Infant and Child Development

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Volume 24 Issue 2 (March/April 2015), Pages i-ii, 107-214

A Person‐oriented Approach to Identifying Parenting Styles in Mothers of Early School‐age Children (pages 130-156)

A substantial body of work has been dedicated to understanding the behaviours that characterize mothers' interactions with their children. Most research on parenting has used a variable‐oriented approach, limiting analysis to one or a few parenting behaviours and failing to identify higher‐order interactions or patterns among variables. Thus, little is known about how different behaviours co‐occur in individual mothers to form styles of parenting. In this study, a person‐oriented approach was used to develop a typology of maternal parenting styles based on a broad range of observed and self‐reported parenting behaviours. The study sample consisted of 408 socio‐demographically diverse mother–child pairs. Cluster analysis revealed six parenting groups—(1) balanced parenting; (2) warm/involved parenting; (3) task‐focused parenting; (4) detached/inconsistent parenting; (5) intrusive parenting; and (6) self‐critical parenting—two of which (task‐focused and self‐critical parenting) have not been previously represented in the parenting literature. The maternal parenting typology developed through this study provides useful information on the profiles of parenting behaviour that are associated with the highest levels of demographic and psychological risk in mothers who exhibit these profiles. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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