Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 23, Issue 5, pp 585–595 | Cite as

The effect of child negative affect on maternal discipline behavior

  • Elizabeth Harvey Arnold
  • Susan G. O'Leary


The effect of children's negative affect on maternal discipline behavior was evaluated in a sample of 39 children (19 to 41 months old) and their mothers. Mothers were randomly assigned to view a videotape that contained either a high level of child negative affect (NA) or no negative affect (NNA). After viewing the videotape, mothers were observed interacting with their own children in three tasks designed to elicit child misbehavior. Mothers in the NA condition displayed significantly greater overreactivity to child misbehavior; no significant difference in laxness was observed between the two groups of mothers. Children of mothers in the NA condition tended to display more misbehavior during the last two tasks of the interaction. Maternal negative affect received mixed support as one possible mediator of this effect.


Negative Affect Negative Affect Condition Mixed Support Child Misbehavior Discipline Behavior 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth Harvey Arnold
    • 1
  • Susan G. O'Leary
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologySUNY at Stony BrookStony BrookUSA

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