Supportive Parenting Buffers the Effects of Low Peer Acceptance on Children’s Internalizing Problem Behaviors
Zarra-Nezhad, M., Moazami-Goodarzi, A., Aunola, K., Nurmi, J.-E., Kiuru, N., & Lerkkanen, M.-K. (2019). Supportive Parenting Buffers the Effects of Low Peer Acceptance on Children’s Internalizing Problem Behaviors. Child and Youth Care Forum, 48(6), 865-887. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10566-019-09510-y
Published inChild and Youth Care Forum
© The Author(s) 2019
Background Children who are not accepted in their peer group are at risk of developing internalizing problem behaviors. It is possible, however, that supportive parenting can provide a buffer against the detrimental effects of low peer acceptance. Objective This study examined maternal and paternal affection and psychological control as moderators of the association between children’s peer acceptance during the critical transition to primary school and level and subsequent development of internalizing problem behaviors from first to sixth grade. Method A total of 608 children (264 girls, 344 boys) were rated by their teachers on their internalizing problems in grades 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6. Children’s peer acceptance was measured in the first grade using a sociometric nomination procedure. At the same time point, mothers (n = 432) and fathers (n = 281) completed questionnaires measuring their levels of affection and psychological control. Results The results of latent growth curve modelling showed, first, that on average children’s internalizing problems decreased over the school years. Second, peer acceptance was associated with the development of internalizing problems: the higher the peer acceptance, the bigger the decrease—and the lower the peer acceptance, the smaller the decrease—in the level of internalizing problems across time. However, high maternal affection provided a buffer against this impact of low peer acceptance. Among boys, low levels of maternal psychological control also provided a buffer against the effects of low peer acceptance. No significant results were found on the moderating role of fathers’ parenting styles. Conclusion Overall, the results suggested that mothers’ emotionally sensitive and supporting caregiving may protect children from the harmful long-term effects of low peer acceptance. ...
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Additional information about fundingThis work has been Carried out in the Center of MultiLeTe and funded by grants from the Academy of Finland to Authors Jari-Erik Nurmi, Noona Kiuru and Marja-Kristiina Lerkkanen. ; #962909: Alkuportaat
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