Negative Emotionality and Discipline as Long-Term Predictors of Behavioral Outcomes in African American and European American Children

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Abstract

The present study examined the early parenting and temperament determinants of children’s antisocial and positive behaviors in a low-income, diverse ethno-racial sample. Participants were from the Early Head Start Research and Evaluation Project, which included 960 European American (initial M age = 15.00 months; 51.2% female) and 880 African American mothers and their children (initial M age = 15.10 months; 49.2% female) followed from 15 months of age to 5th grade. For European American children, findings showed direct and indirect effects (via self-regulation) of early negative emotionality on later behaviors. For African American children, discipline practices in infancy had direct long-term implications for behaviors in 5th grade. Discussion highlights the interplay of parenting, temperament, and culture from infancy to late childhood.

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