Title

Does parenting correspond with children's defending behavior? Examining linkages in the context of peer social preference

Keywords

aggression, bullying, defending, parenting, peer relations

Abstract

Bullying intervention research points to the important role of children standing up for victims (defending behavior). This study provides an initial look at how certain parenting practices may be generally related to the socialization of defending behavior among children. Defenders typically enjoy significant social status, allowing them the social capital to intervene. With this in mind, we also assess how parenting and children's social preference scores might uniquely or interactively predict defending behavior. This cross‐sectional study employs a sample of 219 (101 boys) fourth‐grade children living in the Western United States. Both mothers and fathers self‐reported their authoritative, authoritarian, and psychologically controlling parenting practices. A peer sociometric assessment provided each child's social preference score. Peer nominations provided each child's reputation for defending behaviors. Multiple regression results showed that a few of the parenting dimensions significantly predicted girls’ defending behavior above and beyond peer social preference. In contrast, the defending behavior scores of boys were unrelated to parenting. Finally, we used interaction analyses to probe whether the association between defending and parenting meaningfully varies according to children's levels of social preference. We did not find evidence to support this. We discuss the ramifications of these findings for future research.

Original Publication Citation

Nelson, DA, Bailey, ME, Coyne, SM, Cramer, CM, Olsen, JA. Does parenting correspond with children's defending behavior? Examining linkages in the context of peer social preference. Social Development. 2020; 29: 303– 319.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

2019-08-23

Publisher

Social Development

Language

English

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Department

Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor

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