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Child temperament, parenting styles and externalizing and internalizing behavior of young children of Indian immigrants in Canada

Shakuntla Brar, University of Massachusetts - Amherst

Abstract

Temperament has been found to be consistently and significantly associated with externalizing and internalizing behavior in children. However, this relationship is in modest to moderate range, suggesting that there are some other factors in child's environment contributing to his/her externalizing and internalizing behavior. Moreover, these direct link (correlational) studies do not explain how the relationship between child temperament and externalizing and internalizing behavior is moderated by other factors. Indian immigrants' children have not been represented in studies on externalizing and internalizing behavior of young children in North America. Therefore, the present study was designed to investigate, first, the role of child temperament and mothers' parenting styles in externalizing and internalizing behavior of young children of Indian immigrants, and second, how mothers' parenting styles moderate the relationship between these two variables. The sample comprised 160 first grade and kindergarten children and their Indian immigrant mothers. Child Behavior Checklist, Temperament Assessment Battery for Children-Revised, and Parenting Styles and Dimensions questionnaires were used to collect the data. Descriptive statistics, correlations and hierarchical multiple regression analyses were used to analyze the data. Findings suggest that child impulsivity, negative emotionality, lack of task persistence, and inhibition were associated positively with externalizing and internalizing behavior of children. Activity level was associated positively with externalizing but not with internalizing behavior. Authoritarian and permissive parenting styles were associated positively, whereas, authoritative parenting style was associated negatively with both externalizing and internalizing behavior. The relationship between child temperament and externalizing behavior was moderated by mothers' parenting styles. High authoritative parenting style weakened the relationship between impulsivity and externalizing behavior in children, whereas high authoritarian and permissive parenting styles strengthened this relationship. The relationship of child negative emotionality and lack of task persistence with internalizing behavior of children was not moderated by parenting styles. However, parenting styles made significant contributions in explaining the variance in internalizing behavior of children beyond what was already explained by negative emotionality and lack of task persistence. In terms of relationship between child temperament, parenting styles, and externalizing and internalizing behavior of children, the results of the current study were similar to the findings of the studies conducted on the main stream population in North America. ^

Subject Area

Education, Early Childhood|Psychology, Developmental|Psychology, Clinical|Sociology, Individual and Family Studies|Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies

Recommended Citation

Shakuntla Brar, "Child temperament, parenting styles and externalizing and internalizing behavior of young children of Indian immigrants in Canada" (January 1, 2003). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. Paper AAI3096265.
http://scholarworks.umass.edu/dissertations/AAI3096265

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