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Infant Child Dev. 2010 Jul 1;19(4):333-353.

Maternal Behavior and Children's Early Emotion Regulation Skills Differentially Predict Development of Children's Reactive Control and Later Effortful Control.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Florida, FL, USA.


The role of maternal behavior and children's early emotion regulation skills in the development of children's reactive control, specifically behavioral impulsivity, and later effortful control was examined in a sample of 435 children. HLM analyses indicated significant growth in reactive control across the toddlerhood to early childhood period. Emotion regulation at age-2 positively predicted initial levels of children's reactive control abilities while maternal overcontrol/intrusiveness predicted lower levels of reactive control growth. Maternal behaviors at age-2 predicted children's effortful control abilities at age-5.5. Emotion regulation did not predict effortful control abilities. Maternal behavior and children's early emotion regulation skills may differentially facilitate the development of reactive and effortful control abilities.

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