How mothers in compliance-problem vs. healthy dyads modulated the specificity of directives as a function of their preschoolers' moment-to-moment behavior was investigated. Interaction was observed in 8 compliance-problem and 8 healthy mother-child (3- to 4 1 2-year-olds) dyads in a block task originally developed by Wood & Middleton (1975). Mothers in the healthy group, as compared with those in the problem group, had significantly higher scores on a measure of maternal coordination, defined as the proportion of interventions that conformed to the rule that mothers should become more specific in their directives when their children fail and less specific when they succeed. Findings based on the z-score method of sequential analysis also indicated that healthy-group mothers more effectively modulated their directives. Implications for the long-standing controversy about whether parental control is good or bad are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Life-span and Life-course Studies