This study examined how child temperament moderated the effect of family conflict on behavior problems and social competence in a longitudinal sample of 118 Chinese children. Social competence and internalizing and externalizing problems were assessed first at three months after nursery entry (T1) and then at the end of the nursery year (T2). Temperament and physical and psychological modes of family conflict were assessed at T1. The results showed that temperament moderated the effect of physical conflict on externalizing problems at both T1 and T2, as well as the effect of psychological conflict on social competence and internalizing problems at T2. Children with difficult temperament were more susceptible to the negative influence of physical conflict (i.e., showing more externalizing and more rank-order increases in externalizing when exposed to more physically expressed conflict) and the positive influence of psychological conflict (i.e., showing more rank-order decreases in internalizing and increases in social competence when exposed to more openly and verbally expressed conflict). In contrast, children with easy temperament were less susceptible to the influence of physical conflict but more susceptible to the negative influence of psychological conflict (i.e., showing more rank-order decreases in social competence when exposed to more openly and verbally expressed conflict). Copyright © 2015 Springer Science+Business Media New York.
CitationZhang, X. (2015). Difficult temperament moderates the effect of family conflict on Chinese children’s behavior problems and social competence during the transition to nursery care. Journal of Family Violence, 30(4), 501-513.
- Modes of conflict
- Psychosocial adjustment
- Differential susceptibility