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Date of Award
ASSOCIATIONS BETWEEN PARENTING STRESS, MOTHER-CHILD DYADIC INTERACTIVE BEHAVIOR, AND CHILD OUTCOMES: A STUDY OF DYADS
IN CONTEXTS DIFFERING IN STRESS
JORDAN L. BOEVE
Advisor: Dr. Marjorie Beeghly
Major: Psychology (Developmental)
Degree: Doctor of Philosophy
Early parent-child relationships are widely considered to have important implications for future child developmental and social-emotional outcomes (Kochanska et al. , 2008; Sansavini et al., 2015; Goffin et al., 2017). Although mother-child interactive behavior has been well-studied, gaps remain in the literature regarding whether dyadic interaction quality varies based on task context (i.e., stressful tasks vs. non-stressful tasks) (Dittrich et al., 2017). Dyadic interaction quality is likely to change based upon the structure and challenge of the task (Kwon et al.,2013; Lindsey et al., 2010). The current study investigated how parental perceptions of stress and single and cumulative demographic risks may impact dyadic interaction across three contexts that differ in structure and stress (free play, clean-up, and structured teaching task).
ANCOVAs were conducted to analyze dyadic reciprocity, conflict, and cooperation across the differing episodes. For reciprocity, there was no significant change between the two halves of free play, a steep decline during the clean-up, and a stable level of reciprocity during both teaching tasks. Conflict increased throughout all five contexts, however it increased most sharply from the second half of free play to the clean-up task. Cooperation declined throughout all five sessions. Dyads with girl children were more reciprocal, less conflictual, and more cooperative than dyads with boy children.
Contrary to expectations, parenting stress was not associated with any dyadic interaction quality variable. Demographic factors were related to more dyadic interaction quality variables than parenting stress. Dyads where a mother had higher levels of education were more likely to experience conflict during the clean-up task. Relatedly, maternal reports of cumulative risk positively predicted dyadic cooperation during both halves of the free play and dyadic reciprocity during the clean-up task. Relatedly, maternal reports of cumulative risk positively predicted dyadic cooperation during both halves of the free play and dyadic reciprocity during the clean-up task. Child sex was correlated with, and predicted, many dyadic interaction quality variables.
Parenting stress significantly predicted child social-emotional problems and competence. Maternal education significantly predicted child cognitive scores and child receptive language scores on the Bayley-III. Household income significantly predicted child social-emotional competence and parenting stress. Child sex significantly predicted cognitive skills and expressive language skills, being female predicted higher scores in both domains. Interestingly, and unexpectedly, no mediation models were significant to show mediation from dyadic interaction quality between parenting stress or demographic factors or child sex and child characteristics (cognitive scores, language skills, or social-emotional problems and competence). Implications, limitations, and future directions are discussed.
Boeve, Jordan Lynne, "Associations Between Parenting Stress, Mother-Child Dyadic Interactive Behavior, And Child Outcomes: A Study Of Dyads In Contexts Differing In Stress" (2018). Wayne State University Dissertations. 2014.