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: Best of Last Week: Acoustic phonons have magnetic properties, universe to collapse and bioclock disruption problem

Related Stories

The global gender gap persists, says report

Mar 09, 2015

On March 9, the United Nations will convene to evaluate the global community's progress on gender equality in the 20 years since 189 countries adopted the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. The ...

Teens from single-parent families leave school earlier

Feb 20, 2015

A new study from researchers at New York University, the University of California, Irvine, and the University of Chicago finds that that by the age of 24, individuals who live in single-parent families as teens received fewer ...

Recommended for you

Discovering missing body parts of ancient fossils

9 hours ago

Certain specimens of the fossil Dickinsonia are incomplete because ancient currents lifted them from the sea floor, a team of researchers led by paleontologists at the University of California, Riverside has fo ...

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.