Children's perceptions of family relationships as assessed in a doll story completion task: Links to parenting, social competence, and externalizing behavior

Deborah Laible, Gustavo Carlo, Julia Torquati, Lenna Ontai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

63 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study was designed to examine the links between parenting, children's perceptions of family relationships, and children's social behavior. Seventy-four children (M age = 6.01 years; 39 boys; 35 girls) and their parents took part in the study. Children completed relationship-oriented doll stories that were coded for coherence, prosocial themes, and aggressive themes. Parents completed a report of their child's social behavior, a parenting scale, and a number of demographic items. Teachers also completed measures of children's social competence and externalizing behavior. Warm parenting predicted both a child's representation of prosocial themes in the doll stories and social competence, whereas harsh parenting predicted both a child's use of aggressive themes in the doll stories and a child's externalizing behavior. These findings support the idea that children are constructing models of relationships out of the early interactions with caregivers, and that they use these representations to guide their social behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)551-569
Number of pages19
JournalSocial Development
Volume13
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 8 2004

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social competence
Family Relations
Parenting
Social Behavior
Child Behavior
social behavior
Parents
parents
Social Skills
Caregivers
Demography
caregiver

Keywords

  • Externalizing behavior
  • Parenting
  • Representations of relationships
  • Social competence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Children's perceptions of family relationships as assessed in a doll story completion task : Links to parenting, social competence, and externalizing behavior. / Laible, Deborah; Carlo, Gustavo; Torquati, Julia; Ontai, Lenna.

In: Social Development, Vol. 13, No. 4, 08.11.2004, p. 551-569.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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