Emotional Availability, Parenting Behavior Perceptions, Child Temperament and Parent Personality Characteristics in Mothers and Their 8 to 16 Month Olds

Jessica Mura, Pace University

Abstract

The aim of this study was to examine patterns of emotional availability (EA) among 30 mothers and their 8 to 16 month-old infants, and to identify individual and contextual factors associated with the different patterns as well as mothers' views on parenting behaviors. The mother-infant dyad is conceptualized as a system, which incorporates emotional transactions and communications. This system incorporates parent and child factors, which interact with each other on many levels. It was expected that maternal emotional availability would be significantly associated with values and perceptions of positive parenting behaviors, as well as mothers' positive personality characteristics. Further, it was expected that child emotional availability would be associated with child temperament factors. Infants and mothers participated in a videotaped play session which was coded using the Emotional Availability Scales-4 th Edition (Biringen, 2008). The expectation that maternal EA would be positively related to positive parenting behavior perceptions was partially supported. A key finding of this study was that the values mothers reported for their parenting behavior were also observed with the EA observational system. In addition, by exploring effect sizes, moderate relationships were found between maternal personality factors and EA. Further, significant relationships were found between maternal EA factors and child temperament. In an interaction with personality and maternal emotional availability, features of child temperament were found to evoke different parenting responses from caregivers with different personality characteristics, specifically levels of neuroticism. In the current study, the maternal personality trait neuroticism and child positive affectivity differentially corresponded to how mothers respond to their children as measured by the Emotional Availability Scales sensitivity. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Social|Psychology, Developmental

Recommended Citation

Jessica Mura, "Emotional Availability, Parenting Behavior Perceptions, Child Temperament and Parent Personality Characteristics in Mothers and Their 8 to 16 Month Olds" (January 1, 2013). ETD Collection for Pace University. Paper AAI3572630.
http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/dissertations/AAI3572630

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