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Journal of Primary Prevention

, Volume 27, Issue 6, pp 555–571 | Cite as

Mothers’ Beliefs about Knowledge, Child Development, and Parenting Strategies: Expanding the Goals of Parenting Programs

  • Lynne A. Bond
  • Catherine E. Burns
Original Paper

This study examined the relationship between mothers’ beliefs about knowledge (epistemology) and conceptions of child development and parent-child communication strategies. One hundred twenty mothers of preschool-aged children completed the Ways of Knowing measure and Parent Communication Strategies Interview; a subset of 38 also completed the Concepts of Development Questionnaire. Analyses revealed that mothers with more complex understanding of knowledge have less categorical and more multi-faceted conceptions of child development and are more likely to endorse parenting strategies that are less authoritarian and more cognitively challenging for children.

Editor’s Strategic Implications: Prevention programs designed to promote constructive parenting should foster parents’ epistemological development (which guide beliefs and practices) rather than dwell on individual parent behaviors. The authors continue to develop the promising practice of tailoring interventions on the basis of parents’ personal belief systems (see also Burns & Bond, 2004).

KEY WORDS:

parenting strategies parent beliefs parenting intervention epistemology 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyThe University of VermontBurlingtonUSA

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