Mothers' affect in the homework context: the importance of staying positive

Dev Psychol. 2005 Mar;41(2):414-27. doi: 10.1037/0012-1649.41.2.414.


This research investigated mothers' affect in the context of children's homework. Mothers (N = 109) of children 8 to 12 years old were interviewed daily about their affect while interacting with children, their assistance with children's homework, and children's behavior while completing homework. At this time and 6 months later, children's motivational and emotional functioning was assessed. Although mothers' negative affect was lower than their positive affect, it was elevated on days their assistance with homework was high. This was accounted for by mothers' perceptions of children as helpless on days they provided heightened assistance. Mothers' positive affect in the homework context buffered children's motivational and emotional functioning against mothers' negative affect as well as children's helplessness.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affect*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mother-Child Relations*
  • Mothers / psychology*