Does early responsive parenting have a special importance for children's development or is consistency across early childhood necessary?

S. H. Landry, K. E. Smith, P. R. Swank, M. A. Assel, S. Vellet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

337 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The role of early versus ongoing maternal responsiveness in predicting cognitive and social development was examined in home visits for mothers, full-term children (n = 103), and medically low-risk (n = 102) and high-risk (n = 77) preterm children at 5 ages. There were 4 maternal clusters based on warm and contingent responsiveness behaviors observed early (at 6, 12, and 24 months) and late (at 3 and 4 years): high early, high late; high early, low late; low early, moderate late; and low early, low late. Children, especially preterm children, showed faster cognitive growth when mothers were consistently responsive. Social growth was similar in the consistently responsive (high-high) and the early-responsive inconsistent (high-low) clusters, but greater deceleration at 4 years among children with mothers in the inconsistent cluster refuted the notion of a unique role for early responsiveness. The importance of consistent responsiveness, defined by an affective-emotional construct, was evident even when a broader constellation of parenting behaviors was considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-403
Number of pages17
JournalDevelopmental Psychology
Volume37
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001

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Parenting
Child Development
childhood
Mothers
House Calls
Deceleration
cognitive development
Growth
social development

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Does early responsive parenting have a special importance for children's development or is consistency across early childhood necessary? / Landry, S. H.; Smith, K. E.; Swank, P. R.; Assel, M. A.; Vellet, S.

In: Developmental Psychology, Vol. 37, No. 3, 2001, p. 387-403.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Landry, S. H. ; Smith, K. E. ; Swank, P. R. ; Assel, M. A. ; Vellet, S. / Does early responsive parenting have a special importance for children's development or is consistency across early childhood necessary?. In: Developmental Psychology. 2001 ; Vol. 37, No. 3. pp. 387-403.
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