Child Psychiatry & Human Development

, Volume 49, Issue 3, pp 409–419 | Cite as

Moderators of the Relations Between Mothers’ and Fathers’ Parenting Practices and Children’s Prosocial Behavior

  • Michelle GryczkowskiEmail author
  • Sara Sytsma Jordan
  • Sterett H. Mercer
Original Article


Using multilevel modeling, we separately examined the relations between mothers’ and fathers’ parenting practices and children’s prosocial behavior, as well as the moderating roles of child sex, age, and ethnicity. Participants included a diverse community sample of 129 cohabiting couples with a child aged 6–17. Results indicated that paternal positivity and corporal punishment were significantly related to girls’, but not boys’, prosocial behavior, and paternal involvement was related to prosocial behavior in school-aged children but not adolescents. Greater levels of positivity in both parents were related to more prosocial behavior in Caucasian children and less in African American children. Overall, the findings suggest that fathers’ parenting is important and may differentially influence children of different sexes and ages, underscoring the importance of examining both mothers’ and fathers’ parenting in relation to child outcomes and with diverse samples. Findings also highlight the need for culturally appropriate measures of parenting.


Parenting practices Prosocial behavior Ethnicity Father Moderator 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyThe University of Southern MississippiHattiesburgUSA
  2. 2.Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology, and Special EducationUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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