There is conflicting evidence as to whether or not child temperament influences the manner in which couples coparent their children. The mixed results suggest that families with certain characteristics may be at risk for exhibiting low quality coparenting when they have a child who displays more negative affect. The purpose of the current study was to examine the association between child negative affect and coparenting in a sample of mothers of preschoolers. Drawing from family systems theory and Crockenberg’s proposition of multiple risk, both main and interactive effects of child negative affect on mothers’ perceptions of coparenting were examined. Child effortful control, maternal depressive symptoms, home chaos, and child sex was examined as moderators. A secondary goal was to examine the psychometric properties of the Coparenting Questionnaire which was designed to measure multiple dimensions of coparenting (i.e., coparenting solidarity, coparenting support, shared parenting, and undermining coparenting).
Results of an exploratory factor analysis suggested that the Coparenting Questionnaire consisted of two dimensions of coparenting (i.e., positive and negative coparenting). The primary results demonstrated that child negative affect was negatively associated with mothers’ perceptions of positive coparenting and positively associated with mothers’ perceptions of negative coparenting. Child effortful control was positively associated with positive coparenting and negatively associated with negative coparenting. There was a negative relationship between child negative affect and positive coparenting when maternal depressive symptoms were high, but not when depressive symptoms were low. Child effortful control, home chaos, and child sex did not moderate the relationship between child negative affect and mothers’ perceptions of positive coparenting. No moderation effects were found for mothers’ perceptions of negative coparenting. For negative coparenting only, home chaos was positively associated with negative coparenting.
|Advisor:||Leerkes, Esther, O'Brien, Marion|
|Commitee:||Helms, Heather, Henson, Robert|
|School:||The University of North Carolina at Greensboro|
|Department:||School of Human Environmental Sciences: Human Development and Family Studies|
|School Location:||United States -- North Carolina|
|Source:||DAI-B 72/02, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Developmental psychology, Individual & family studies|
|Keywords:||Coparenting, Family, Temperament|
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