Parents’ perceptions of their spouses’ parenting and infant temperament as predictors of parenting and coparenting.

The present study examined how mothers’ and fathers’ perceptions of each others’ parenting competence and infant temperament interact to predict each parent’s individual behaviors during coparenting (involvement, support, and warmth) and their dyadic child-centered coparenting behavior. Data were obtained from a longitudinal study of 125 families in central Texas over their first 2 years of parenthood. Ratings of infants’ temperament were obtained when infants were 6 weeks old. Each parents’ perceptions of their spouse’s parenting were coded from a couple interaction task when infants were 8 months old, and parents’ coparenting behaviors were coded from triadic (mother-father-child) interactions obtained when children were 24 months old. Parents’ perceptions of their spouse’s parenting at 8 months interacted with their infants’ temperament to predict their later warmth and dyadic child-centered coparenting. High maternal perceptions of fathers’ parenting predicted high levels of father warmth and high levels of dyadic child-centered coparenting when infant temperamental reactivity was high. In contrast, high paternal perceptions of mothers’ parenting marginally predicted high levels of mother warmth and high dyadic child-centered coparenting when infant temperamental reactivity was low. Parents’ individual warmth and fathers’ involvement and support were also associated with dyadic child-centered coparenting. This study should help researchers further understand how parents’ attitudes toward each other’s parenting interact with their infants’ temperament qualities across the early years of parenthood to influence the quality of their dyadic coparenting. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)