Deffaa, Mirjam

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Deffaa
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Mirjam
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The Role of Culture and Contextual Risk for Maternal Parenting and Children’s Behavior Regulation in Chile and Germany

2022-09, Deffaa, Mirjam, Weis, Mirjam, Muñoz, Lorena, Trommsdorff, Gisela

Children’s behavior regulation development takes place in diverse sociocultural settings. In this study, we take a multilayer ecological perspective and examine cross-cultural as well as intra-cultural similarities and differences in relations between different aspects of contextual risks (i.e., family and neighborhood risk), maternal restrictive control, and children’s behavior regulation in Chile and Germany. One hundred sixty-seven mothers of primary school children in Chile and 109 mothers in Germany (total sample M (child age) = 10.01 years) completed questionnaires on family risk, parenting practices, and their child’s behavior regulation. Mothers in Germany rated children’s behavior regulation significantly higher than mothers in Chile. Further, in both cultural contexts (Chile, Germany), the higher the family risk, the higher was the use of maternal restrictive control and the lower the child’s behavior regulation. In Chile, after including maternal restrictive control, the relation between family risk and children’s behavior regulation remained significant. In Germany, in contrast, there was no direct significant relation between family risk and children’s behavior regulation, instead we found a significant indirect pathway via maternal restrictive control. Further, we investigated the moderating role of neighborhood risk, as distal contextual risk, for the relation between family risk and maternal restrictive control as well as for the relation between maternal restrictive control and children’s behavior regulation. We found no significant overall moderated mediation effect. However, findings in Chile and Germany revealed a conditional indirect effect indicating that family risk and behavior regulation were indirectly related via maternal restrictive control only when neighborhood risk was high. This underlines the need for an integrative consideration of the cultural context as well as family risk and neighborhood risk when investigating the role of maternal parenting for children’s behavior regulation development.

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The Role of Maternal Parenting for Children’s Behavior Regulation in Environments of Risk

2020-09-08, Deffaa, Mirjam, Weis, Mirjam, Trommsdorff, Gisela

This study investigates the role of maternal parenting and subjective theories for associations between environmental risk and children’s behavior regulation combining a qualitative and quantitative approach. Mothers of 113 primary school children (M = 10.06, SD = 0.86) in Germany completed questionnaires on parenting, environmental risk, and their child’s behavior regulation. To test for associations, we applied hierarchical regression models. Further, we conducted nine focus groups in settings of high and low environmental risk and used thematic analysis. Maternal warmth showed positive associations with children’s behavior regulation. Restrictive maternal control and children’s behavior regulation were related negatively. The negative association between environmental risk and children’s behavior regulation was partly explained by restrictive maternal control. When maternal warmth was added into the model on environmental risk, restrictive maternal control, and children’s behavior regulation, both maternal parenting practices lost its significant associations with children’s behavior regulation. Qualitative findings gave insights into parents’ subjective theories, suggesting adverse peer effects as possible explanation for the relation between environmental risk and children’s behavior regulation. The results are discussed in terms of their contribution to theoretical considerations on behavior regulation development in different environmental risk settings.