Child surgency and child aggression: The moderating effect of parental nurturance, emotion coaching, and family income

Yao SUN, Chun Bun Ian LAM , Rebecca Y. M. CHEUNG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

Abstract

According to the goodness-of-fit development theory, a mismatch between child characteristics and socialization processes tends to lead to child maladjustment. The present study aimed to examine whether the association between child surgency and child aggression varies as a function of parenting styles and practices such as parental nurturance and parental emotion coaching. In addition, family economic background was examined as a contextual moderator. Cross-sectional questionnaire data were collected from parents and class teachers of 288 preschoolers (Mage = 5.2 years; 53 % were boys) in Hong Kong, China. Separate multilevel models were run to test parental nurturance, emotion coaching, and family income level as moderators. Results indicated that controlling for confounding variables, child surgency was only positively associated with child aggression when parental nurturance was low, but not when parental nurturance was high. However, this pattern only emerged in high- and medium-income families, but not in low-income families. A similar but different pattern was observed for parental emotion coaching: regardless of family income level, child surgency was only associated with child aggression when parental emotion coaching was low, but not when it was high. Theoretically, our findings highlight the importance of considering the fit between child temperament and environmental features, such as parenting and family economic background, in understanding child development. Practically, our findings point to the utility of helping parents to express their love and affection and to talk to their children about managing emotions to reduce aggression in preschool-aged children, especially those with high surgency and economic advantages. Copyright © 2024 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107484
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Volume158
Early online dateFeb 2024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024

Citation

Sun, Y., Lam, C. B., & Cheung, R. Y. M. (2024). Child surgency and child aggression: The moderating effect of parental nurturance, emotion coaching, and family income. Children and Youth Services Review, 158, Article 107484. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2024.107484

Keywords

  • Child aggression
  • Surgency
  • Parental nurturance
  • Emotion Coaching
  • Family Income

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