Intergenerational Transmission of Sociability: The Mediating Role of Maternal Competence and Maternal Child-Centrism

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This study focuses on the psychological mechanisms of mothering involved in the association of maternal sociability and the sociability of their preschool children. In particular, it is posited that this association is mediated by two maternal psychological conceptualizations: (a) perception of ability to take on the role of motherhood (i.e., maternal competence) and (b) perception of distribution of resources between child and self (i.e., maternal child-centrism). Participants included 320 Jewish–Israeli mothers of preschool children (age 4-6 years) who completed self-reported questionnaires dealing with social relationships, child sociability, maternal competence, and maternal child-centrism. Multiple regression analyses confirmed the mediating effect of maternal competence and child-centrism as well as the association between the mother’s sociability and child sociability. These findings are discussed in light of social capital theory and contemporary parenting styles. Professionals working with families should be aware of the impact of social networks on maternal perception and their influence on children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1664-1684
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2018


  • child-centrism
  • friends support
  • maternal competence
  • motherhood
  • sociability


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