Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 46, Issue 1, pp 83–97 | Cite as

Reciprocal Relations between the Trajectories of Mothers’ Harsh Discipline, Responsiveness and Aggression in Early Childhood



Theoretical advances in the study of the development of aggressive behaviors indicate that parenting behaviors and child aggression mutually influence one another. This study contributes to the body of empirical research in this area by examining the development of child aggression, maternal responsiveness, and maternal harsh discipline, using 5-year longitudinal data from a nationally representative sample of Turkish children (n = 1009; 469 girls and 582 boys). Results indicated that: (i) maternal responsiveness and harsh discipline at age 3 were associated with the subsequent linear trajectory of aggression; (ii) reciprocally, aggressive behaviors at age 3 were associated with the subsequent linear trajectories of these two types of parenting behaviors; (iii) deviations from the linear trajectories of the child and mother behaviors tended to be short lived; and, (iv) the deviations of child behaviors from the linear trajectories were associated with the subsequent changes in mother behaviors after age 5. These findings are discussed in the cultural context of this study.


Aggression Early childhood Harsh discipline Responsiveness Dual latent change score models 



This research was funded by a grant from the Turkish Institute for Scientific and Technological Research (106 K347 and 109 K525) and received generous support from Koc University. Additional partial support for this study was received from Grand Challenges Canada (Grant 0072-03 to the Grantee, The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania).

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 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 adult participants of the study.

Supplementary material

10802_2017_280_MOESM1_ESM.docx (18 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 17 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentKoc UniversitySariyer IstanbulTurkey
  2. 2.Isik UniversityIstanbulTurkey

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