The role of compassionate and self-image goals in predicting psychological controlling and facilitative parenting styles.
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AbstractPeople enter into parental roles with a range of different motivations for parenting. To date, however, there is limited research assessing maternal motivations, concerns, and anxieties in their parenting styles. While some mothers are confident and child focused, others have concerns with performing parenting behaviors, and can be self-focused, shame prone, and self-judgmental. Two studies explored these two dimensions in relation to degree of controlling and facilitative parenting styles in the mothers of 3–9-year-old children. In study one, 151 mothers took part in an online survey measuring these two dimensions using the compassionate goals and self-image goals scales (Crocker and Canevello, 2008), in relation to facilitative and controlling parenting styles. As predicted, after controlling for child behavior, parental mental health, and parental self-efficacy, self-focused and shame avoidant concerns were associated with greater psychologically controlling parenting. In contrast a compassionate focused orientation was associated with greater facilitative parenting. In study two, 198 mothers were randomly assigned to either compassion focused goals, self-image goals, or control condition, which was manipulated by varying the instructions provided to participants. Emotional responses (e.g., angry, sad, and shame) to difficult parenting scenarios did not differ depending on whether participants were prompted with compassionate goal, self-image goal, or control condition instructions. The findings from study 1 demonstrate how goal motivation can influence parenting style, with the results from study 2 suggesting that instruction alone is insufficient to shift goal orientation.
CitationKirby, J.N., Grzazek, O., and Gilbert, P. (2019) 'The role of compassionate and self-image goals in predicting psychological controlling and facilitative parenting styles', Frontiers in Psychology, 10, p.1041. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01041.
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
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