Sylia Wilson, Department of Psychology, Northwestern University; C. Emily Durbin, Department of Psychology, Michigan State University.
Dyadic Parent-Child Interaction During Early Childhood: Contributions of Parental and Child Personality Traits
© 2011 The Authors. Journal of Personality © 2011, Wiley Periodicals, Inc
We would like to thank the many research assistants who assisted in data collection and coding of the parent-child interactions and child temperament traits, and, most importantly, the families that participated in this research.
This is an Accepted Article that has been peer-reviewed and approved for publication in the Journal of Personality but has yet to undergo copy-editing and proof correction. Please cite this article as an “Accepted Article”; doi: 10.1111/j.1467-6494.2011.00760.x
- Accepted manuscript online: 3 NOV 2011 09:41AM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 2 NOV 2011
- Cited By
- parent-child relationship;
- dyadic interaction;
Objective: Individual differences in personality play a major role for functioning in a multitude of important life domains, including one's interpersonal relationships. The present study examined the effects of parental personality and child temperament traits on dyadic parent-child interaction during early childhood. Method: Participants were a community sample of 145 mothers, fathers, and their 3- to 6-year-old children. Child traits were assessed using standardized laboratory paradigms, parents reported on their own traits, and parent-child interaction was assessed observationally. Results: Parental Positive Emotionality, Negative Emotionality, and Constraint subtraits were related to parental responsiveness; the number and type of parental bids and the quality of parental responsiveness were also a function of child Positive Emotionality and Effortful Control subtraits, and, for mothers, child Negative Emotionality subtraits. Child traits were related to their own interaction behaviors; children higher on Positive Emotionality subtraits made more social bids and children higher on Effortful Control subtraits made more influence attempts and fewer negative bids; child Positive Emotionality and Effortful Control subtraits were associated with higher-quality child responsiveness. Conclusions: Findings speak to coherence in personality constructs across the lifespan, with comparable traits measured in adults and early childhood-aged children demonstrating remarkably consistent effects on dyadic interaction behavior.