The Interplay between Socioeconomic Status, Parenting and Temperament Predicts Inhibitory Control at Two Years of Age
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Inhibitory controlSelf-regulationToddlersSocioeconomic statusParentingEffortful control
Conejero, Á.; Rueda, M.R. The Interplay between Socioeconomic Status, Parenting and Temperament Predicts Inhibitory Control at Two Years of Age. Children 2023, 10, 1085. [https://doi.org/10.3390/ children10061085]
SponsorshipSpanish Research Agency (AEI; grant number PSI2014- 55833-P); FPU fellowship (grant number AP2010-3525) from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (MINCINN)
This paper investigates the interplay between environmental factors (socioeconomic status (SES) and parenting) and temperament in the development of inhibitory control (IC) at 2 years of age. We administered to toddlers (n = 59) a delay of gratification task which measures IC in the context of self-regulation. Parents reported their toddlers’ temperament, parenting strategies, and SES.We hypothesized that poorer IC would be associated with more reactive temperament, less effortful control, lower SES and inconsistent/coercive parenting practices. Finally, we explored the interaction between temperament, parenting and SES. We found that both coercive parenting and low-SES were negatively correlated to IC at the age of 2 years. Temperamental reactivity was unrelated to IC, whereas temperamental effortful control (EC) was positively associated with IC. Results revealed a moderation effect of EC on the influence of coercive parenting and SES in toddlers’ IC. Toddlers from lower SES backgrounds and with lower EC were more affected by inconsistent/coercive parenting practices and showed the poorest IC. In contrast, toddlers exhibiting high and average levels of EC seemed to be protected from the detrimental effect of low-SES and inconsistent/coercive parenting on IC. These results suggest that strengthening toddlers’ EC and improving parents’ parenting skills might be especially relevant for the development of IC in the context of self-regulation, particularly by preventing self-regulatory problems in children from socioeconomically deprived environments. Future studies with larger samples, focusing on populations from severe socioeconomically deprived environments, or intervention studies will be needed in order to confirm and expand our findings.