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Autonomy-support and control: observed mother-father differences and parents' contributions to preschool social-emotional competence

  • Author / Creator
    Gordon, Jennifer
  • In a sample of 57 two-parent families, the current study investigated: (a) mother-father differences in observed autonomy supportive and control behaviours (i.e., directives and negative, parent-centered control); and (b) mothers’ and fathers’ unique and relative contributions to children’s later social-emotional competence. Parents’ behaviours were assessed during an observed clean-up task with mother-child and father-child dyads when children were 2 to 3-and-a half years of age. Parent ratings of children’s social-emotional competence were obtained one year later, when children were 3 to 5-and-a-half years old. Results revealed that mothers engaged in significantly more autonomy support than fathers when observed interacting with their young children. Furthermore, mothers’ negative, parent-centered control, and fathers’ autonomy support uniquely predicted children’s later social-emotional competence. These results suggest that mothers and fathers have differential influences on their young children’s growing competences, and exemplify the importance of including fathers in parenting research and intervention.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2009-11
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Education
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3V612
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Master's
  • Department
    • Department of Educational Psychology
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Dr. Christina Rinaldi (Educational Psychology)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Dr. Lynn McGarvey (Elementary Education)
    • Dr. Jacqueline Pei (Educational Psychology)