Maternal and paternal gentle guidance and young children's compliance from a within-family perspective

Brenda L. Volling*, Alysia Y. Blandon, Benjamin J. Gorvine

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Young children's early internalization was examined from a within-family perspective. Mothers, fathers, 16-month-old toddlers, and their older siblings from 59 families participated in a family cleanup paradigm to assess young children's compliance and parental guidance. Sibling age differences in compliant and noncompliant behavior were found, with older siblings using more committed compliance and refusal than toddler siblings. Mothers used more gentle guidance with children than did fathers, and both parents used more gentle guidance with older siblings than with toddler siblings. Examining within-family processes indicated that maternal and paternal gentle guidance interacted to predict older and toddler siblings' committed compliance and explained unique variance in the older and toddler siblings' compliance. Some support was found for differential maternal guidance as a within-family process responsible for the development of young children's early self-regulation that may also vary between families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)514-525
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2006


  • Compliance
  • Fathers
  • Parenting
  • Siblings

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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