The Self, Views Of The World, And The Socialization Of Self-Regulation

Open Access
Dennis, Tracy A.
Graduate Program:
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
September 11, 2001
Committee Members:
  • Pamela Marie Cole, Committee Chair
  • Keith A Crnic, Ph D, Committee Member
  • Cynthia Stifter, Committee Member
  • Keith E Nelson, Committee Member
  • self-regulation
  • child development
  • socialization
This study examined associations among mothers' views of the world, defined by the manner in which their self-regulation is organized, parenting behaviors, and child self-regulation in a sample of 113 3- and 4-year-olds and their mothers. Using both observational and self-report measures, we assessed whether: (1) mothers' promotion (oriented towards obtaining desired outcomes) and prevention (oriented towards avoiding undesired outcomes) regulatory-focus predicted promotion- and prevention-oriented parenting behaviors; (2) parenting behaviors predicted differences in style versus effectiveness of child self-regulation; and (3) promotion- and prevention-oriented child and maternal behaviors reliably predicted emotional tendencies. Results indicated that, whereas maternal regulatory-focus did not predict maternal parenting behaviors, child temperament and age were linked to parenting. Maternal behaviors, as well as child temperament, predicted both stylistic differences in and indices of effective child self-regulation. Finally, maternal and child promotion- and prevention-related emotions (dejection/happiness and agitation/calm respectively) were linked to mother and child promotion and prevention behaviors. Results and future directions are discussed, including the importance of conceptualizing socialization as contextually sensitive and co-determined by mothers and children, the significance of distinguishing between stylistic differences in and effectiveness of child self-regulation, and the relations among temperament, promotion and prevention regulatory-orientations, and emotional tendencies.