Method: This study analyzed a nationally representative data of South Korea, Panel Study on Korean Children (PSKC), which gathered its first data from mothers delivered her baby on 2008 and have followed-up once a year. Participants were 1,560 children and their mother and eight waves of data (aged 0 to 7) were used.
Dependent variables included aggression and withdrawal measured by CBCL at school entry. Independent variables in infancy consisted of mother’s parenting quality, rearing knowledge, education and family income-to-needs. Mediation variables in early childhood consisted of three social learning variables in family, warmth parenting, discipline, and parent’s marital conflict. Also, the mediational role of behavioral and emotional executive functions at aged 7 was examined. Gender, temperament, birth order, and aggression and withdrawal at aged 4 were controlled. The research model was examined using Structural Equation Modeling. The significance of total, direct, and indirect effects was tested by bootstrapping method.
Results: Results described that parenting quality in infancy (aged 0 to 2) significantly (p<.05) impacts on every major variables; aggression, withdrawal, behavioral and emotional executive functions at school entry (aged 7), and family environments in early childhood (aged 3 to 6). Family income in infancy significantly influences withdrawal, executive functions and family environments in early childhood. Also, while discipline has nothing to do with, warmth parenting and marital conflict in early childhood are significantly related to executive functions and social behavioral problems. Lastly, behavioral and emotional executive functions are identified as a significant internal resource which mediates the relationship between prior family environment and social behavioral problems.
Conclusion: Results of this study indicates that prevention for children’s social behavioral problems is needed from the early stage of life. It gave empirical evidence that parenting and family SES in infancy predict social behavioral problem in school entry, also it tested specific developmental pathways through social learning in family and self-regulation. Specific strategies for preventing social behavioral problems will be discussed with theoretical considerations.