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Prediction of prosocial and emotional competence from maternal behavior in African American preschoolers.

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New Century College, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA 22030, USA.


This research investigates whether individual differences in African American preschoolers' prosocial behavior and emotional regulation ability were differentially predicted by parenting practices around prosocial behavior and emotions, once variance due to SES was explained. Seventy African American preschoolers were visited at their preschools and their prosocial and emotion regulation behaviors were observed. Mothers' emotion and prosocial-related socialization behaviors were observed during a separate home visit. Positive prosocial-related maternal variables (i.e., social approval of the act and praise of the child) were positively associated with prosocial behavior, above and beyond SES. On the other hand, positive emotion-related maternal variables, such as matching and discussion of emotions were more strongly related to emotion regulation behavior. Findings are discussed in terms of the lack of research on higher SES African American children and the associated methodological challenges of conducting developmental research on diverse populations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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