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The role of child negative affect in the relations between parenting styles and play

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Interactions between parenting styles and children's negative affect in the prediction of reticent, solitary‐active, and rough‐and‐tumble play behaviours were examined. The present study involved 98 children, their mothers and their preschool teachers. Participants (53 boys and 45 girls) were a mean age of 3.83 years (standard deviation = 0.69). Mothers completed questionnaires pertaining to their disciplinary rearing styles and their child's negative affect. Preschool/daycare teachers completed a measure concerning children's indoor‐free play behaviours. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses revealed two significant interactions between parenting styles and children's negative affect in the prediction of play behaviours. For example, it was found that emotion coaching parenting was negatively related to rough‐and‐tumble play for children low in negative affect but not for children high in negative affect. Implications of these findings, and others, are discussed in terms of goodness of fit, overprotective parenting and their overall importance for children's social development.

Keywords: Negative affect; Non‐adaptive play; Parenting styles; Rough‐and‐tumble play

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03004430500039960

Affiliations: Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax, Canada

Publication date: July 1, 2006

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