Toddlers' Self-Regulated Compliance to Mothers, Caregivers, and Fathers: Implications for Theories of Socialization

Ruth Feldman, Pnina S. Klein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

176 Scopus citations

Abstract

To compare children's socialized behavior to parents and nonparental agents, this study examined self-regulated compliance to mothers and caregivers - an early form of internalization - in 90 toddlers, half of whom were also observed with fathers. Adults were observed in play, teaching, and discipline sessions with the child and were interviewed on child-rearing philosophies. Child cognition and emotion regulation were assessed, and naturalistic observations were conducted at child-care locations. Mean-level and rank-order stability were found in child compliance to the 3 adults. Child emotion regulation and adult warm control in a discipline situation were related to self-regulated compliance to the mother, caregiver, and father. Compliance to parents correlated with parental sensitivity and philosophies, and compliance to the caregiver correlated with child cognition and social involvement when child-care quality was controlled. Maternal sensitivity and warm control discipline predicted compliance to the caregiver but not vice versa. Results are consistent with theoretical positions on the generalization of socialization from the mother to nonmaternal agents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)680-692
Number of pages13
JournalDevelopmental Psychology
Volume39
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2003

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