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Patricia Heisser-Metoyer


Researchers have identified that parenting styles affect limit setting behaviors in childrearing practice. There are gaps in the research pertaining to examining patterns of limit setting for parents of preschoolers with special needs and the behavioral outcomes for these children. This study examined quantitatively whether parental perceptions influenced limit setting in parent child interactions. Belsky's process model outlining determinants of parenting, Baumrind's theory of parenting styles and socio-developmental theories of attachment and parental response style provided the theoretical framework for this study. 25 parents of preschoolers with IEPs and 4 special education teachers participated in the survey design study in a low socio-economic area of the South Bronx, New York. Parents were asked to complete a brief demographic questionnaire, The Parent-Child Relationship Inventory and Parent Rating scale of the BASC-2. Teachers for the children identified were also asked to complete the Teacher Rating scale of the BASC-2. . Data were analyzed using correlations, regression analysis, and multivariate analysis. Analysis revealed that none of the null hypotheses could be rejected. However, a correlational analysis did reveal a positive correlation between a report of less limit setting for parents and higher incidents aggression in children at home. In identifying factors that continue to influence parenting behaviors and the social emotional functioning of preschoolers with special needs, this study supports the need for continuity of education and intervention for parents of special needs preschoolers, especially within communities of lower SES.

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