African American and European American Mothers’ Limit Setting and Their 36-Month-Old Children’s Responses to Limits, Self-Concept, and Social Competence

Elizabeth A. LeCuyer, Dena Phillips Swanson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Maternal limit-setting behaviors and patterns were observed and examined in relation to 36-month-old children’s capacities for self-regulation in 50 African American (AA) and 66 European American (EA) mother–child dyads. Children’s capacities for self-regulation were assessed through their self-concept, social competence, and observed responses to limits. Accounting for demographic risk and children’s gender, there were no ethnic differences in children’s self-regulation. In both ethnic groups, a maternal authoritative limit-setting pattern was associated with more optimal children’s self-concept and responses to limits. Maternal limit setting was associated with social competence in the EA sample, but not in the AA sample. Although further research is required to understand contributions to social competence in AA children, these data provide support for the benefits of authoritative (teaching-based) limit setting in both AA and EA mothers with 36-month-old children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)270-296
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Volume37
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

Keywords

  • child discipline
  • family processes
  • mother–child relationships
  • parent–child relations
  • race/ethnicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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