The Roots of Ego-Control in Young Adulthood: Links With Parenting in Early Childhood

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This study examined the early parenting correlates of ego-control, the modal threshold for the expression or containment of impulse. Fifty-three female and 50 male participants were followed between 3 and 23 years of age. Ego-control was measured in early childhood (ages 3 and 4) and, independently, in early adulthood (ages 18 and 23) using a Q-sort prototype based on observer ratings. Parenting during early childhood was indexed using a self-report inventory of child-rearing orientations at age 3 and observer ratings of parent–child interactions at age 5. Correlations between early parenting and later ego-control, after partialing out early ego-control to control for parents' reactions to their children, revealed meaningful and convergent relations between independently measured data sets. The patterns of results, which differed between male and female participants, are discussed in terms of gender differences in socialization outcomes.

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