Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Lovejoy, M. Christine

Degree Name

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

Legacy Department

Department of Psychology


Compliance; Parent and child


The goal of this study was to gain information about characteristics associated with appropriate levels of compliance in three-year-old children, including parenting skills and child attributes. A secondary aim was to see how child compliance, parenting, and child characteristics might be associated with social competence. The way in which crucial issues of compliance and autonomy in young children are resolved is associated with particular developmental outcomes. Yet there is virtually no research concerning compliance at this age. The proposed study sought to understand the ontogenic roots of compliance; its results were expected to inform researchers, clinicians, parents, and teachers regarding effective approaches for fostering compliance in young children. One such approach, the use of proactive parenting strategies, seeks to avoid noncompliance by redirecting a child's attention before wrongdoing occurs. The procedure for this study was similar to that used by Holden. Mothers and children were observed at the supermarket, where child requests for items, maternal responses to the child, maternal proactive strategies, and child compliance were assessed. Each child's mother and teacher also rated the child on impulsivity and social competence measures. A correlational model of proactive parenting, child impulsivity, compliance, and social competence was tested. Though the model was not supported, the results suggested that the types of proactive parenting strategies Holden measured with two-year-old children failed to capture the breadth of preventative parenting techniques employed to engender compliance with three-year-old children.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [94]-106)


viii, 128 pages




Northern Illinois University

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