Mothers' (N = 106) ratings of rules and child compliance for their young children, and the effects of child temperament and mothers' justifications for rules on ratings of rules and compliance, were examined longitudinally at 14 and 24 months. Rules for young toddlers pertained primarily to safety, safeguarding property, interpersonal issues, and, as children got older, conventions. As expected, mothers endorsed moral justifications for interpersonal rules, prudential justifications for safety and property rules, and conventional and psychological justifications for conventions. Compliance increased significantly with age and was greater for property, safety, and interpersonal behaviors than for other issues. Parent-rated child temperament and harm justifications predicted mothers' ratings of rules and child compliance, and ratings of rules, compliance, and justifications demonstrated continuity over time.
Smetana, Judith G.; Kochanska, Grazyna; and Chuang, Susan
"Mothers' Conceptions of Everyday Rules
for Young Toddlers: A Longitudinal Investigation,"
Merrill-Palmer Quarterly: Vol. 46
, Article 2.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/mpq/vol46/iss3/2