Child Development: Parenting Style Influences How Kids Learn Self-Control At Age 3, Says Study

By the time a child is three, he begins to develop self-control. He learns to grasp the concept of following what he's told not to do and a new study on child development highlights how parenting style influences your child's behavior.

Parenting Style Affects Children's Behavior

Researchers from the University of Texas at Arlington affirm that parenting style is a huge factor in helping a toddler learn self-control, which could then trigger other behavioral outcomes. Thus, it's important for parents to make use of the right parenting style.

"Individuals with low levels of inhibitory control develop more cognitive and socio-emotional development issues, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD," said study author Jeffrey Gagne in a press release, via the University of Texas Arlington. Gagne also said that in most cases, child development problems are determined when the child is already in school.

"If we could identify and intervene with problems earlier, we could improve their responses before they reach school," he added. Doing so could impact the child well into his adolescent years.

Child Development Self-Control Study On Twins

The study -- published in the journal Developmental Psychology -- enlisted 300 pairs of twins and then charted their development through inhibitory control tests, assessments and videos. Their parents were also asked to take part via interviews. The researchers followed through with the twins at age two and three, and found out that more than genetics, environmental factors - such as parenting, whether positive or negative - begin to bear more influences in a child's third year.

In this case, the twins' behaviors and traits start becoming more distinct. The researchers conclude that parenting style, as an environmental factor, is important to "their capacity for self-regulation," per Science Daily.

Child Development, Parenting Style And Mapping Out Character Traits

The researchers' study is not yet done and they will attempt to map out the traits of the twins in the hopes of measuring how it can predict behavioral disorders. The point is to help the parents find a better way to mitigate any problems before their twins reach school age, where they will have to contend with more environmental factors.

What's your take on this study? Sound off in the comments!

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