Exploring reciprocal parent and child effects in the case of child inhibition in US and Korean samples

Jay Belsky, Jong Hay Rha, Seong Yeon Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Recent research suggesting that parental behaviour may promote or discourage the development of inhibited behaviour stimulated interest in the effect of inhibited behaviour on parenting. Of 125 US 3-year-olds and 100 Korean 3-year-olds whose inhibited behaviour was evaluated repeatedly at age 3, the videotapes of the 50% most inhibited in each sample were rated with regard to parental responses that: (1) encouraged the child to approach the stimuli in question; (2) accepted and/or encouraged the child's withdrawal; and (3) discouraged the child's withdrawn behaviour. Analyses revealed that child effects on parenting were more pronounced than parenting effects on child behaviour, that mothers were more affected by child inhibition than fathers; that, surprisingly, parents who responded to child inhibition by accepting/encouraging child withdrawal also reacted by discouraging child withdrawal and encouraging approach; and that the greater the child's inhibition, the more parents encouraged approach behaviour, encouraged/accepted withdrawal, and discouraged withdrawal. These results are discussed in terms of other evidence highlighting parental influences on child inhibition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)338-347
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Development
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2000


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