The Role of Involved Positive Parenting and Classroom Emotional Support on Preschool Children’s Prosocial and Problem Behaviors
Children’s behavior early in life has many short- and long-term implications. The current study investigates the associations among involved positive parenting, classroom emotional support, and children’s problem and prosocial behaviors, using Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological theory as a theoretical framework. Additionally, classroom emotional support was analyzed to see if it moderated the association between involved positive parenting and children’s behaviors. This study examined Head Start classrooms from the FACES 2009 data set, specifically looking at parent-reported positive parenting, observed classroom emotional support, and parent- and teacher-reported children’s problem and prosocial behaviors. Regression and interaction models were chosen to run analyses through STATA. Results indicated that involved positive parenting was significantly associated with parent-reported children’s prosocial behaviors, while classroom emotional support was negatively associated with teacher-reported children’s problem behaviors. Interestingly, classroom emotional support significantly moderated the association between involved positive parenting and parent-reported children’s problem behaviors in an unexpected way, with children who had a mismatch in adult-child interactions (i.e. high involved positive parenting and low classroom emotional support) had more problem and less prosocial behaviors at home. Future studies should investigate the cross-context association of children’s behaviors.