Prospective Associations between Maternal Self-Sacrifice/Overprotection and Child Adjustment: Mediation by Insensitive Parenting
- 108 Downloads
Prior research on Expressed Emotion (EE) in parents’ Five Minute Speech Samples (FMSS) suggests that parental attitudes that are overprotective or blur boundaries between the parent and child (i.e., the criteria for self-sacrifice/overprotection; SSOP) are related to increases in children’s behavior problems. Some theorists contend that parents who demonstrate high levels of SSOP treat their children more insensitively, but others argue that SSOP does not result in insensitive parenting during the early childhood years. To date, there is no evidence that can be brought to bear upon this tension within the field regarding the developmental implications of SSOP in childhood. This longitudinal investigation of 223 child-mother dyads (47.9% female; Mage_W1 = 49.08 months; 56.5% Hispanic/Latina) evaluated whether maternal insensitivity at age 6 mediated the link between mothers’ SSOP with respect to their 4-year-old children and children’s behavior problems (i.e., internalizing, attention/hyperactivity) at age 8. A path analysis revealed significant indirect pathways from mothers’ SSOP during the preschool period to children’s increased internalizing and attention/hyperactivity problems at age 8 via elevated maternal insensitivity at age 6. These associations did not differ significantly across groups as a function of child gender, maternal race/ethnicity, single-mother status, or family poverty. FMSS evaluations of SSOP may offer a culturally valid and clinically valuable screening tool to detect parental attitudes that confer elevated risks for insensitive parenting practices and later child adjustment difficulties.
KeywordsChild behavior problems Expressed emotion Five Minute Speech Sample Insensitive parenting Self-sacrifice/overprotection
This study was supported by grants from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (1R03HD065036-01A) and from the National Science Foundation Developmental and Learning Sciences (ID 0951775) to the third author.
T.Y.K. identified the research question, conducted the analyses, and drafted the initial manuscript; J.L.B. assisted with the theoretical conceptualization of the study and the manuscript preparation and revision; T.M.Y. oversaw the design and implementation of the larger study, assisted with conceptualizing the research question, and collaborated in the manuscript preparation and revision.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. All procedures in this study were approved by the Institutional Review Board of the University of California, Riverside.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
- Abidin, R. (1995). Parent stress index. Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources.Google Scholar
- Anderson, L. P. (1999). Parentification in the context of the African American family. In N. D. Chase (Ed.), Burdened children: Theory, research, and treatment of parentification (pp. 154–170). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Barkley, R. A. (1997). ADHD and the nature of self-control. New York, NY: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Bell, R. Q. (1968). A reinterpretation of the direction of effects in studies of socialization. Psychological Review, 75(2), 81–95.Google Scholar
- Bowlby, J. (1982). Attachment and loss. Vol. 1: Attachment. 2nd ed. New York, NY: Basic Books.Google Scholar
- Bretherton, I., & Munholland, K. A. (1999). Internal working models in attachment relationships: A construct revisited. In J. Cassidy & P. R. Shaver (Eds.), Handbook of attachment: Theory, research, and clinical applications (pp. 89–111). New York, NY: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Carter, A. S., Garrity-Rokous, F. E., Chazan-Cohen, R., Little, C., & Briggs-Gowan, M. J. (2001). Maternal depression and comorbidity: Predicting early parenting, attachment security, and toddler social-emotional problems and competencies. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 40(1), 18–26. https://doi.org/10.1097/00004583-200101000-00012.Google Scholar
- Derogatis, L. R. (1983). SCL-90-R: Administration, scoring, and procedures manual II for the revised version. Towson, MD: Clinical Psychometric Research.Google Scholar
- Derogatis, L. R. (1993). Brief Symptom Inventory: Administration, scoring, and procedures manual. 4th ed. Minneapolis, MN: NCS Pearson, Inc.Google Scholar
- Egeland, B. (1982). 42-month teaching task code manual. Unpublished manuscript. Minneapolis, MN.Google Scholar
- Egeland, B., Pianta, R., & O’Brien, M. A. (1993). Maternal intrusiveness in infancy and child maladaptation in early school years. Development and Psychopathology, 5(3), 359–370.Google Scholar
- Gibbs, J. T. & Huang, L. N. (Eds.) (2003). Children of color: Psychological interventions with culturally diverse youth. 2nd ed. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
- Harkness, S., & Super, C. M. (2002). Culture and parenting. In M. H. Bornstein (Ed.), Handbook of parenting: Vol. 2. Biology and ecology of parenting (pp. 253–280). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- Hirshfeld, D. R., Biederman, J., Brody, L., Faraone, S. V., & Rosenbaum, J. F. (1997). Associations between expressed emotion and child behavioral inhibition and psychopathology: A pilot study. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 36(2), 205–213. https://doi.org/10.1097/00004583-199702000-00011.Google Scholar
- Jacobvitz, D. B., Hazen, N., Curran, M., & Hitchens, K. (2004). Observations of early triadic family interactions: Boundary disturbances in the family predict symptoms of depression, anxiety, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in middle childhood. Development and Psychopathology, 16(3), 577–592. https://doi.org/10.1017/s0954579404004675.Google Scholar
- Kwon, J., Delaney-Black, V., Covington, C., Abell, S. C., Nordstrom-Bailey, B., Sokol, R. J., & Ager, J. (2006). The relations between maternal expressed emotion and children’s perceived self‐competence, behavior and intelligence in African‐American families. Early Child Development and Care, 176(2), 195–206. https://doi.org/10.1080/0300443042000302681.Google Scholar
- López, S. R., Nelson Hipke, K., Polo, A. J., Jenkins, J. H., Karno, M., Vaughn, C., & Snyder, K. S. (2004). Ethnicity, expressed emotion, attributions, and course of schizophrenia: Family warmth matters. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 113(3), 428–39. https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-843X.113.3.428.Google Scholar
- Magaña-Amato, A. (1993). Manual for coding expressed emotion from the five-minute speech sample: UCLA Family Project. Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA: University of California.Google Scholar
- Magaña, A. B., Goldstein, M. J., Karno, M., Miklowitz, D. J., Jenkins, J., & Falloon, I. R. H. (1986). A brief method for assessing expressed emotion in relatives of psychiatric patients. Psychiatry Research, 17(3), 203–212.Google Scholar
- Mansoor, E., Morrow, C. E., Accornero, V. H., Xue, L., Johnson, A. L., Anthony, J. C., & Bandstra, E. S. (2012). Longitudinal effects of prenatal cocaine use on mother-child interactions at ages 3 and 5 years. Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, 33(1), 32–41. https://doi.org/10.1097/DBP.0b013e31823968ab.Google Scholar
- McCarty, C. A., Lau, A. S., Valeri, S. M., & Weisz, J. R. (2004). Parent-child interactions in relation to critical and emotionally overinvolved expressed emotion (EE): Is EE a proxy for behavior? Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 32(1), 83–93. https://doi.org/10.1023/B:JACP.0000007582.61879.6f.Google Scholar
- McConaughy, S. H., & Achenbach, T. M. (2004). Manual for the Test Observation Form for ages 2-18. ASEBA.Google Scholar
- Morrell, J., & Murray, L. (2003). Parenting and the development of conduct disorder and hyperactive symptoms in childhood: A prospective longitudinal study from 2 months to 8 years. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 44(4), 489–508. https://doi.org/10.1111/1469-7610.t01-1-00139.Google Scholar
- Muthén, L. K., & Muthén, B. O. (2010). Mplus user’s guide. 6th ed. Los Angeles, CA: Muthén & Muthén.Google Scholar
- Parke, R. D., Buriel, R., Damon, W., & Lerner, R. M. (2006). Socialization in the family: Ethnic and ecological perspectives. In: N. Eisenberg (ed.) Handbook of child psychology (Vol. 3). (pp. 429–504). Hoboken, NJ, US: John Wiley & Sons Inc.Google Scholar
- Peris, T. S., & Hinshaw, S. P. (2003). Family dynamics and preadolescent girls with ADHD: The relationship between expressed emotion, ADHD symptomatology, and comorbid disruptive behavior. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines, 44(8), 1177–1190. https://doi.org/10.1111/1469-7610.00199.Google Scholar
- Rapee, R. M., Schniering, C. A., & Hudson, J. L. (2009). Anxiety disorders during childhood and adolescence: origins and treatment. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 5, 311–341. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.clinpsy.032408.153628.Google Scholar
- Reynolds, C. R., & Kamphaus, R. W. (2004). Behavior Assessment System for Children. 2nd ed. Circle Pines, MN: AGS Publishing.Google Scholar
- Sameroff, A. J. (2005). Ports of entry and the dynamics of mother-infant interventions. In A. J. Sameroff, S. C. McDonough & K. Rosenblum (Eds.), Treating parent-infant relationship problems: Strategies for intervention (pp. 3–28). New York, NY: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Sattler, J. M. (2008). Assessment of children: Cognitive foundations. 5th ed. La Mesa, CA: Author.Google Scholar
- Silk, J. S., Ziegler, M. L., Whalen, D. J., Dahl, R. E., Ryan, N. D., Dietz, L. J., & Williamson, D. E. (2009). Expressed emotion in mothers of currently depressed, remitted, high-risk, and low-risk youth: links to child depression status and longitudinal course. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 38(1), 36–47. https://doi.org/10.1080/15374410802575339.Google Scholar
- Stubbe, D. E., Zahner, G. E., Goldstein, M. J., & Leckman, J. F. (1993). Diagnostic specificity of a brief measure of expressed emotion: A community study of children. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 34(2), 139–154.Google Scholar
- U.S. Census Bureau. (2011a). Current population survey: annual social and economic supplement. Retrieved February 20, 2013, from http://www.census.gov/population/hispanic/data/2011.html.
- U.S. Census Bureau. (2011b). State and County QuickFacts. Retrieved January 11, 2011, from http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/06/06065.html.
- Vaughn, C. (1989). Expressed emotion in family relationships. Child Psychology & Psychiatry & Allied Disciplines, 30(1), 13–22. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7610.1989.tb00767.x.Google Scholar
- Wagner, N. J., Propper, C., Gueron-Sela, N., & Mills-Koonce, W. R. (2015). Dimensions of maternal parenting and infants’ autonomic functioning interactively predict early internalizing behavior problems. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 44(3), 459–470. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10802-015-0039-2.Google Scholar
- Wamboldt, F. S., O’Connor, S. L., Wamboldt, M. Z., Gavin, L. A., & Klinnert, M. D. (2000). The five minute speech sample in children with asthma: Deconstructing the construct of expressed emotion. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 41(7), 887–898. https://doi.org/10.1111/1469-7610.00676.Google Scholar
- Wechsler, D. (2002). Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence. 3rd ed. San Antonio, TX: Harcourt Assessment, Inc.Google Scholar