How toddlers' irritability and fearfulness relate to parenting : a longitudinal study conducted among Quebec families
Negative emotionality and parenting
Article [Accepted Manuscript]
Is part ofInfant and child development ; vol. 27, no. 2.
Although child difficult temperament is a well‐known risk factor for parenting quality, few studies have focused on the association between specific temperament dimensions and parental behaviours. This study focused on negative emotionality, one of the best‐accepted dimensions of temperament, and its subdimensions of irritability and fearfulness. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the predictive value of irritability and fearfulness at 17 months upon parenting practices (involvement, coercion, and overprotection) at 29 months, beyond the influence of other well‐known risk factors (e.g., socio‐economic status and maternal depression). The study used data from the Quebec Longitudinal Study of Child Development, a longitudinal study conducted upon 1,829 families from Quebec (Canada), using self‐report questionnaires and medical files. Structural equation modelling identified irritability as a predictor of coercion, an externally controlling practice, whereas fearfulness predicted overprotection, an internally controlling practice. No significant associations were found after modelling between dimensions of negative emotionality and involvement. These results underline how certain aspects of child temperament may differentially “pull for control” and lead parents to act in a certain way, which may thwart young children's development and need for autonomy. Highlights This article investigates the associations between negative emotionality (i.e., irritability and fearfulness) and parenting (i.e., involvement, coercion, and overprotection). Structural equation modelling was used on data collected during a longitudinal study with a representative sample of 2,223 families. Each dimension of negative emotionality was associated to a different form of controlling parenting 1 year later (i.e., irritability with coercion and fearfulness with overprotection).