Parenting Goals and Parenting Styles among Taiwanese Parents: The Moderating Role of Child Temperament

Christine Meng


The aim of this study was to understand the moderating role of child temperament in the relationship between parenting goals and parenting styles. To achieve that goal, this study tested the interaction between child temperament (emotionality, activity, sociability, and shyness) and parenting goals (parent-centered goals and child-centered goals) that predicted authoritative and authoritarian parenting styles. One hundred forty-eight Taiwanese parents with kindergarten children were recruited to complete self-report questionnaires. Results showed main effects of parenting goals and child temperament. Child-centered goals positively predicted authoritative parenting styles, but child emotionality negatively predicted authoritative parenting styles. Parent-centered goals positively predicted authoritarian parenting styles, but child emotionality positively predicted authoritarian parenting styles. Additionally, the results showed significant interaction effect between child-centered parenting goals and child activity in predicting parental warmth. That is, parents with child-centered goals were more likely to be warm when their children had higher levels of activity. The results showed that child temperament played a moderating role in parenting styles and parenting goals. Given that child-centered parenting goals interact with child activity, future research should further examine the bidirectional relationship between child-centered parenting goals and child activity.

Full Text:



Atzaba-Poria, N., & Pike, A. (2008). Correlates of parenting for mothers and fathers from English and Indian backgrounds. Parenting: Science and Practice, 8, 17-40. doi:10.1080/15295190701665698

Belsky, J. (1984). The determinants of parenting: A process model. Child Development, 55, 83-96. doi:10.2307/1129836

Bowlby, J. (1969/1982). Attachment and loss: Vol. 1. Attachment. New York: Basic Books.

Braungart-Rieker, J., Garwood, M. M., & Stifter, C. A. (1997). Compliance and noncompliance: The roles of maternal control and child temperament. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 18, 411-428. doi:10.1016/S0193-3973(97)80008-1

Bruch, M. A., Gorsky, J. M., Collins, T. M., & Berger, P. A. (1989). Shyness and sociability reexamined: A multicomponent analysis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57, 904-915.doi:10.1037/0022-3514.57.5.904

Buss, A. H., & Plomin, R. (1975). A temperament theory of personality development. New York: Wiley.

Buss, A. H., & Plomin, R. (1984). Temperament: Early developing personality traits. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Buss, A. H., & Plomin, R. (1986). The EAS approach to temperament. In R. Plomin, & J. Dunn (Eds.), The study of temperament: Changes, continuities and challenges (67-80). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Inc.

Chan, S. M. (2010). Aggressive behaviour in early elementary school children: Relations to authoritarian parenting, children’s negative emotionality and coping strategies.Early Child Development and Care, 180, 1253-1269. doi:10.1080/03004430902981447

Chan, S. M., Bowes, J. J., & Wyver, S. S. (2009). Chinese parenting in Hong Kong: Links among goals, beliefs and styles. Early Child Development and Care, 179, 849-862. doi:10.1080/03004430701536525

Chao, R. K. (2000). The parenting of immigrant Chinese and European American mothers: Relations between parenting styles, socialization goals, and parental practices. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 21, 233-248.

Cheek, J. M., & Buss, A. H. (1981). Shyness and sociability. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 41, 330-339. doi:0022-3514/81/4102-0330500.75

Chen, X., Hastings, P. D., Rubin, K. H., Chen, H., Cen, G., & Stewart, S. L. (1998). Child-rearing attitudes and behavioral inhibition in Chinese and Canadian toddlers: A cross-cultural study. Developmental Psychology, 34, 677-686. doi:10.1037/0012-1649.34.4.677

Chen, F., & Luster, T. (2002). Factors related to parenting practices in Taiwan. Early Child Development and Care, 172, 413-430. doi:10.1080/03004430214549

Coplan, R. J., Arbeau, K. A., & Armer, M. (2008). Don’t fret, be supportive! Maternal characteristics linking child shyness to psychosocial and school adjustment in kindergarten. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 36, 359-371. doi:10.1007/s10802-007-9183-7

Coplan, R. J., Hastings, P. D., Lagacé-Séguin, D. G., & Moulton, C. E. (2002). Authoritative and authoritarian mothers’ parenting goals, attributions, and emotions across different childrearing contexts. Parenting: Science and Practice, 2, 1-26. doi:10.1207/S15327922PAR0201_1

Crockenberg, S. B. (1986). Are temperamental differences in babies associated with predictable differences in caregiving? New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development, 1986(31), 53-73. doi:10.1002/cd.23219863105

Darling, N.,& Steinberg, L. (1993). Parenting style as context: An integrative model. Psychological Bulletin, 113, 487-496. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.113.3.487

Dix, T. (1992). Parenting on behalf of the child: Empathic goals in the regulation of responsive parenting. In I. E. Sigel, A. V. McGillicuddy-DeLisi, & J. J. Goodnow (Eds.), Parental belief systems: The psychological consequences for children (2nd ed., pp 319-347). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Grusec, J. E., Rudy, D., & Martini, T. (1997). Parenting cognitions and child outcomes: An overview and implications for children’s internalization of values. In J. E. Grusec, & L. Kuczynski (Eds.), Parenting and children’s internalization of values: A handbook of contemporary theory (259-283). New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Hastings, P. D., & Grusec, J. E. (1998). Parenting goals as organizers of responses to parent-child disagreement. Developmental Psychology, 34, 465-479. doi:0012-1649/98/S3.00

Ho, D.Y.F. (1996). Filial piety and its psychological consequences. In M. H. Bond (Ed.), Handbook of Chinese psychology (155–165). New York: Oxford University Press.

Holmbeck, G. N. (2002). Post-hoc probing of significant moderational and mediational effects in studies of pediatric populations. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 27, 87-96. doi:10.1093/jpepsy/27.1.87

Jones, S., Eisenberg, N., Fabes, R.A., & MacKinnon, D.P. (2002). Parents’ reactions to elementary school children’s negative emotions: Relations to social and emotional functioning at school. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 48, 133–159. doi:10.1353/mpq.2002.0007

Jose, P. E., Huntsinger, C. S., Huntsinger, P. R., & Liaw, F.-R. (2000). Parental values and practices relevant to young children’s social development in Taiwan and the United States. Journal of Cross-cultural Psychology, 31, 677-702. doi:10.1177/0022022100031006002

Lerner, J. V. (1993). The influence of child temperamental characteristics on parent behaviors. In T. Luster, & L. Okagaki (Eds.), Parenting: An ecological perspective (101-120). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Li, Y., Costanzo, P. R., & Putallaz, M. (2010). Maternal socialization goals, parenting styles, and social-emotional adjustment among Chinese and European American young adults: Testing a mediation model. The Journal Of Genetic Psychology: Research And Theory On Human Development, 171(4), 330-362. doi:10.1080/00221325.2010.505969

Liu, M., Chen, X., Rubin, K. H., Zheng, S., Cui, L., Li, D., & ... Wang, L. (2005). Autonomy- vs. connectedness-oriented parenting behaviours in Chinese and Canadian mothers. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 29, 489-495. doi:10.1080/01650250500147063

Maccoby, E. E., & Martin, J. (1983). Socialization in the context of the family: Parent-child interaction. In P. H. Mussen (Series Ed.) & E. M. Hetherington (Vol. Ed.), Handbook of child psychology: Vol. 4. Socialization, personality, and social development (4th ed., 1-101). New York: Wiley.

McElwain, N. L., & Volling, B. L. (2004). Attachment security and parental sensitivity during infancy: Associations with friendship quality and false-belief understanding at age 4. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 21, 639-667. doi:10.1177/0265407504045892

Pade, H., Taube, D. O., Aalborg, A. E., & Reiser, P. J. (2006). An immediate and long-term study of a temperament and parent-child interaction therapy based community program for preschoolers with behavior problems. Child & Family Behavior Therapy, 28(3), 1-28. doi:10.1300/J019v28n03_01

Porter, C. L., Hart, C. H., Yang, C., Robinson, C. C., Olsen, S. F., Zeng, Q.,…Jin, S. (2005). A comparative study of child temperament and parenting in Beijing, China and the western United States. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 29, 541-551. doi:10.1080/01650250500147402

Putnam, S. P., Sanson, A. V., Rothbart, M. K. (2002). Child temperament and parenting. In M. H. Bornstein (Ed.), Handbook of parenting (2nd ed., Vol. 1, 255-277). Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Rao, N., McHale, J. P., & Pearson, E. (2003). Links between socialization goals and child-rearing practices in Chinese and Indian mothers. Infant and Child Development, 12, 475-492. doi:10.1002/icd.341

Robinson, C. C., Mandleco, B., Olsen, S. F., & Hart, C. H. (2001). Parenting styles and dimensions questionnaire (PSDQ). In B. F. Perlmutter, J. Touliatos, & G. W. Holden (Eds.), Handbook of family measurement techniques: Instruments & Index (319-321). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Stright, A., Gallagher, K., & Kelley, K. (2008). Infant temperament moderates relations between maternal parenting in early childhood and children’s adjustment in first grade. Child Development, 79, 186-200. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8624.2007.01119.x

van der Bruggen, C. O., Stams, G. J. J. M., Bögels, S. M., & Paulussen-Hoogeboom, M. C. (2010). Parenting behaviour as a mediator between young children’s negative emotionality and their anxiety/depression. Infant and Child Development, 19, 354-365.

Wang, L., Chen, X., Chen, H., Cui, L., & Li, M. (2006). Affect and maternal parenting as predictors of adaptive and maladaptive behaviors in Chinese children. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 30, 158-166. doi:10.1177/0165025406063631

Yaman, A., Mesman, J., van IJzendoorn, M. H., & Bakermans-Kranenburg, M. J. (2010). Parenting and toddler aggression in second-generation immigrant families: The moderating role of child temperament. Journal of Family Psychology, 24, 208-211. doi:10.1037/a0019100

Zentner, M., & Bates, J. E. (2008). Child temperament: An integrative review of concepts, research programs, and measures. European Journal of Developmental Science, 2, 7-37.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2017 The New School Psychology Bulletin

© The New School Psychology Bulletin |