Developmental Trajectories of Parental Mediation Across Early and Middle Childhood

Beyens, Ine; Valkenburg, Patti M; Piotrowski, Jessica Taylor
April 2019
Human Communication Research;Apr2019, Vol. 45 Issue 2, p226
Academic Journal
Despite a large body of literature on the opportunities of parental mediation to enhance positive and offset negative media effects, a long-term view as to the development of such mediation across childhood is lacking. The current study aimed to address this gap by presenting a developmental approach to parental mediation. Using an accelerated longitudinal design with four-wave panel data of 729 children, we investigated developmental trajectories of restrictive and active mediation across early (3–6 years) and middle childhood (7–10 years) and potential individual differences in these trajectories. Results revealed that parents' expressions of restrictive and active mediation follow a curvilinear pattern over time, whereby parents' mediation efforts increase across early childhood, peak at around age 8, before slowly declining throughout middle childhood. In addition, the results indicated that parenting style and children's social-emotional difficulties are important sources of individual differences in the trajectories, above and beyond demographics.


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