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Momentum in Child Compliance and Opposition

Abstract

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.

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Strand, P.S., Wahler, R.G. & Herring, M. Momentum in Child Compliance and Opposition. Journal of Child and Family Studies 9, 363–375 (2000). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1026448608252

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  • behavioral momentum
  • children
  • context
  • family interactions
  • mother dysphoria