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Pediatrics. 2003 Mar;111(3):641-52.

Child disobedience and noncompliance: a review.

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University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.


Child disobedience and noncompliance is a recurring problem frequently brought to the attention of pediatricians and others working with children and their parents. This article reviews empirical studies concerning childhood noncompliance. Definitions of noncompliance (also called disobedience) are presented, and observational studies that have measured noncompliance in the laboratory and at home are reviewed. Studies show considerable variability in the prevalence of noncompliance, but demonstrate that it is a frequent problem for parents. Longitudinal data from the Pittsburgh Youth Study are presented to more closely examine the onset and stability of noncompliance in childhood and adolescence. Evidence suggests that extreme childhood noncompliance is relatively stable over time, peaking slightly during early adolescence and decreasing during late adolescence. Studies indicate that for some children noncompliance predicts aggression and externalizing problems. Antecedents of noncompliance including parental discipline techniques and child characteristics are reviewed. Parent training programs designed to reduce noncompliance are described, and the effectiveness of such programs is examined.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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