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Maternal cognitions and cognitive, behavior and emotional development in middle childhood

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Szücs, D 


Objectives: Maternal cognitions influence the mother-child relationship, and therefore children's development. However, some relationships between maternal cognitions and children's outcomes have yet to be investigated and most studies have been carried out in Western countries. We analysed how three maternal cognitions (depression, parenting stress, and parental sense of competence) were related to children's behavioural and emotional problems; self-esteem and bullying; math achievement, receptive vocabulary, and executive functions in a Latin American context. Methods: Participants were 10,867 mother-child dyads: a nationally representative sample of children aged 7 to 12 years old (M age = 10.1 years; SD = 1.3; 49.16% girls). Data was collected in 2017 through home visits by the Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey from Chile. The analyses we performed were descriptive, frequency, correlations, and multivariate regression. Our large, representative sample allowed us to estimate effect sizes precisely and the generalize of our results to a wide population. Results: Novel findings indicated that maternal depression was negatively related to children's self-esteem; parenting stress was negatively related to self-esteem and positively related to being bullied; parental sense of competence was negatively related to experiencing bullying and positively related to self-esteem, math achievement, receptive vocabulary, and executive functions. Conclusions: Parenting stress was the single predictor that impacted all outcome variables. Maternal depression was mostly related to mothers’ perception of their children's behavioural and emotional problems and children experiencing bullying. Parental sense of competence predicted a diverse range of children's outcomes. We discuss how results can inform prevention and intervention programs targeting child-mother dyads.



5205 Social and Personality Psychology, 52 Psychology, Mental Health, Mind and Body, Pediatric, Basic Behavioral and Social Science, Depression, Prevention, Behavioral and Social Science, 2 Aetiology, 2.3 Psychological, social and economic factors, Mental health, 3 Good Health and Well Being

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Current Research in Behavioral Sciences

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Elsevier BV