Kim A. Gaertner

The parent factor in child self-regulation – parental beliefs, parenting practices, and the effectiveness of training

Given the substantial role early self-regulation plays in academic, socio-emotional, and health-related outcomes (Moffitt et al., 2011), there is a growing interest in how these skills emerge and develop from infancy throughout childhood, including high-risk groups, such as preterm children who are at risk for adverse development (Aarnoudse-Moens, Weisglas-Kuperus, van Goudoever, & Oosterlaan, 2009).

Parental co-regulation is assumed to play a key role in this development by enabling the child to gradually internalize regulatory strategies and to become capable of self-regulating (Bernier, Carlson, & Whipple, 2010). Parental cognitions, such as self-efficacy beliefs, in turn may stimulate and motivate parenting practices (Bornstein, Putnick, & Suwalsky, 2017; Coleman & Karraker, 1998). Gaining a thorough picture of the underlying processes of this interplay during early childhood, has important implications for the theoretical development as well as the design of interventions.  

In this talk, I will highlight the parent factor in child self-regulation. Empirical studies will be presented that address the role of parental self-efficacy beliefs and co-regulatory behaviours in the development of early child self-regulation, as well as the effectiveness of a parent training programme as a preventive approach to support this development at an early stage and to counteract adverse development in children at risk.