Linking maternal warmth and responsiveness to children's self-regulation

Antje von Suchodoletz, Gisela Trommsdorff, Tobias Heikamp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present study demonstrated that a more differentiated view of positive parenting practices is necessary in the study of children's acquisition of self-regulation. Here, the unique contributions of maternal warmth and responsiveness to distress to children's self-regulation were tested in a sample of 102 German mothers and their kindergarten children (51 girls and 51 boys). Behavior regulation and internalization of rules of conduct were examined as specific components of children's self-regulation. As expected, maternal warmth was positively related to the child's behavior regulation. Responsiveness to distress was positively linked to the child's internalization of rules of conduct. No significant interactions between maternal parenting and either the child's gender or effortful control were found. The results are discussed with regard to the unique functions that different parenting practices have for children's self-regulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)486-503
Number of pages18
JournalSocial Development
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2011


  • Children's self regulation
  • Positive parenting
  • Responsiveness
  • Warmth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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