The Influence of Parenting Behaviors on the Development of Adaptive Behaviors in 3 to 5 Year-Old Children

Anya Holowitz, Pace University


The transition into the preschool years is often the first time that a young child moves out of the home environment and away from a primary caregiver, and is asked to adapt to a new environment. This transition raises questions regarding the process during which children gain the skills necessary to be successful in this new developmental stage. In taking attachment theory and parenting constructs into consideration, three major concepts arise: bonding, responsivity, and sensitivity. The goal of this study was to examine how these three factors play into the development of school readiness skills and adaptability. In order to achieve an understanding of parenting factors as they relate to the development of childhood adaptability, parents of children ages 3 to 5 years were asked to rate their own perception of the importance of parenting behaviors in their parenting role as well as their child's adaptability. Parenting behaviors were measured via the Parent Behavior Importance Questionnaire-Revised (Mowder, 2005) and child outcomes were measured via the Behavior Assessment System for Children-2 (Reynolds & Kamphaus, 2004). A total of 35 parents participated in the research. Results indicate that all three parenting constructs are significantly related to the development of overall adaptability in young children as well as the development of social skills and functional communication skills. When combined into a single model, bonding, responsivity, and sensitivity accounted for 23.7% of the variance in general adaptability. Thus, behaviors associated with these parenting characteristics are viable as a means of intervention even beyond the stage of infancy.

Subject Area

Developmental psychology

Recommended Citation

Holowitz, Anya, "The Influence of Parenting Behaviors on the Development of Adaptive Behaviors in 3 to 5 Year-Old Children" (2013). ETD Collection for Pace University. AAI3572142.



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