Facilitative parenting and children’s social, emotional and behavioral adjustment.


Facilitative parenting (FP) supports the development of children’s social and emotional competence and effective peer relationships. Previous research has shown that FP discriminates between children bullied by peers from children who are not bullied, according to reports of teachers. This study investigates the association between FP and children’s social, emotional and behavioral problems, over and above the association with dysfunctional parenting (DP). 215 parents of children aged 5-11 years completed questionnaires about parenting and child behavior, and children and teachers completed measures of child bullying victimization. As predicted, FP accounted for variance in teacher reports of children’s bullying victimization as well as parent reports of children’s social and emotional problems and prosocial behavior better than that accounted for by DP. However for children’s reports of peer victimization the whole-scale DP was a better predictor than FP. Contrary to predictions, FP accounted for variance in conduct problems and hyperactivity better than DP. When analyses were replicated substituting subscales of dysfunctional and FP, a sub-set of FP subscales including Warmth, Supports Friendships, Not Conflicting, Child Communicates and Coaches were correlated with low levels of problems on a broad range of children’s adjustment problems. Parent-child conflict accounted for unique variance in children’s peer victimization (teacher report), peer problems, depression, emotional problems, conduct problems and hyperactivity. The potential relevance of FP as a protective factor for children against a wide range of adjustment problems is discussed.