Maternal Parenting Stress, Child Exuberance, and Preschoolers' Behavior Problems

Stella Tsotsi, Birit F P Broekman, Lynette P Shek, Kok Hian Tan, Yap Seng Chong, Helen Chen, Michael J Meaney, Anne E Rifkin-Graboi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigated whether child exuberance, an aspect of temperament related to emotion regulation, moderates the well-documented association between high parenting stress and increased risk for internalizing and externalizing problems during the preschool years. At 42 months of age child exuberance was observed in 256 children (47% girls) and maternal self-reports on parenting stress were obtained. At 48 months internalizing and externalizing problems were assessed through reports from both parents. Indeed, higher maternal parenting stress increased the risk for internalizing problems, and this association was more pronounced among children with high levels of exuberance. Existent emotion regulation difficulties in highly exuberant children may further heighten the risk conveyed by an unfavorable caregiving environment for developing internalizing problems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-146
Number of pages11
JournalChild development
Issue number1
Early online date2 Nov 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes

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