Child Psychiatry & Human Development

, Volume 49, Issue 1, pp 42–52 | Cite as

Maternal Responsiveness as a Predictor of Self-Regulation Development and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Symptoms Across Preschool Ages

Original Article

Abstract

Preschool-age “hot” executive function capacity (i.e. reward-related effortful control) represents an early kind of self-regulation that is involved in social adjustment development as well as the development of subtypes of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Early self-regulation development might be malleable by responsive parenting. We analyzed whether maternal responsiveness/sensitivity predicts reward-related control (RRC) development within the preschool period, and whether RRC mediates a negative link between maternal responsiveness and ADHD symptoms. A sample of 125 preschoolers and their families were seen at the ages of 4 and 5 years. Maternal responsiveness/sensitivity was assessed via home observations, RRC by neuropsychological tasks, and ADHD symptoms by a structured clinical parent interview. Maternal responsiveness/sensitivity predicted RRC development. The negative link between maternal responsiveness/sensitivity at 4 years and ADHD symptoms at 5 years was mediated by RRC performance at 5 years. Preschoolers showing ADHD symptoms combined with low RRC capacity in particular might benefit from responsive/sensitive parenting.

Keywords

Maternal responsiveness Parenting Preschool age Development of self-regulation Delay of gratification Delay aversion Attention deficits hyperactivity symtoms 

Notes

Funding

The research for this article was funded by a grant from the University Medical Centre Giessen-Marburg and by grants from the German Research Foundation (DFG, Be2573/3-1,2) to Prof Dr. Katja Becker and Prof. Dr. Ursula Pauli-Pott.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ursula Pauli-Pott
    • 1
  • Susan Schloß
    • 1
  • Katja Becker
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Psychosomatics and PsychotherapyPhilipps-University of MarburgMarburgGermany

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