Maternal Responsiveness, Infant Emotionality, and Effortful Control
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The relations between maternal responsiveness and effortful control were examined in a longitudinal study including 192 mother-child dyads. Maternal responsiveness was assessed when children were 7, 15, and 33 months old, and effortful control was assessed on four laboratory tasks and parent report at 33 months. Maternal responsiveness at 15 and 33 months predicted observational and parent report measures of effortful control at 33 months. Results in a subset of children with high emotionality were then compared to those of the entire sample. Maternal responsiveness at 33 months was positively associated with children's effortful control at 33 months for children high on emotionality, and maternal responsiveness at 15 months was positively associated with children's effortful control at 33 months for children not high on emotionality. The importance of maternal responsivity for children's development of effortful control is discussed.