Becoming Socially Competent - Parent and Child Predictors - A Prospective Community Study from Preschool to Early Middle Childhood
MetadataVis full innførsel
- Institutt for psykologi 
A wealth of research has demonstrated links between various aspects of the parent-child relationship, individual child characteristics and parenting behaviors on later social competence during childhood. However, there seems to be a gap in the literature examining such relations during preschool to early middle childhood. Critically, few longitudinal studies have included pre-existing levels of children’s social competence when examining relations between these constructs and later social competence, rendering any direction of influence equivocal. The present study aimed to fill this lacuna by investigating the predictive role of child perceived sensitive parenting, secure attachment, temperamental effortful control and negative affectivity on social competence, using four-wave longitudinal data (i.e. at age 4, 6, 8, and 10) from the Trondheim Early Secure Study (TESS) (n = 1007). We hypothesized that greater levels of perceived sensitive parenting, secure attachment, effortful control and lower levels of negative affectivity at ages 4 and 6 would predict higher levels of social competence two years later as well as at age 10. We also expected that temperament would moderate the potential effects of perceived sensitive parenting and secure attachment. Results derived from structural equation modelling indicated that when initial levels of social competence were accounted for, Perceived sensitive parenting at age 6 predicted better Social competence at age 10; Secure attachment at ages 4 and 6 predicted better Social competence at age 6 and 8, respectively; Effortful control at ages 4 and 6 predicted Social competence at age 6 and 10, respectively; and Negative affectivity at age 6 predicted Social competence at age 8. Prospective associations were neither moderated by temperament nor gender. Results of this inquiry add to our understanding of how aspects intrinsic to the child as well to his or her environment may contribute to the development of social competence, thereby creating a more solid fundament upon which interventions to enhance social competence can be built.