Control, Harsh Discipline, and Externalizing Problems among
Chinese, Japanese, and U.S. 4-Year-Olds
mostly on findings in Western societies, it has been theorized
that deficiencies in children's inhibitory control, plus harsh
parenting, lead to elevated levels of externalizing problems.
To compare associations between these variables for children
in Western and Asian societies, Olson et al. (2011) administered
tests of inhibitory control to 155 4-year-olds attending preschools
in Beijing, Tokyo, and Ann Arbor, Michigan. The children's
mothers completed the CBCL/1.5-5 and questionnaires assessing
their disciplinary practices. In all three countries, low
levels of inhibitory control by the children and their mothers'
reports of harsh disciplinary practices independently contributed
to high scores for externalizing problems on the CBCL/1.5-5.
Consequently, the authors concluded that the findings supported
an additive model whereby children's inhibitory control and
maternal discipline each affect externalizing problems and
that both factors together may contribute to higher levels
of problems than if only one factor is present.
Olson, S.L., Tardif, T.Z., Miller, A., Felt, B., Grabell,
A.S., Kessler, D., Wang, L., Karasawa, M., & Hirabayashi,
H. (2011. Inhibitory control and harsh discipline as predictors
of externalizing problems in young children: A comparative
study of U.S., Chinese, and Japanese preschoolers. Journal
of Abnormal Child Psychology, 39, 1163-1175.