07 August 2019

Parsing profiles of temperamental reactivity and differential routes to delay of gratification: A person-based approach

This study examined whether associations between early sociocontextual experiences (e.g., socioeconomic factors and maternal discipline practices) and preschool-age children's delay of gratification vary across profiles of children's temperamental reactivity. There were three profiles of temperamental reactivity distinguished by sensitivity to reward and punishment and negative affectivity that were identified in the study. Maternal sensitive discipline measured when the child was aged 3.5 years predicted longer delay of gratification at age 5 in the punishment reactivity/negative affectivity group. Longer delay of gratification at age 5 in the low temperamental reactivity group was predicted by maternal inductive reasoning discipline measured when the child was aged 3.5 years. In contrast, for children with the reward reactivity/negative affectivity profile, higher family income at age 3.5 years predicted longer delay of gratification at age 5, which was mediated by children's set shifting.