Mother-child conflict interaction in the toddler years: Behavior patterns and correlates

Keng Yen Huang, Douglas M. Teti, Margaret O.Brien Caughy, Stanley Feldstein, Janice Genevro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We examined mother-child (M-C) conflict behavior during the toddler years. The nature of M-C conflict behaviors, whether conflict behavior differed by context, and factors that were associated with conflict interactions were examined. We used data collected as part of the National Evaluation of the Healthy Steps for Young Children Program. 378 M-C dyads participated in this study. Videotaped observational data at 16-18 months were used to code conflict behaviors using an event recording method. Results showed that M-C conflict were more likely to be initiated by the mothers and that conflict interactions were influenced by context of interaction, family, maternal, and child temperamental factors. In this study, we provide a foundation for understanding parent-child conflict interaction prior to age two.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-241
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2007


  • Conflict
  • Mother-child
  • Observation
  • Parenting
  • Toddler

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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