Reasoning and action complexity. Sources and consequences on maternal child rearing behavior
SourceInternational Journal of Behavioral Development, 25, 1, (2001), pp. 50-59
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI OGG
International Journal of Behavioral Development
In this study, two approaches of complexity of maternal thinking were examined: Newberger’s(1980) analysis of reasoning complexity, and Vallacher and Wegner’s (1985) analysis of action complexity, that was adapted to the parenting " eld. Measures for action complexity and for maternal behaviours were derived from hypothetical child-rearing situations and from mother-child observed interactions. Links between reasoning and action complexity to child-rearing actions and to sources, such as socioeconomic status (SES) were explored in a Spanish sample of 60 mothers with a child 7 to 10 years old. Moreover, it was proposed that the relation between SES and maternal child-rearing behaviour was mediated by either form of complexity. A LISREL model for the hypothetical situations showed that the influence of SES on less positive child rearing was only mediated by Reasoning complexity, whereas Action complexity showed an independent path to positive child-rearing behaviour. A LISREL model for the observed situations showed that both maternal reasoning complexity and action complexity played an equivalent mediating role between maternal SES and negative child-rearing behaviour. The theoretical and methodological implications of both aspects of complexity to the analysis of child-rearing behaviour were discussed.
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