Longitudinal Patterns of Parental Support as Predictors of Children's Competence Motivation

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<ul><li><p>This article was downloaded by: [University of California Davis]On: 21 November 2014, At: 23:50Publisher: RoutledgeInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registered office: Mortimer House,37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK</p><p>Early Child Development and CarePublication details, including instructions for authors and subscription information:http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/gecd20</p><p>Longitudinal Patterns of Parental Support as Predictorsof Children's Competence MotivationHans th. Meij a , J. Marianne RiksenWalraven b &amp; Cornelis F.M. Van Lieshout ba Department of Developmental Psychology , University of Nijmegen (now at the NetherlandsInstitute of Care and Welfare , Utrechtb Department of Developmental Psychology , University of NijmegenPublished online: 07 Jul 2006.</p><p>To cite this article: Hans th. Meij , J. Marianne RiksenWalraven &amp; Cornelis F.M. Van Lieshout (2000) Longitudinal Patternsof Parental Support as Predictors of Children's Competence Motivation, Early Child Development and Care, 160:1, 1-15, DOI:10.1080/0030443001600101</p><p>To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0030443001600101</p><p>PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE</p><p>Taylor &amp; Francis makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of all the information (the Content) contained in thepublications on our platform. However, Taylor &amp; Francis, our agents, and our licensors make no representationsor warranties whatsoever as to the accuracy, completeness, or suitability for any purpose of the Content. Anyopinions and views expressed in this publication are the opinions and views of the authors, and are not theviews of or endorsed by Taylor &amp; Francis. The accuracy of the Content should not be relied upon and should beindependently verified with primary sources of information. Taylor and Francis shall not be liable for any losses,actions, claims, proceedings, demands, costs, expenses, damages, and other liabilities whatsoever or howsoevercaused arising directly or indirectly in connection with, in relation to or arising out of the use of the Content.</p><p>This article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes. Any substantial or systematicreproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan, sub-licensing, systematic supply, or distribution in anyform to anyone is expressly forbidden. Terms &amp; Conditions of access and use can be found at http://www.tandfonline.com/page/terms-and-conditions</p><p>http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/gecd20http://www.tandfonline.com/action/showCitFormats?doi=10.1080/0030443001600101http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0030443001600101http://www.tandfonline.com/page/terms-and-conditionshttp://www.tandfonline.com/page/terms-and-conditions</p></li><li><p>Early Child Development and Care, 2000, VoL 160, pp. 1-15Reprints available directly from the publisherPhotocopying permitted by license only</p><p> 2000 OFA (Overseas Publishers Association) N.V.Published by license under</p><p>the Cordon and Breach Publishers imprintPrinted in Singapore.</p><p>Longitudinal Patterns of Parental Supportas Predictors of Children's CompetenceMotivation</p><p>HANS TH. MEIJ1, J. MARIANNE RIKSEN-WALRAVEN2,* andCORNELIS F.M. VAN LIESHOUT2</p><p>1 Department of Developmental Psychology, University of Nijmegen(now at the Netherlands Institute of Care and Welfare, Utrecht)2Department of Developmental Psychology, University of Nijmegen</p><p>(Received 2 December 1999)</p><p>The competence motivation of 77 children at 12 and 30 months was examined inrelation to the quality of support they received from their parents at 6, 9, 12, 18, and30 months. First, the quality of parental support at the separate ages was used topredict the children's competence motivation. Although the quality of parental supportwas moderately stable across time, only weak relationships were found between thequality of parental support the children received at earlier ages and their later competencemotivation. Next, the individual patterns of parental support across time were examinedin relation to children's competence motivation. Using cluster analysis, four groups ofparent-child pairs were identified with similar patterns of parental support across time:(1) increasing, (2) decreasing, (3) stable high, and (4) stable low quality of support.The children in these four groups differed significantly with regard to competencemotivation. Remarkably low levels of competence motivation were found at 30 monthsfor children receiving a decreased quality of parental support over time.</p><p>Key words: Competence motivation, parental support, longitudinal, parent-infantinteraction</p><p>Robert White (1959) described children's competence motivation as an innate anduniversal motive "to interact effectively with the environment" (p.297). AlthoughWhite did not pay much attention to the existence and development of inter-individual differences in the strength of this motive, such individual variation hasbeen the topic of considerable theorizing and research. Harter (1978, 1981)elaborated on White's conceptual framework and was the first to emphasize the</p><p>*Correspondence: J. Marianne Riksen-Walraven, Department of Developmental Psychology,University of Nijmegen, PO Box 9104, 6500 HE Nijmegen, The Netherlands. E-mail: riksen@psych.kun.nl</p><p>1</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>Uni</p><p>vers</p><p>ity o</p><p>f C</p><p>alif</p><p>orni</p><p>a D</p><p>avis</p><p>] at</p><p> 23:</p><p>50 2</p><p>1 N</p><p>ovem</p><p>ber </p><p>2014</p></li><li><p>2 H.TH. MEIJ et al.</p><p>social basis of competence motivation. Since then, numerous studies have examinedthe effects of children's social experiences and especially their interactions with theprimary caregiver on the development of competence motivation in the first yearsof life.</p><p>The effects of children's social experiences on their competence motivation areassumed to be mediated by the development of such personal agency beliefs asperceptions of control, perceptions of competence, and self-efficacy beliefs (Bandura,1977; Ford &amp; Thompson, 1985; Lewis &amp; Goldberg, 1969; Riksen-Walraven, 1978;Skinner, 1986; Watson, 1966). According to this point of view, infants experiencethemselves as competent when their acts elicit a response from the environment Suchexperiences promote the development of a generalized sense of self as an effectiveagent, which then provides the motivational basis for further exploration and masteryof the environment Given that the most prominent act-effect contingencies in earlyinfancy are experienced in interaction with the social environment, the extent towhich caregivers respond to their children's signals and thus provide opportunitiesfor the infants to experience their own effectiveness may be considered a powerfuldeterminant of children's competence motivation. And indeed, numerous empiricalstudies have shown parental responsiveness to foster motivational development ininfancy and beyond (Ramey, Starr, Pallas, Whitten &amp; Reed, 1975; Riksen-Walraven,1978; Riksen-Walraven &amp; Van Aken, 1997; Watson, 1972).</p><p>After the first year of life, other aspects of parental behavior gain importance aspartial determinants of children's competence motivation. The manner in whichparents support children during problem solving or the performance of a given task,for example, largely determines the extent to which children experience themselvesas competent Parental encouragement and emotional support in the face offrustration typically stimulate children to persist on a task. Careful structuring ofthe task and the provision of clear instructions attuned to the child's cognitive levelmay also increase children's chances of success. By not interfering with theperformance and allowing children to act on their own, moreover, the children'sattribution of success to their own competence is also promoted. Empirical studieswith toddlers and older preschoolers have clearly shown these aspects of parentalsupport to indeed be related to children's task motivation (Busch-Rossnagel, Knauf-Jensen &amp; DesRosiers, 1995; Frodi, Bridges &amp; Grolnick, 1985; Heckhausen, 1993;Lutkenhaus, 1984; Maslin-Cole, Bretherton &amp; Morgan, 1993; Skinner, 1986; Wachs,1987).</p><p>In sum, there is ample evidence that the quality of parental support affectschildren's competence motivation in the first years of life. The majority of thestudies in this area have measured quality of parental support at only a single pointin time. That is, the quality of parental support is implicitly assumed to be relativelystable over time, which implies that assessment on one or two occasions is sufficientto predict children's competence motivation. The question, however, is whetherpossible changes in parental support over time should not be considered in attemptsto explain the level and development of children's competence motivation. Thatis, intra-individual variation in the quality of parental support may occur and alsobe related to changes in children's competence motivation.</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>Uni</p><p>vers</p><p>ity o</p><p>f C</p><p>alif</p><p>orni</p><p>a D</p><p>avis</p><p>] at</p><p> 23:</p><p>50 2</p><p>1 N</p><p>ovem</p><p>ber </p><p>2014</p></li><li><p>LONGITUDINAL PATTERNS 3</p><p>One reason to expect stability in the quality of support provided by parents issimply that the quality of parenting is largely determined by relatively enduringparental characteristics that are, in part, the product of the parents' developmentalhistories (Belsky, 1984; Belsky, Crnic &amp; Woodworth, 1995; Kochanska, Clark &amp;Goldman, 1997) and their genetic endowment (Perusse, 1994). Parental behavioris also obviously influenced by much more variable factors, such as the level of lifestress and social support experienced by the parents (Belsky, 1984; Teti &amp; Gelfand,1992; Simons, Lorenz, Wu &amp; Conger, 1993; Vaughn, Egeland, Waters &amp; Sroufe,1979). For this reason, we can expect at least some change in the quality ofparenting over time. The moderate, stability that has been found in the quality ofparental support across the first few years of life (cf . Pianta, Sroufe &amp; Egeland, 1989)leaves room for the existence of different patterns of parental support across time.</p><p>Although the importance of studying patterns of development at the individuallevel has been recognized in developmental psychology (Burchinal &amp; Appelbaum,1991), longitudinal research has not addressed individual patterns of parentalsupport over time and how such patterns may relate to children's development Inthe present study, we therefore examined individual patterns of parental supportacross a two-year period and related these observed patterns of support to thedevelopment of children's competence motivation.</p><p>METHOD</p><p>Participants</p><p>The present report is based upon a sample of 77 Caucasian first-born children (41boys, 36 girls) and their primary caregivers (76 mothers, 1 father). The parents andchildren were seen when the children were 6, 9, 12, 18, and 30 months old.Originally, 78 families participated, but one family emigrated when the child was12 months old. The sample comprised no premature infants or infants with abnormalmedical histories. All of the children lived in two-parent, working-class families(semi-skilled and unskilled workers). The recruitment of the families was based onthe municipal records from the city of Nijmegen.</p><p>The study was originally designed to be an intervention study. Between the agesof 6 and 12 months, two different intervention programs were carried out. Bothprograms were aimed at improving the quality of support parents provide for theirinfants (i.e. their sensitive responsiveness) and thereby the infants' competencemotivation. Each program was carried out in one randomly selected third of thetotal sample; the remaining third of the sample served as the control group.However, the interventions did not produce the expected differences in quality ofparental support or children's competence motivation (Meij, 1992). In addition,the stability of parental support and the children's competence motivation over timedid not differ for the intervention versus control groups. In light of the above, itwas decided that the combined sample could be considered as homogeneous inthese respects.</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>Uni</p><p>vers</p><p>ity o</p><p>f C</p><p>alif</p><p>orni</p><p>a D</p><p>avis</p><p>] at</p><p> 23:</p><p>50 2</p><p>1 N</p><p>ovem</p><p>ber </p><p>2014</p></li><li><p>4 H.TH. MEIJ et al.</p><p>Procedure and Measures</p><p>Quality of Parental Support to the Child</p><p>At all five ages, scores for the quality of parental support were derived fromvideotaped parent-child interaction episodes. At 6, 9, and 12 months, we rated theparents' behavior towards the child using the Ainsworth Sensitivity scale (cf . Ainsworthet al, 1978); at 12, 18, and 30 months, the quality of parental support was assessedusing five rating scales developed by Erickson, Sroufe, and Egeland (1985).</p><p>Ainsworth's Sensitivity Ratings at 6, 9, and 12 Months</p><p>At these ages, parents' sensitive responsiveness to their children's signals was takento be an indicator of the quality of parental support Sensitive responsiveness wasobserved in a 10-minute play session videotaped at home. The parent was askedto play with die child, using a standard set of toys. Sensitive responsiveness was ratedfrom videotape by trained raters using Ainsworth's 9-point Sensitivity Scale (cf.Ainsworth et al., 1978). The inter-rater reliability was high (Pearson correlations of.86, .84, and .86 at the three consecutive ages)</p><p>The Erickson et ah (1985) Ratings at 12, 18, and 30 Months</p><p>From 12 months onwards, the parent-child interactions were videotaped in aninstruction situation at the laboratory. The parent was asked to help the childperform a series of tasks; for example, putting together a jigsaw puzzle or buildinga tower with cubes. At each of the three ages, the parents' behavior was rated usingfive 7-point rating scales (cf. Erickson et al., 1985) intended to capture differentaspects of the support provided to children: supportive presence, respect for diechild's autonomy, adequacy of structure and limit setting, quality of instruction, andhostility.</p><p>Trained raters independently scored all of the interactions. The inter-raterreliabilities, computed on 18 sessions, were .96, .95, .95, .93, and 1.00, respectively,for the above mentioned scales. At all of the three ages, the five scale scoresrepresenting different aspects of parental support proved to be highly consistent(Cronbach's a of .83, .84, and .82, at 12, 18, and 30 months, respectively). Wedierefore decided to sum the five scores with the score for hostility reversed tocreate a single score for the quality of parental support during the instructionalsituation.</p><p>At the age of 12 months, the quality of parental support was assessed both at home(using the Ainsworth scale) and at the lab (using the Erickson et al scales). Thisallowed us to examine the consistency of parental support across situations andcheck the concurrent validity of the rating scales we used. The correlation betweenthe Ainsworth's Sensitivity score at home and the composite score on the Ericksonet al scales at the lab was significant (r(75) = .52, p &lt; .01). In subsequent analyses,we used the Ainsworth Sensitivity score to indicate quality of parental support at6 and 9 months and the composite score on the Erickson et al. scales as a measureof parental support at 12, 18, and 30 months.</p><p>Dow</p><p>nlo...</p></li></ul>

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