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Children's Temperament, Mothers' Discipline, and Security of Attachment: Multiple Pathways to Emerging Internalization

Grazyna Kochanska
Child Development
Vol. 66, No. 3 (Jun., 1995), pp. 597-615
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development
DOI: 10.2307/1131937
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1131937
Page Count: 19
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Children's Temperament, Mothers' Discipline, and Security of Attachment: Multiple Pathways to Emerging Internalization
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Abstract

This study examined relations of temperamental fearfulness/anxiety proneness, attachment security, and maternal discipline with emerging internalization in 103 26-41-month-old toddlers. It was a further test of the model that proposed that child temperament (1) is an important underpinning of early internalization and (2) moderates the influence of socialization. All constructs were measured using multiple behavioral observations in several contexts at home and laboratory and parental reports. Fearfulness/anxiety was associated with several measures of internalization. There was also strong evidence of diverse pathways to internalization for children with different temperaments. For the relatively fearful/anxious children, maternal gentle discipline deemphasizing power, thus presumably resulting in an optimal, moderate level of anxious arousal, predicted internalization. For the relatively fearless children, however, security of attachment was associated with internalization. The findings are discussed within a framework proposing alternative pathways to internalization-one capitalizing on fear/anxiety and one building on positive, cooperative interpersonal set between the mother and child-with different pathways effective for children differing in temperament.

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