, Volume 25, Issue 3, pp 251-263

The Moderating Effects of Children's Fear and Activity Level on Relations Between Parenting Practices and Childhood Symptomatology

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Abstract

Parenting practices have been previously linked to childhood symptomatology. However, little consideration has been given to the potential effect of individual differences within the child on this relation. The current study assessed the moderating effects of children's activity level and fear on relations between parenting practices and childhood aggression and depressive symptoms using a sample of 64 fourth-, and fifth-grade boys. The findings showed that poorly monitored active boys and fearful boys who were exposed to harsh discipline exhibited high levels of aggression. Boys characterized by high fear who were exposed to harsh discipline or whose parents were extremely overinvolved showed elevated levels of depressive symptoms. These findings suggest that integrating children's individual differences with parenting models enhances our understanding of the etiology of childhood symptomatology. The intervention implications of such an integration are discussed.