Concurrent predictors of dysfunctional parenting and maternal confidence: implications for parenting interventions

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BackgroundThe often intense nature of the conflict between parents and their toddlers requires better understanding of what happens during this stage of development and how difficulties can be prevented from escalating in the future. Clarification of the nature of family and parenting factors related to toddler behaviour allows better capacity for intervention development and tailoring to individual families.MethodsA total of 126 mothers of toddlers completed a self-report assessment battery, examining child behaviour, parenting style and confidence, as well as broader family adjustment measures.ResultsThe study found that maternal confidence and dysfunctional parenting were interrelated and were also predicted best by parenting variables, in contrast to socio-demographic and child variables. Maternal confidence also mediated the relationships between family income and toddler behaviour.ConclusionsParenting style and confidence are important modifiable factors to target in parenting interventions. The implications for the development, implementation and delivery of parenting interventions are discussed.

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