Predictors of parenting: Family-wide and child-specific factors.


Objective: The goal of the study was to identify determinants of child perceptions of parenting. Design: By using two children per family, the current study predicted siblings’ (106 pairs) perceptions of mothering and fathering at ages 9-13 from children’s perceptions of parenting and parent ratings of child difficulty, parental emotionality, and household organization, when the children were 4-8 years old. Multi-level modeling was used to differentiate between- and within-family variation. Results: Stability in child perceptions was moderate, and this stability was due to family-wide parenting shared by siblings. Conversely, the majority of variance in the 9- to 13-year-olds’ perceptions indicated differential, rather than similar, parental treatment. Maternal anger predicted maternal hostility. In contrast, household chaos predicted paternal hostility. Conclusions: Relationships between individuals in the family are part of a larger system, and children are equally as likely as parents to reap the benefits of services or interventions directed toward enhancing maternal well-being.