Date of Award

Spring 5-2021

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



Advisor/Committee Chair

Laura Welch

Committee Member

Betty Lin


While a wealth of research has explicated the impact of parents on children, the effects of children on parents has received less attention. Research has shown associations between temperament and parent stress as well as between parenting styles and parent stress. Studies have demonstrated that both high negative affectivity and low effortful control can cause parents to experience higher levels of stress (Konstantareas & Papageorgiou, 2006; Pesonen, Räikkönen, Heinonen, Komsi, Järvenpää, & Strandberg, 2008; Szymańska & Aranowska, 2019). Research has also shown that parents who employ authoritarian parenting tend to experience higher levels of stress than those who employ authoritative parenting (Aunola, Stattin & Nurmi, 1999; Calam, Bolton & Roberts, 2002; Lovejoy, Weis, O'Hare, & Rubin, 1999). The current study investigates whether certain child temperament characteristics are associated with specific parenting styles as well as with more parent stress, and whether the associations between temperament and parent stress are mediated by parenting styles. Preschool aged children are the focus of this investigation. A mediation model in this case would provide more insight into the nature of the effect that temperament has on parent stress. The sample included 46 children 3 to 5 years of age (26 girls, Mage = 4.24 years, SD = 0.48) and their parents (38 mothers, Mage = 31.71 years, SD = 7.83); families were multi-ethnic in background and reflected varying levels of socioeconomic status. Parents completed questionnaires assessing child temperament, parenting styles, and parent stress. A mediation model was run to test the effects of negative affectivity and effortful control on parenting styles and parenting stress. Results did show that high negative affectivity predicted high parent stress and that authoritative parenting predicted less parent stress, but that negative affectivity was unrelated to parenting styles. Further studies should investigate the role that other temperament characteristics may play in predicting parenting styles and parent stress.

Available for download on Wednesday, December 01, 2021

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