant hospitalisation by promoting parents’ roles as primary caretakers and decision-makers and attending to the emotional impact of infant hospitalisation on the family.
Family meals promote healthful dietary intake and well-being among children. Despite these benefits, family meal participation typically declines as children age. This study utilises life course theory to explore parents’ perceptions of family meals in order to understand how parents’ past experiences with family meals (in childhood and earlier in adulthood) influence their current beliefs and practices regarding mealtimes with their own children.
Semi-structured qualitative interviews.
In-person interviews were conducted in participants’ homes.
Twenty families (twenty-one mothers and fifteen fathers) with a child aged between 18 months and 5 years.
Thematic analysis revealed that families seemed to primarily approach mealtimes from one of three overarching orientations: meals for (1) Togetherness, (2) Nutrition Messaging or (3) Necessity. These orientations were informed by parents’ own mealtime experiences and significant life transitions (e.g. parenthood). The current family meal context, including the messages parents shared with their children during mealtimes and the challenges experienced with mealtimes, characterised the orientations and families’ approaches to mealtimes.
Parents’ own early life experiences and significant life transitions influence why families eat meals together and have important implications for the intergenerational transmission of mealtime practices. Results may help to inform the content and timing of intervention strategies to support the continuation of frequent family meals beyond the preschool years.
Children adopted internationally experience adverse conditions prior to adoption, placing them at risk for problematic social–emotional development. The Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up (ABC) intervention was designed to help internationally adoptive parents behave in ways that promote young children's social–emotional competence. Participants included 131 parent–child dyads randomly assigned to receive either ABC (n = 65) or a control intervention (n = 66). In addition, 48 low-risk biologically related parent–child dyads were included as a comparison group. At follow-up assessments conducted when children were 24 to 36 months old, internationally adopted children who received the ABC intervention had higher levels of parent-reported social–emotional competence than children who received a control intervention. In addition, observational assessments conducted when children were 48 and 60 months of age showed that internationally adopted children who received ABC demonstrated higher social–emotional competence than children who received a control intervention. Adopted children who received the control intervention, but not the ABC intervention, displayed more difficulties with social–emotional competence than low-risk children. Finally, postintervention parent sensitivity mediated the effect of ABC on observed child social–emotional competence in parent interactions, controlling for preintervention parent sensitivity. These results demonstrate the efficacy of a parenting-focused intervention in enhancing social–emotional competence among children adopted internationally.
Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up (ABC) demonstrates efficacy in improving parent and child outcomes, with preliminary evidence for effectiveness in community settings. The objective of this study was to assess the effectiveness of a community-based ABC implementation in improving parent outcomes as well as to examine potential mediators and moderators of intervention effectiveness. Two hundred parents and their 5- to 21-month-old infants recruited from an urban community were randomly assigned to receive ABC or be placed on a waitlist. The majority of participants had a minority racial or ethnic background. Before intervention, parents completed questionnaires about sociodemographic risk and adverse childhood experiences. At both baseline and follow-up, parents reported depression symptoms and were video-recorded interacting with their infant, which was coded for sensitivity. The ABC intervention predicted significant increases in parental sensitivity and, among parents who completed the intervention, significant decreases in depression symptoms. Changes in parental depression symptoms did not significantly mediate the intervention effects on sensitivity. Risk variables did not moderate the intervention effects. The results indicate that ABC shows promise for improving parent outcomes in community settings, supporting dissemination.
Less is known about the relationship between conduct disorder (CD), callous–unemotional (CU) traits, and positive and negative parenting in youth compared to early childhood. We combined traditional univariate analyses with a novel machine learning classifier (Angle-based Generalized Matrix Learning Vector Quantization) to classify youth (N = 756; 9–18 years) into typically developing (TD) or CD groups with or without elevated CU traits (CD/HCU, CD/LCU, respectively) using youth- and parent-reports of parenting behavior. At the group level, both CD/HCU and CD/LCU were associated with high negative and low positive parenting relative to TD. However, only positive parenting differed between the CD/HCU and CD/LCU groups. In classification analyses, performance was best when distinguishing CD/HCU from TD groups and poorest when distinguishing CD/HCU from CD/LCU groups. Positive and negative parenting were both relevant when distinguishing CD/HCU from TD, negative parenting was most relevant when distinguishing between CD/LCU and TD, and positive parenting was most relevant when distinguishing CD/HCU from CD/LCU groups. These findings suggest that while positive parenting distinguishes between CD/HCU and CD/LCU, negative parenting is associated with both CD subtypes. These results highlight the importance of considering multiple parenting behaviors in CD with varying levels of CU traits in late childhood/adolescence.
Social anxiety symptoms (SAS) are among the most common mental health problems during adolescence, and it has been shown that parenting influences the adolescent’s level of social anxiety. In addition, it is now widely assumed that most mental health problems, including social anxiety, originate from a complex interplay between genes and environment. However, to date, gene–environment (G × E) interactions studies in the field of social anxiety remain limited. In this study, we have examined how 274 genes involved in different neurotransmission pathways interact with five aspects of perceived parenting as environmental exposure (i.e., support, proactive control, psychological control, punitive control, and harsh punitive control) to affect SAS during adolescence.
We have applied an analytical technique that allows studying genetic information at the gene level, by aggregating data from multiple single-nucleotide-polymorphisms within the same gene and by taking into account the linkage disequilibrium structure of the gene. All participants were part of the STRATEGIES cohort of 948 Flemish adolescents (mean age = 13.7), a population-based study on the development of problem behaviors in adolescence. Relevant genes were preselected based on prior findings and neurotransmitter-related functional protein networks.
The results suggest that genes involved in glutamate (SLC1A1), glutathione neurotransmission (GSTZ1), and oxidative stress (CALCRL), in association with harsh punitive parenting, may contribute to social anxiety in adolescence. Isolated polymorphisms in these genes have been related to anxiety and related disorders in earlier work.Conclusions: Taken together, these findings provide new insights into possible biological pathways and environmental risk factors involved in the etiology of social anxiety symptoms’ development.
Taken together, these findings provide new insights into possible biological pathways and environmental risk factors involved in the etiology of social anxiety symptoms’ development.
Creating Equality at Home tells the fascinating stories of 25 couples around the world whose everyday decisions about sharing the housework and childcare - from who cooks the food, washes the dishes, and helps with homework, to who cuts back on paid work - all add up to a gender revolution. From North and South America to Europe, Asia, and Australia, these couples tell a story of similarity despite vast cultural differences. By rejecting the prescription that men's identities are determined by paid work and women's by motherhood, the couples show that men can put family first and are as capable of nurturing as women, and that women can pursue careers as seriously as their husbands do - bringing profound rewards for men, women, marriage, and children. Working couples with children will discover that equality is possible and exists right now.
The purpose of this study was to advance the current understanding of the daily dynamics that are involved in raising a child with Cerebral Palsy (CP). Specifically, we examined the role of mindful parenting and of day-to-day variation in parents’ psychological needs and child behavior in explaining day-to-day variation in parents’ autonomy-supportive, psychologically controlling, and responsive parenting behavior. Parents (N = 58) of children with CP (Mage = 12.68 years) participated in a 7-day diary study. Multilevel analyses indicated that parents’ autonomy-supportive, psychologically controlling, and responsive behaviors fluctuate considerably between days. Further, daily fluctuations in both child behavior and parents’ own psychological needs were found to be associated with this daily variability in parenting. In addition, interindividual differences in mindful parenting were associated positively with parents’ responsiveness and negatively with psychologically controlling parenting across the week. These findings point towards the changeability of parenting behavior among parents of a child with CP and suggest that interventions targeting parenting behavior in the context of CP will be most effective when taking into account both the parents’ and the child's functioning.
Social anhedonia is well established as a transdiagnostic factor, but little is known about its development. This study examined whether temperament and parenting in early childhood predict social anhedonia in early adolescence. We also explored whether the relationships between early predictors and social anhedonia are moderated by a child's sex. A community sample of children participated in laboratory observations of temperament and parenting practices at age 3 (n = 275). The participants returned at age 12 and completed the Anticipatory and Consummatory Interpersonal Pleasure Scale–Child Version (ACIPS-C). Our results indicated that, at age 3, lower observed sociability predicted higher levels of social anhedonia at age 12. These associations were moderated by child sex, such that males with diminished sociability reported greater social anhedonia. These findings indicate that predictors of early adolescent social anhedonia are evident as early as 3 years of age. However, these effects were evident only for males, suggesting that the pathways to social anhedonia in early adolescence differ as a function of sex.
In addition to identifying important biological and psychosocial correlates of personality disorders, recent research has illuminated environmental and sociocultural factors that influence the development, expression, and maintenance of personality disorders. In particular, cross-national and cross-cultural comparisons indicate that the expression, meaning, and impact of specific personality traits and behaviors differ across gender roles, historical periods, and cultural and socioeconomic groups. Moreover, whereas interpersonal and attachment theories have historically underscored the importance of parent-child relationships, emotional attunement, and early childhood adversity in the formation and continuation of personality pathology, recent behavioral genetic studies suggest that unique, non-shared environmental influences account for as much or more variance in personality disorders as shared influences among family members. Additional sources of sociocultural and environmental influence on personality disorders include peer and romantic relationships. Increasingly, integrative theories highlight the importance of considering interactions and transactions across biological, psychological, and sociocultural systems in understanding the etiology of personality disorders. These theoretical and empirical advances have important implications for personality disorder research and clinical practice, and point to the potential utility of considering cross-cultural diagnostic validity when evaluating dimensional or categorical diagnostic models.
Recent research has emphasized the importance of within-person transactions between situational perceptions and borderline symptomatology. The current study extends current evidence by evaluating a broad range of situational perceptions and their transactions with borderline symptomatology across both private and professional contexts. Additionally, it explores whether early experiences of parental harsh punishment and emotional support during childhood, two well-established etiological factors in developmental theories of borderline symptomatology, influence the effect of daily situation perception in adulthood on borderline symptom presentation.
N = 131 young adults (Mage = 20.97, s.d.age = 1.64) completed end-of-day diaries of their borderline symptoms and perceptions of the home and school or work environment for 14 days. During their mid-childhood, reports of maternal strategies of harsh punishment and emotional support were collected.
Findings revealed that on the same day, borderline symptoms were associated with more negative and stressful, and less positive perceptions of both the private and professional context. Additionally, borderline symptoms predicted more negative and stressful perceptions of school/work on subsequent days. Finally, while early harsh punishment predicted overall increases in daily borderline symptoms 10 years later, emotionally supportive parenting in childhood predicted decreases in borderline symptom expression in less positive and more stressful contexts.
The current study points to the importance of managing BPD symptoms to reduce subsequent negative perceptions of the environment, and also indicates the relevance of exploring adult person-situation processes based on early parenting experiences.