Title: Child personality and parental behavior as moderators of internalizing and externalizing behavior in children and adolescents: a variable- and a person-centered approach
Authors: Van Leeuwen, Karla
Mervielde, Ivan
Braet, Caroline
Bosmans, Guy #
Issue Date: 2004
Conference: European Conference on Personality Psychology edition:12 location:Groningen (NL) date:18-22 July 2004
Abstract: The present research extends in several ways previous empirical studies documenting the role of personality-environment interactions in the development of child problem behavior. Parenting by child personality interactions in predicting child externalizing and internalizing behavior were investigated in a variable- and a person-centered study. The variable-centered study utilized data from a 3-year longitudinal study of 600 children, aged 7 to 15 at T1; and 512 children aged 10 to18 at T2. Parents rated Five Factor Model child personality, the parenting dimensions negative control and positive parenting, and child internalizing and externalizing behavior. Children also provided ratings of parental behavior. Hierarchical moderated regression analyses showed significant parenting by child personality interactions, principally for externalizing behavior. The interactions were largely replicable across informants and across the 3-year time span. The most prominent personality domains featuring in the interactions were Benevolence and Conscientiousness.
In the person-centered study the sample of children was assigned to three replicable personality types, i.e. overcontrolled (subjects with low scores on emotional stability and extraversion), undercontrolled (subjects with low scores on conscientiousness and benevolence) and resilient. Results showed that Negative parental control was more related to externalizing behavior for undercontrollers than for resilients. Negative parental control enhanced internalizing behavior for overcontrollers, whereas it did not affect internalizing behavior of resilient children.
The discussion will focus on the importance of considering child personality by parenting interactions and on the utility of types and dimensions in research and clinical practice.
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IMa
Appears in Collections:Parenting and Special Education
# (joint) last author

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