Verbally aggressive mothers direct their children's behavior

Jul 09, 2008

A new study in Human Communication Research reveals that verbally aggressive mothers tend to control their children's choice of activities as well as use physical negative touch, along with directives, when trying to alter their child's actions.

Researchers led by Steven R. Wilson of Purdue University videotaped forty mothers as they completed a ten minute play period with one of their children between the ages of three and eight years. The mothers then completed a series of questionnaires including the Verbal Aggressiveness Scale.

Mothers who scored higher on the self-reported VA Scale engaged in more frequent directing of their child's behavior during the play activities. These mothers were more likely to control activity choices as well as the pace and duration of activities. High VA mothers did so repeatedly and in a manner that tended to enforce an activity choice they had made. Low VA mothers were more likely to follow their child's lead or seek their child's input about choice of activity.

High VA mothers used physical negative touch (PNT) when trying to change their child's actions. Examples of parental PNT by high VA mothers included restraining a child by the shoulder or the wrist to prevent him or her from reaching a toy. No instances of PNT occurred for low VA mothers.

In addition, children with low VA mothers displayed virtually no resistance to their mother's directives. Children with high trait VA mothers occasionally resisted their mothers' directives, though this resistance tended to be indirect and short-lived.

Source: Wiley

Explore further: Lady, you're on the money

Related Stories

Childcare norms change as society industrialises

Jun 24, 2015

A study of childcare across societies has found a range of factors influence women's decisions to engage in childcare activities in industrialised societies, but in small-scale societies, their decisions ...

Love and money: How low-income dads really provide

Jun 15, 2015

Low-income fathers who might be labeled "deadbeat dads" often spend as much on their children as parents in formal child-support arrangements, but they choose to give goods like food and clothing rather than ...

Recommended for you

Lady, you're on the money

9 hours ago

So far, women whose portraits appear on U.S. money have been a party of three. Excluding commemorative currency, only Sacagawea, Susan B. Anthony and Helen Keller appear on coins in general circulation, according ...

Another five things to know about meta-analysis

Jul 01, 2015

Last year I wrote a post of "5 Key Things to Know About Meta-Analysis". It was a great way to focus – but it was hard keeping to only 5. With meta-analyses booming, including many that are poorly done or ...

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Paradox
not rated yet Jul 09, 2008
They needed to do a study to figure that out? Wow.
nilbud
not rated yet Jul 10, 2008
Resistance is futile?

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.