Child temperamental anger, mother–child interactions, and socio-emotional functioning at school entry
Temperamental anger and child functioning
Article [Accepted Manuscript]
Is part ofEarly childhood research quarterly ; vol. 47, pp. 30-38.
This study investigated the role of temperamental anger in toddlerhood in the prediction of child socio-emotional functioning at school entry and the moderating function of mother–child interactions in these predictive associations. The sample included 86 children. To assess child temperamental anger, mothers and fathers completed the Anger proneness scale of the Toddler Behavior Assessment Questionnaire when children were aged 2 years. The quality of mother–child interactions was also assessed when children were 2 years old with the Mutually Responsive Orientation scale. Child internalizing, externalizing and prosocial behaviors were reported by parents in kindergarten and first grade with the Child Behavior Checklist and the Socio-Affective Profile. The results indicated that anger proneness predicted higher internalizing and externalizing behavior, and lower prosocial behavior. In the case of internalizing behavior, the effect of anger was qualified by an interaction with the quality of mother–child interaction: anger proneness predicted higher internalizing behavior only among children who had higher-quality interactions with their mothers. These findings suggest that simultaneous consideration of temperament and parent–child relationships early on in development may help identify children at risk for experiencing adjustment difficulties at school entry, allowing for prompt intervention before difficulties crystallize.