The Influence of Complexity of Maternal Thoughts on Sensitive Parenting and Children's Social Responsiveness

Cynthia L. Miller-Loncar, Susan H. Landry, Karen E. Smith, Paul R. Swank

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study examined whether complexity in mothers' early thoughts of child development related directly to later child social responsiveness versus indirectly via maternal interactive behaviors. Two hundred eighty-seven families with a low socioeconomic status were evaluated longitudinally across 1, 2, and 41 2 years of age. The study included children known to vary in their early development to examine whether variability in children's early cognitive and perceptual-motor skills were also important in understanding mothers' parenting behaviors and children's later social responsiveness. As hypothesized, the influence of early maternal thoughts on children's later social responsiveness was indirect through its relation with mothers' warm sensitivity at 2 years of age, which showed a direct, positive influence on children's social responsiveness at 41 2 years of age. Although variability in children's early developmental skills did not directly influence their later social responsiveness, these skills did significantly predict mother's use of maintaining, which was significantly related to warm sensitivity. Results demonstrated the importance of a parent's ability to think complexly about children to understand the use of behaviors that promote more optimal social outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)335-356
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Applied Developmental Psychology
Volume21
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2000

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Parenting
Mothers
Maternal Behavior
Motor Skills
Aptitude
Child Behavior
Child Development
Social Class
Parents
social status
parents
ability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Education

Cite this

The Influence of Complexity of Maternal Thoughts on Sensitive Parenting and Children's Social Responsiveness. / Miller-Loncar, Cynthia L.; Landry, Susan H.; Smith, Karen E.; Swank, Paul R.

In: Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, Vol. 21, No. 3, 05.2000, p. 335-356.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Miller-Loncar, Cynthia L. ; Landry, Susan H. ; Smith, Karen E. ; Swank, Paul R. / The Influence of Complexity of Maternal Thoughts on Sensitive Parenting and Children's Social Responsiveness. In: Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology. 2000 ; Vol. 21, No. 3. pp. 335-356.
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