Advertisement

Mothers Affiliated with a Positive Parenting Program Report Rearing their Children Differently

  • Margaret M. SmithEmail author
  • George W. Holden
Original Paper
  • 25 Downloads

Abstract

Objectives

An orientation to child rearing, ambiguously labeled “positive parenting,” has proliferated in the popular literature. It differs in philosophy from mainstream child-rearing practices and most contemporary parent education programs by espousing a relationship-oriented, child-centered, and punishment-free approach. However, the approach lacks empirical evidence. In this study, we investigated one prominent positive parenting program, named Attachment Parenting International (API). Three claims the program makes were examined concerning parental warmth, disciplinary practices, and child adjustment. Along those lines, we predicted API parents would report engaging in warmer parent-child interactions, use more non-coercive discipline, and use less coercive discipline with their children than other parents. We also expected that API parents would report fewer child adjustment problems than comparison mothers.

Methods

A total of 593 mothers of 3- to 10-year-old children participated in the online study about their parenting practices and their children’s behavior. Three hundred and sixty participants self-identified as being API mothers; 233 mothers were recruited from Mechanical Turk.

Results

As expected, the API mothers reported significantly warmer mother-child relationships and engaging in more non-coercive discipline but less coercive discipline than the matched comparison mothers. However, there were no significant group differences on children’s adjustment problems. Nevertheless, API membership moderated two of the six regression analyses. API mothers’ use of warmth was associated with fewer internalizing symptoms than the comparison mothers. Additionally, API mothers’ use of non-coercive discipline was linked to fewer child externalizing symptoms than the comparison group.

Conclusions

Mothers affiliated with API indicated they engaged in childrearing behavior that was inline with the teachings of the program. An addition, API involvement moderated two of the relations be parenting and child behavior problems. Consequently, this study provides some of the first empirical evidence about how affiliation with a positive parenting organization is related to childrearing behavior as well as child behavior. Observational and prospective studies are needed to more thoroughly examine the relations between positive parenting programs, child-rearing behavior, and child adjustment.

Keywords

Attachment Parenting Positive parenting Discipline Child adjustment 

Notes

Author Contributions

MS assisted with study design, executed study, analyzed data, and wrote paper. GH assisted with study design and assisted in the writing and editing of the final manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were approved by the Southern Methodist University IRB committee in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

References

  1. Adler, A. (1930). Guiding the child: On the principles of individual psychology (B. Ginzburg, Trans.). New York, NY: Greenberg Publisher.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Arnall, J. (2007). Discipline without distress: 135 tools for raising caring, responsible children, without time-out, spanking, punishment, or bribery. Calgary, Canada: Professional Parenting Canada.Google Scholar
  3. Bowlby, J. (1969). Attachment and loss, Vol. 1: Attachment. New York, NY: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  4. Buhrmester, M. D., Talaifar, S., & Gosling, S. D. (2018). An evaluation of Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, its rapid rise, and its effective use. Persepctives on Psychological Science, 13, 149–154.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1745691617706516.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Caughy, M. O., & Franzini, L. (2005). Neighborhood correlates of cultural differences in perceivced effectiveness of parental disciplinary actions. Parenting: Science and Practice, 5, 119–151.  https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327922par0502_1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Deater-Deckard, K., Ivy, L., & Petrill, S. A. (2006). Maternal warmth moderates the link between physical punishment and child externalizing problems: a parent-offspring behavior genetic analysis. Parenting: Science and Practice, 6, 59–78.  https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327922par0601_3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dreikurs, R. (1948). The socio-psychological dynamics fo physical disability: a review of the Adlerian concept. Journal of Social Issues, 4, 39–54.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4560.1948.tb01517.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Durrant, J., Plateau, D. P., Ateah, C. A., Holden, G. W., Barker, L. A., Stewart-Tufescu, A., & Ahmed, R. (2017). Parents’ views of the relevance of a violence prevention program in high, medium, and low human development contexts. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 41, 523–531.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0165025416687415.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Durrant, J. E., Plateau, D. P., Ateah, C., Stewart-Tufescu, A., Jones, A., Ly, G., & Tapanya, S. (2014). Preventing punitive violence: preliminary data on the positive discipline in everyday parenting (PDEP) program. Canadian Journal of Community Mental Health, 33, 109–125.  https://doi.org/10.7870/cjcmh-2014-018.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Fearon, R., Bakerman-Kranenburg, M. J., van IFzendoorn, M. H., Lapsley, A. M., & Roisman, G. I. (2010). The significance of insecure attachment and disorganization in the development of children eternalizing behavior: a meta-analytic study. Child Development, 81, 435–456.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.2009.01405.x.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Gardner, F., & Leijten, P. (2017). Incredible years parenting interventions: current effectiveness research and future directions. Current Opinion in Psychology, 15, 99–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Goodman, R. (1997). The strengths and difficulties questionnaire: a research note. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 38, 581–586.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7610.1997.tb01545.x.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Goodman, R., & Scott, S. (1999). Comparing the strengths and difficulties questionnaire and the child behavior checklist: is small beautiful?Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 27, 17–24.  https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1022658222914.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Green, K., & Groves, M. M. (2008). Attachment parenting: an exploration of demographics and practices. Early Child Development and Care, 178, 513–525.  https://doi.org/10.1080/03004430600851199.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Green, K., Groves, M. M., & Tegano, D. W. (2004). Parenting practices that limit transitional object use: an illustration. Early Child Development and Care, 174, 427–436.  https://doi.org/10.1080/0300443032000153606.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Holden, G. W. (2010). Childrearing and developmental trajectories: positive pathways, off‐ramps, and dynamic processes. Child Development Perspectives, 4, 197–204.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1750-8606.2010.00148.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Holden, G. W., Ashraf, R., Brannan, E., & Baker, P. (2015). The emergence of “positive parenting” as a revived paradigm: theory, processes, and evidence. In D. Narvaez, J. Braungart-Rieker, L. Miller, L. Gettler & P. Hastings (Eds.), Contexts for young child flourishing: Evolution, family, and society (pp. 201–214). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Holden, G. W., & Zambarano, R. J. (1992). Passing the rod: similarities between parents and their young children in orientations toward physical punishment. In I. E. Sigel, A. V. McGillicuddy-Delisi & J. J. Goodnow (Eds.), Parental belief systems: The psychological consequences for children. 2nd ed. (pp. 143–172). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  19. Karp, H. (2004). The happiest toddler on the block: how to eliminate tantrums and raise a patent, respectful, and cooperative one- to four-year-ol. New York, NY: Bantam Dell.Google Scholar
  20. Kazdin, A. E. (2005). Parent management training: treatment for oppositional, aggressive, and antisocial behavior in children and adolescents. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Khaleque, A. (2013). Perceived parental warmth, and children’s psychological adjustment, and personality dispositions: a meta-analysis. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 22, 297–306.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-012-9579-z.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Knost, L. R. (2013). Two thousand kisses a day: gentle parenting through the ages and stages. USA: Little Hearts Books LLC.Google Scholar
  23. Kohn, A. (2005). Unconditional parenting: moving from rewards and punishments to love and reason. New York, NY: Atria Paperback.Google Scholar
  24. Leo, P. (2005). Connection parenting: Parenting through connection instead of coercion, through love instead of fear. 2nd ed. Deadwood, OR: Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing.Google Scholar
  25. Mackenbach, J. D., Ringoot, A. P., van der Ende, J., Verhulst, F. C., Jaddoe, V. W. V., Hofman, A., & Tiemeier, H. W. (2014). Exploring the relation of harsh parental discipline with child emotional and behavioral problems by using multiple informants: The generation R study. PLOS ONE, 9, e104793.  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0104793 .CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Markham, L. (2015). Peaceful parenting, happy siblings: how to stop the fighting and raise friends for life. New York, NY: Penguin Group.Google Scholar
  27. Miller, P. M., & Commons, M. L. (2010). The benefits of attachment parenting for infants and children: a behavioral developmental view. Behavioral Development Bulletin, 10, 1–14.  https://doi.org/10.1037/h0100514.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Nicholson, B., & Parker, L. (2013). Attached at the heart: eight proven principles for raising connected and compassionate children. Deerfield Beach, FL: Health Communications, Inc.Google Scholar
  29. Nelsen, J. (1981). Positive discipline. Fair Oaks, CA: Sunrise Press.Google Scholar
  30. Nowak, C., & Heinrichs, N. (2008). A comprehensive meta-analysis of triple P-Positive parenting program using hierarchical linear modeling: effectiveness and moderating variables. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 11, 114–144.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10567-008-0033-0.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Olivari, M. G., Tabliabue, S., & Confalonieri, E. (2013). Parenting style and dimensions questionnaire: a review of reliability and validity. Marriage & Family Review, 49, 465–490.  https://doi.org/10.1080/01494929.2013.770812.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Patterson, G., Chamberlain, P., & Reid., J. (1982). A comparative evaluation of a parent-training program. Behavior therapy, 13, 638–650.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0005-7894(82)80021-X.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Robinson, C. C., Mandleco, B., Olsen, S. F., & Hart, C. H. (1995). Authoritative, authoritarian, and permissive parenting practices: development of a new measure. Psychological Reports, 77, 819–830.  https://doi.org/10.2466/pr0.1995.77.3.819.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Sanders, M. R., Kirby, J. N., Tellegen, C. L., & Day, J. J. (2014). The triple P-positive parenting program: a systematic review and meta-analysis of a multi-level system of parenting support. Clinical Psychology Review, 4, 337–357.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2014.04.003.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Sanders, M. R., Turner, K. M. T., & Markie-Dadds, C. (2002). The development and dissemination of the Triple P-positive parenting program: a multi-level, evidence-based system of parenting and family support. Prevention Science, 3, 173–189.  https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1019942516231.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Sears, W., & Sears, M. (2001). The attachment parenting book: a commonsense guide to understanding and nurturing your baby. New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company.Google Scholar
  37. Siegel, D. J., & Bryson, T. P. (2014). No-drama discipline: the whole-brain way to calm the chaos and nurture your child’s developing mind. New York, NY: Bantam Books.Google Scholar
  38. Stuart, E. A. (2010). Matching methods for causal inference: a review and a look forward. Statistical Science, 25, 1–21.  https://doi.org/10.1214/09-STS313.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  39. Touliatos, J., Perlmutter, B. F., & Holden, G. W. (2001). Handbook of measurement techniques: Vol. 3. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  40. Whittingham, K. (2014). Parenting in context. Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science, 3, 212–215.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcbs.2014.01.001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Wyckoff, J., & Unell, B. C. (1984). Discipline Without Shouting or Spanking: Practical solutions to the most common preschool behavior problems. Minnetonka, MN: Meadowbrook Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.SMU Psychology DepartmentSouthern Methodist UniversityDallasUSA

Personalised recommendations