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J Gen Psychol. 2014;141(2):113-29. doi: 10.1080/00221309.2013.874971.

You are such a bad child! Appraisals as mechanisms of parental negative and positive affect.

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  • 1a Babes-Bolyai University.


Although parent cognitions are considered important predictors that determine specific emotional reactions and parental practices, models on the cognitive strategies for regulating parental distress or positive emotions are not well developed. Our aim was to investigate the nature of cognitions involved in parental distress and satisfaction, in terms of their specificity (parental or general) and their processing levels (inferential or evaluative cognitions). We hypothesized that parent's specific evaluative cognitions will mediate the impact of more general and inferential cognitive structures on their affective reactions. We used bootstrapping procedures in order to test the mediation models proposed. Results obtained show indeed that rather specific evaluative parental cognitions are mediating the relationship between general cognitions and parental distress. In terms of the cognitive processing levels, it seems that when parents hold both low self-efficacy and parental negative global evaluations for the self/child, this adds significantly to their distress.


cognition; cognitive styles; coping; parenting; stress

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