Predicting Harsh Parental Decisions: A Prospective Validation Study

  • Ralitsa S Maduro Old Dominion University
  • Laurin B Roberts Old Dominion University
  • Brynn E Sheehan Old Dominion University
  • James F Paulson Old Dominion University


The high prevalence and negative consequences of hash parenting among US parents is well documented. However, established predictors of harsh parenting tend to be mostly distal, often socio-demographic factors that predict modest variance in actual parenting behavior and which tend to be resistant to intervention.  Moreover, due to the correlational nature of parenting research, the processes surrounding the onset of harsh parenting behavior are not well understood. This study aimed to both validate a newly-developed parental decision-making measure and test an experimental manipulation of a parental decision-making analog among non-parents.  Although our prediction regarding high cognitive-emotional stress and harsh parenting strategies was not supported, we provide evidence for the internal consistency and prospective criterion validity of the parental decision-making vignettes.   


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