Objective: To explore the direct and indirect associations of maternal emotion control, executive functioning, and social cognitions with harsh verbal parenting and child behavior and to do so guided by social information processing theory. Background: Studies have demonstrated a relationship between maternal harsh parenting and increased child conduct problems. However, less is known about how maternal emotion and cognitive control capacities and social cognitions intersect with harsh parenting and child behavior. Method: Structural equation modeling was used with a convenience sample of 152 mothers from Appalachia who had a child between 3 and 7 years of age. Results: Maternal emotion control and executive functioning were both inversely associated with child conduct problems. That is, stronger maternal emotion control was associated with less harsh verbal parenting and lower hostile attribution bias, and higher maternal executive functioning was related to less controlling parenting attitudes. Conclusion: The results suggest maternal emotion and cognitive control capacities affect how mothers interact with their children and ultimately child conduct problems. Implications: To more effectively reduce harsh verbal parenting and child conduct problems, interventions should help mothers to improve their emotion and cognitive control capacities.
- child misbehavior
- emotion control
- executive functioning
- structural equation modeling
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)