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Stability in Maternal Autonomy Support and Child Executive Functioning

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the role of early and current maternal autonomy support, and of its stability over time, in predicting child executive functioning (EF). Seventy-eight mother–child dyads participated in two visits when children were aged 15 months (T1) and 3 years (T2), allowing for the assessment of maternal autonomy support (T1 and T2) and child EF (T2). The results showed that autonomy support at 15 months and the average level of autonomy support displayed by the mothers between 15 months and 3 years were significant predictors of child EF, whereas current autonomy support was not. Group comparison techniques showed that children of mothers who displayed low autonomy support at both 15 months and 3 years performed the worst on EF. These results speak to the relevance of using multiple assessments of parenting behavior when examining its impact on child cognitive development.

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Matte-Gagné, C., Bernier, A. & Lalonde, G. Stability in Maternal Autonomy Support and Child Executive Functioning. J Child Fam Stud 24, 2610–2619 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-014-0063-9

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Keywords

  • Stability
  • Parenting
  • Early versus current
  • Maternal autonomy support
  • Child executive functioning