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Parenting behaviours and children's development from infancy to early childhood: Changes, continuities, and contributions [Wider Benefits of Learning Research Report No. 22]

By Leslie Gutman and Leon Feinstein


This study investigated how children and parenting behaviours change from infancy to early childhood, how parenting influences concurrent and future child development, and whether parenting itself is affected by and responsive to child development. We also investigated whether individual indicators of socioeconomic status moderate (i.e., strengthen or weaken) these associations. Our results showed that mothers with higher levels of education provided more interactive and engaged parenting. Parenting behaviours were also related to both concurrent and future child outcomes. However, different aspects of parenting behaviour had varying effects and, while some had more immediate impact, the positive effects of others only manifested themselves over a period of time. Some of the relationships were also moderated by socioeconomic factors. Maternal education had a particularly marked effect on the relationship between parenting behaviour and child development. In general, the effect of parenting was stronger (i.e., more positive) for children of mothers with low levels of education

Publisher: Centre for Research on the Wider Benefits of Learning, Institute of Education, University of London
Year: 2007
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