Relations of child effortful control to personality, well‐being and parenting

Authors:
Helena R. Slobodskaya, Evgeniya N. Petrenko, Svetlana V. Loginova, Olga S. Kornienko, Elena A. Kozlova
Published Online:
28 Jan 2019
DOI:
10.1002/ijop.12568

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This study examined effortful control and its relations to personality, parenting and well‐being in a community sample of Russian preschool children (N = 365, 46% girls) using parent‐reported effortful control scale from the very short form of the children's behaviour questionnaire, the inventory of child individual differences–short version, the Alabama parenting questionnaire—preschool revision, the self‐reporting questionnaire, and parent and teacher reports on the strengths and difficulties questionnaire. The findings confirmed the four‐factor structure of effortful control, including inhibitory control, attentional control, low‐intensity pleasure and perceptual sensitivity. Girls demonstrated higher scores than boys on effortful control, perceptual sensitivity, inhibitory control and low‐intensity pleasure. Older children scored higher than younger on inhibitory control and perceptual sensitivity and lower on low‐intensity pleasure. Gender and age accounted for less than 3% of the variance in effortful control. Effortful control was associated with personality traits of conscientiousness, agreeableness and openness, and with positive emotions and low‐negative affect. Higher effortful control was associated with higher levels of prosocial behaviour and lower levels of externalising and internalising problems. Structural modelling showed that the effect of parenting on child prosocial and problem behaviours may be mediated by effortful control.

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