Maternal control style in preschool children born at medical risk
Elements of mother-child reciprocity, labeled interaction characteristics, have been shown to be critical components in optimal child development. Maternal Control Style is a specific interaction style defined as the mother's tendency toward being controlling or supportive of her child's autonomy. The primary purpose of this study was to investigate maternal control style with mothers whose children were born at medical risk. Specifically, the study examined the relationship between a mother's maternal control style and selected maternal and child characteristics. Role interactionist theory within the symbolic interaction perspective was the theoretical framework for the study.^ Maternal control style was assessed in a sample of 110 mothers and their 4-year old children who participated in two laboratory assessments and a home visit. The mothers were healthy, aged 21-42, with all levels of SES represented. The children were stratified by their perinatal medical risk status as: Full Term, Healthy Preterm, Sick Preterm, Central Nervous System (CNS) Preterm, and Small for Gestational Age (SGA) Preterm.^ Observation of the two laboratory assessments in two contexts, free play and problem-solving, were videotaped for later coding. Maternal control style was coded using items from the Parent/Caregiver Involvement Scale (PCIS) and the Problem Solving Scale. Maternal characteristics were measured by a demographic questionnaire, and the HOME Inventory. Child characteristics were measured by the EAS Temperament Survey and perinatal risk status. The ABC attachment classification at 15 months was also examined as a precursor to maternal control style in a subsample of 63 children.^ Support was found for the hypotheses relating to maternal control style in a problem solving context. A more autonomy-supportive maternal control style was associated with higher maternal education, higher SES, and a home environment that was warm, accepting, and had positive role modeling. A combination of maternal education and home environment accounted for a significant amount of the variance in maternal control style scores. Significant differences were found due to perinatal risk, with more autonomy-supportive maternal control style among mothers of the Sick Preterm group. Maternal control style was least appropriate with children who were avoidantly (C) attached. ^
Health Sciences, Nursing|Psychology, Developmental|Psychology, General
Mary Cunningham Sullivan,
"Maternal control style in preschool children born at medical risk"
Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access).