Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Association between the Mother's Social Cognition and the Child's Social Functioning in Kindergarten: The Mediating Role of the Child's Social Cognition

Version 1 : Received: 24 November 2019 / Approved: 26 November 2019 / Online: 26 November 2019 (04:11:54 CET)

How to cite: Ziv, Y.; Arbel, R. Association between the Mother's Social Cognition and the Child's Social Functioning in Kindergarten: The Mediating Role of the Child's Social Cognition. Preprints 2019, 2019110307 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201911.0307.v1). Ziv, Y.; Arbel, R. Association between the Mother's Social Cognition and the Child's Social Functioning in Kindergarten: The Mediating Role of the Child's Social Cognition. Preprints 2019, 2019110307 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201911.0307.v1).

Abstract

Children's ability to adjust to the social rules and expectations in the educational environment is of major concern to researchers and practitioners alike. Accordingly, the main purpose of the present study was to examine predictors of children's social functioning in kindergarten with a specific focus on (a) maternal factors; and, (b) children's social cognition. Using a multi-method (self-reports and direct assessments), multi-informant (child, mother, teacher) design, we collected data from 306 kindergarten children and their mothers tapping the mother's social cognitions (general and child-related) and parenting style, and children's social cognition (social information processing) and functioning in kindergarten. We found direct associations between the mother and child's social cognitions, between the mother's authoritarian parenting style and her child's less competent social cognition and behavior, and between the child's social cognition and social functioning. Finally, as hypothesized, we found a number of interesting mediated effects. Most notably, we found that the association between the mother's social cognition (her tendency to attribute hostile intent to unknown others) and the child's social cognition (his/her tendency to generate less competent responses) is fully mediated by the mother's higher levels of authoritarian parenting style. The important theoretical and clinical implications of our findings are discussed.

Subject Areas

social cognition; social information processing; mother-child relationships; parenting style; kindergarten; social functioning

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