The trajectory patterns of parenting and the social competence of toddlers: a longitudinal perspective

J Epidemiol. 2010;20 Suppl 2(Suppl 2):S459-65. doi: 10.2188/jea.je20090172. Epub 2010 Feb 23.


Background: Many studies have suggested that the daily emotional interactions between a child and his/her caregiver play a significant role in his/her development. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the trajectory patterns of parenting patterns of caregivers raising toddlers affect the social competence of the toddlers.

Methods: The study participants were 246 dyads of 18-month-old children (baseline) and their caregivers, which was conducted as part of a Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) project. We used the Interaction Rating Scale (IRS) to evaluate the children's social competence. We assessed the child rearing environments by analyzing the caregivers' responses to the Index of Child Care Environment (ICCE).

Results: Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that the children's total score on the IRS was significantly related to how frequently they sang songs together with their caregivers. Their score was also significantly related to how closely their caregiver worked with his/her partner in raising the child. These relationships did not change according to demographic information.

Conclusions: The results confirm previous findings on the relationship between parenting patterns and children's social competence. In particular, the study shows that varied and continual parenting significantly affects a child's social competence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child Development*
  • Family / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Logistic Models
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Parent-Child Relations*
  • Parenting*
  • Social Behavior*
  • Social Environment