Intrusive Psychological Control and Children’s Behaviors in Chinese Multigenerational Families: Role of Children’s Temperamental Reactivity

Xin Gao, Rong Yan, Xin Fang, Shufen Xing*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The coparenting between grandparents and parents is increasingly prevalent in Chinese society. Based on the family system theory and the differential susceptibility model, the current study examined (a) the relative associations of maternal and grandparental psychological control with children’s behavioral problems; (b) the interactive effects of maternal and grandparental psychological control on children’s behavioral problems; and (c) the moderation role of children’s temperamental reactivity. The sample included 241 Chinese multigenerational families with preschool children (130 boys, Mage = 4.88 years, SD = 1.04). Mothers and grandparents reported their psychological control and children’s behavioral problems. Mothers also rated children’s temperamental reactivity. The results showed that only maternal psychological control was uniquely associated with more children’s behavioral problems. There was no interaction between maternal and grandparental psychological control. However, children’s temperamental reactivity moderated associations between grandparental psychological control and children’s behavioral problems. Specifically, grandparental psychological control was positively linked to children’s behavioral problems only for highly reactive children. This finding highlighted the susceptibility of children with high reactivity to grandparental psychological control, raising the possibility of targeted interventions to facilitate children’s development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2582-2593
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Volume31
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022

Keywords

  • Behavioral problems
  • Grandparent
  • Mother
  • Psychological control
  • Temperamental reactivity

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