Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 363–375 | Cite as

Momentum in Child Compliance and Opposition

  • Paul S. Strand
  • Robert G. Wahler
  • Melissa Herring


Several event-dependent properties of child-mother interactions were studied to investigate momentum in child oppositional and compliant behavior. It was hypothesized that: (a) compared to an episode of child opposition, an episode of child compliance would be related to an increased likelihood of subsequent child compliance, and (b) the association between a target episode of child opposition and the likelihood of subsequent compliance or opposition would be mediated by the history of the dyadic interaction. These hypotheses were supported. In addition, the presence of interactional sequences predictive of child compliance was inversely related to mother dysphoria and unrelated to mother-reported child externalizing behavior disorder symptoms. Discussion focuses on antecedent interactional patterns as determinants of future child behavior.

behavioral momentum children context family interactions mother dysphoria 


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul S. Strand
    • 1
  • Robert G. Wahler
    • 2
  • Melissa Herring
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyWashington State UniversityRichland
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of TennesseeKnoxville
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of TennesseeKnoxville

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