Trajectories of Parenting and Child Negative Emotionality During Infancy and Toddlerhood: A Longitudinal Analysis


  • This project was supported by the following grant: R01 HD042608; NICHD, NIDA, and the Office of the Director; NIH; U.S. PHS (PI Years 1–5: David Reiss, MD; PI Years 6–10: Leslie Leve, PhD). The writing of this manuscript was partially supported by the following grant: P30 DA023920, NIDA, NIH, U.S. PHS. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development or the National Institutes of Health. We thank the adoptive families who participated in this study, the adoption agency staff members who helped with the recruitment of study participants, Matthew Rabel and Michelle Baumann for editorial assistance, Samuel Simmons and Sally Guyer for data management assistance, and Rand Conger, John Reid, and Laura Scaramella and for their scientific contributions to the Early Growth and Development Study. The contributions of the late Dr. Xiaojia Ge to this study are immeasurable.

concerning this article should be addressed to Dr. Shannon T. Lipscomb or Leslie D. Leve, Oregon Social Learning Center, 10 Shelton McMurphey Boulevard, Eugene, OR 97401. Electronic mail may be sent to or


The current longitudinal study examined trajectories of child negative emotionality, parenting efficacy, and overreactive parenting among 382 adoptive families during infancy and toddlerhood. Data were collected from adoptive parents when the children were 9-, 18-, and 27-month-old. Latent growth curve modeling indicated age-related increases in child negative emotionality and overreactive parenting for adoptive fathers and adoptive mothers (AM), and decreases in parent efficacy among AM. Increases in child negative emotionality were also associated with increases in parent overreactivity and decreases in maternal efficacy. Mothers’ and fathers’ developmental patterns were linked within but not across parenting domains. Limitations and directions for future research are discussed.