Self- and maternal representations, relatedness patterns, and problem behavior in middle childhood

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Abstract

The present study investigated the association between children's representations of their mothers' and teachers' reports of children's problem behavior. The research team conducted semistructured narrative interviews with a community sample of 203 Israeli 9- to 11-year-old children. Ten months later, researchers collected teachers' reports of children's internalizing and externalizing problems. This study investigated whether children's self-representation narratives and their maladaptive relatedness stances questionnaire scores mediated this association. Results indicated that children reporting benevolent representations of their mothers exhibited lower levels of problem behavior. More positive self-representations and lower levels of skewness in children's relatedness stances to their mothers both mediated this association. This article includes a discussion of these results in light of factors contributing to maladjustment in middle childhood.

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