Children's negative emotionality moderates influence of parenting styles on preschool classroom adjustment

Katherine W. Paschall, Henry Gonzalez, Jennifer A. Mortensen, Melissa A. Barnett, Ann M. Mastergeorge

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11 Scopus citations


This investigation utilized a subsample from the Early Head Start Research and Evaluation Project (N = 1101) to examine how profiles of maternal behaviors at 36-months were associated with children's classroom aggression and teacher-child relationship quality in pre-kindergarten. Based upon observed behaviors, we identified three distinct profiles of parenting categorized as sensitive, harsh, and detached. Results revealed significant main effects of the detached parenting profile on both dimensions of children's classroom functioning in pre-kindergarten. These main effects were not moderated by child sex. The main effects were moderated by child negative emotionality, suggesting a promotive effect of sensitive parenting for children with low negative emotionality. Children exposed to detached parenting had the poorest teacher-child relationships, regardless of emotionality. These findings demonstrate through use of a person-centered approach how parenting behaviors relate to contextual risks and characteristics, and to children's later relationships with teachers and classmates in pre-kindergarten.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Applied Developmental Psychology
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015


  • Child aggression
  • Child sex
  • Child temperament
  • Parenting style
  • Pre-kindergarten
  • Teacher-child relationship quality


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