Motherhood and Caring in Children

The purpose of a study published in Developmental Psychology was to examine associations between mothers’ socialization practices in childhood and adolescence and offsprings’ (N = 32, 16 female) sympathy/concern in early adulthood. Mothers reported on their socialization practices and beliefs a total of 6 times using a Q-sort during their offsprings’ childhood (between 7–8 and 11–12 years of age) and adolescence (between 13–14 and 17–18 years of age). Adult offsprings’ sympathy/caring was assessed 3 times in early adulthood (at ages 19–20 to 23–24 years) and in their mid-20s to 30s (ages 25–26 to 31–32 years). In general, friends’ reports of participants’ sympathy/concern at ages 25–32 years related positively to mother-reported rational discipline (including inductions) and warmth and support during childhood and adolescence and negatively to mother-reported negative affect during adolescence. Self-reported sympathy/concern during early adulthood was positively related to maternal warmth and support during childhood and almost significantly negatively related to mother-reported negative affect during childhood and adolescence. Most of the relations held when the prior level of self-reported childhood empathy or adolescent sympathy was controlled.

For the abstract

           

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