Mothers’ and fathers’ parenting and longitudinal associations with children’s observed distress to limitations: From pregnancy to toddlerhood.

Unraveling factors that influence parenting is of great importance, since parents play an important role in their children’s development. In this study we focused on parental prenatal expectations, parents’ gender and child’s distress to limitations as possible influences on parental behavior and observed the longitudinal associations between mothers’ and fathers’ parenting and their children’s distress to limitations. The first wave of the study took place during early pregnancy, while the second and third waves took place when the children were 9 and 18 months old, respectively. Children’s distress to limitations was assessed using observations and parental behavior was assessed using questionnaires. All parental variables showed moderate continuity from pregnancy until the child was 18 months, while children’s distress did not. Children’s distress when they were 9 months predicted an increase in both parents’ negativity at 18 months, while fathers’ control at 9 months predicted a decrease in children’s distress from 9 to 18 months. The results shed light on the intricate parent–child relationship and emphasize children’s role in the parenting they receive, as well as differences between mothers and fathers and their associations with children’s distress to limitations. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)