Correlates of Social Competence at Age Two: The Roles of Temperament and Maternal Style
Purple, Margro Anne
Rubin, Kenneth H
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The roles of temperament and parenting in the development of social competence at age two years were examined. Toddlers (N=108; 54 girls) and their mothers participated in a laboratory assessment of temperament and observation of mother-toddler interaction during structured and unstructured free play. Additionally, mothers completed the Toddler Behavior Assessment Questionnaire (Goldsmith, 1988) and the Child Rearing Practices Q-Sort (Block, 1981). Mother-toddler dyads returned to the laboratory for an observed session of play with an unfamiliar, same-age, same-sex peer. Indices of maternal style and temperament based on questionnaire and observational data from the first session were used to predict socially competent behavior with the peer during the second session. The results supported a trend indicating that toddlers who displayed low levels of distress (e.g. anger and whininess) spent a moderate amount of time engaged in socially competent peer play as compared to toddlers who displayed greater distress in said task.