Proximal and Distal Correlates of Maternal Control Style

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Control, as an aspect of maternal interaction, has been found to be an important component to optimal child development. Maternal control style is defined as a mother's tendency to be controlling or supportive of her child's autonomy. The relationship between two types of maternal characteristics, proximal and distal, and maternal control style was investigated in a sample of 184 mothers and their 4-year-old children. Global ratings of videotaped data of two problem-solving tasks were made on a 5-point scale. An optimal maternal control style was associated with higher levels of the distal maternal characteristics of maternal education, age, occupation, and higher levels of the proximal characteristics of maternal responsivity and involvement. A hierarchical regression model explaining 26% of the variance in maternal control style scores supports the importance of both types of maternal characteristics. The results are discussed in relation to the methodology and the theoretical framework of role.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Western Journal of Nursing Research