Parental beliefs as predictors of children's externalizing behaviors
Campbell, Sherry A.
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The relationship between maternal beliefs about children's externalizing behaviors (EB) and the frequency of their children's EB was investigated. The sample of 71 consisted of two groups of mothers of children between 8-12 years of age. The Clinic group consisted of 35 mothers of children referred to a Children's Clinic due to externalizing behavior problems. The School group consisted of 36 mothers of children attending elementary school. Mothers completed questionnaires measuring parental beliefs and the frequency of their children's EB. Results showed that mothers' endorsement of authoritarian parenting was positively related to children's EB scores. A U-shaped relationship was found between mothers' relationship-centered goals and children's EB scores. Parent-centered goals and children's EB scores were positively correlated only in the clinic group. Mothers'-hostile attribution scores were positively related to their children's EB scores in both groups. Mothers with low perceived parenting scores were associated with higher children's EB scores in both groups. Overall, results revealed potential clinical implications. Parenting programs that change parenting goals, attributions, and ii Parental Beliefs sense of parenting control, which in turn influences parenting behavior, may influence the frequency of their children's externalizing behaviors.