Faculty Mentor

Dr. Anne Hungerford


This study examined relations between maternal personality, parenting behavior, and young children’s emotion regulation and externalizing behaviors. More specifically, the study examined whether parenting behavior mediated or moderated associations between maternal personality and children’s distress during a frustration-eliciting task or associations between maternal personality and children’s externalizing behaviors. Participants included 95 typically developing 24-month-olds and their mothers. Maternal sensitivity was evaluated during a mother-child structured interaction in the laboratory. In a separate laboratory task, children’s access to a treat was prevented in order to assess children’s distress. Data on externalizing behavior problems and maternal personality were collected using questionnaires completed by mothers. Multiple dimensions of maternal personality were related to children’s externalizing problems, but maternal sensitivity did not mediate these associations. However, maternal sensitivity did moderate the relationship between the maternal personality factor of agreeableness and children’s externalizing problems: Maternal agreeableness was positively related to externalizing problems but only when mothers were relatively low in sensitivity.

Cover Page Note

Thank you to my mentor, Dr. Anne Hungerford, for helping me with this project. I have learned a great deal from you and I am extremely grateful for all of your guidance and support.