Parenting during toddlerhood: Contributions of parental, contextual and child characteristics

Marjolein Verhoeven, Marianne Junger, Chantal van Aken, Maja Dekovic, Marcel A.G. van Aken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)
37 Downloads (Pure)


The present study examines the contribution of parental, contextual, and child characteristics to parenting behavior during toddlerhood in 111 two-parent families with a 17-month-old son (M = 16.9 months, SD = 0.57). Parenting was conceptualized in terms of five dimensions: support, structure, positive discipline, psychological control, and physical punishment. In general, results indicate that the effects of parental, contextual, and child characteristics on parenting dimensions do not differ for mothers and fathers. The only uncovered difference concerns the effect of children's inhibitory control, which was significant for maternal but not for paternal support. For both mothers and fathers, support, structure, and the use of psychological control are mainly influenced by parental characteristics, whereas the use of positive discipline and physical punishment are best predicted by contextual characteristics. Overall, the contribution of child characteristics to parenting dimensions was moderate
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1663-1691
JournalJournal of family issues
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • Maternal behavior
  • Paternal behavior
  • Parental characteristics
  • Contextual characteristics
  • Child characteristics


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