News Release

Does children’s sensitivity to their parents’ praise affect their future mental health?

Peer-Reviewed Publication

Wiley

A new study published in Developmental Science found that children who were more positively sensitive to their parents’ praise when they were 3 years old had fewer behavioral and emotional problems when they were 5–7 years old. Children whose behavior did not depend on their mood also had fewer behavioral and emotional problems later.

For the study, which involved 60 children, parents sent in videos of their 3-year-olds brushing their teeth each night across 16 days. Toothbrushing time served as a measure of child behavior. Investigators also noted the amount of praise that parents offered during toothbrushing and collected daily parent reports of additional variables including child mood. Childhood sensitivity to psychosocial influences was conceptualized as the strength and direction of the relationship between child behavior and those influences, including parent praise and child mood.

When their children were age 3 and then again at age 5–7, parents completed the preschool version of the Child Behavior Checklist to identify behavioral and emotional problems.

“An important future direction is to understand how childhood sensitivity to praise develops, and whether it can be shaped by interventions,” said corresponding author Cassidy McDermott, of the University of Pennsylvania.

URL upon publication: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/desc.13531

 

Additional Information
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About the Journal
Developmental Science is an international journal publishing contemporary scientific developmental psychology and developmental cognitive neuroscience research including registered reports. We publish work that bridges levels of explanation, such as from brain development to cognitive or social change, or work that specifically attempts to elucidate mechanisms of developmental change at one level.

About Wiley
Wiley is a knowledge company and a global leader in research, publishing, and knowledge solutions. Dedicated to the creation and application of knowledge, Wiley serves the world’s researchers, learners, innovators, and leaders, helping them achieve their goals and solve the world's most important challenges. For more than two centuries, Wiley has been delivering on its timeless mission to unlock human potential. Visit us at Wiley.com. Follow us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Instagram.


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