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To explore relationships among parent's self-reported disciplinary strategies, preschoolers' outcome expectations, and playground behavior, 136 mothers of preschool-age children (age range = 39-71 months) participated in home disciplinary style interviews. Measures of preschoolers' outcome expectations and observations of childrens' prosocial, antisocial/disruptive, and nonsocial/with-drawn playground behavior in preschool settings were also obtained. Results indicated that power-assertive mothers had preschoolers who engaged in more antisocial/disruptive behavior and who expected successful instrumental outcomes for hostile methods of resolving peer conflict. Preschoolers with such outcome expectations also participated in more antisocial playground behavior. Older preschoolers of inductive mothers engaged in more prosocial behavior and expected prosocial behavior to lead to both instrumental gains and enhanced relations with peers. Preschoolers who were more prosocial envisioned friendly-assertive strategies as leading to instrumental gains and, in the case of less nonsocial behavior, to enhanced relations with peers. Children's outcome expectations were also found to be different for older versus younger preschoolers. Evidence was also obtained suggesting that maternal discipline and outcome expectations make separate and independent contributions to children's social and aggressive play behavior. © 1992, Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Early Education and Development

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