Maternal and Paternal Disciplinary Styles: Relations with Preschoolers' Playground Behavioral Orientations and Peer Status


Maternal disciplinary styles, paternal disciplinary, playground behavior, peer status


To explore relations among parents' self‐reported disciplinary styles, preschoolers' playground behavioral orientations, and peer status, 106 mothers and fathers of preschool‐age children (age range = 40–71 months) participated in home disciplinary style interviews. Observations of their children's playground behavior in preschool settings and measures of sociometric status were also obtained. Results indicated that children of more inductive mothers and fathers (i.e., less power assertive) exhibited fewer disruptive playground behaviors. In addition, daughters and older preschoolers of inductive mothers exhibited more prosocial behavior. Children of inductive mothers were also more preferred by peers. Few significant relations were found between paternal discipline and child behavior/peer status. Age‐related patterns of behavior also indicated that older preschoolers who engaged in more prosocial and less antisocial and disruptive playground behavior were more preferred by peers. In addition, child behaviors were found to mediate maternal discipline and peer status.

Original Publication Citation

Hart, C.H., *DeWolf, M., Wozniak, P., & Burts, D.C. (1992). Maternal and paternal disciplinary styles: Relations with preschoolers' playground behavioral orientations and peer status. Child Development, 63, 879-892.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Child Development




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor