Maternal characteristics and maternal limit-setting styles

Elizabeth A. LeCuyer-Maus, Gail M. Houck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


In a longitudinal study of 126 mothers and toddlers during toddlerhood, maternal limit-setting styles were assessed at 12, 24, and 36 months in relation to selected maternal characteristics. Mothers using teaching-based limit-setting styles at 12 months reported more optimal relationship histories of care and overprotection/control in their own families of origin. The main contributor to a maternal teaching-based limit-setting style in this sample was years of formal education, followed by a more multicausal conceptualization of how children develop. Thus, while years of formal education appear to facilitate the use of a teaching-based limit-setting style, formal education is not the only way to develop these skills. Maternal conceptualization of development may be amenable to intervention through a number of alternative learning activities. Further research is needed to explore the effects of different types of educational and learning opportunities on current maternal behavior, with the goal of optimizing socialization skills related to the development of toddler self-regulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)336-344
Number of pages9
JournalPublic Health Nursing
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2002


  • Discipline style
  • Limit-setting
  • Mother-toddler interaction
  • Toddlers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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