IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Child Externalising and Internalising Behaviour in the First Year of School: The Role of Parenting in a Low SES Population


  • Carly Cheevers

    (UCD Geary Institute, University College Dublin, Ireland)

  • Orla Doyle

    (UCD Geary Institute, University College Dublin, Ireland)

  • Kelly McNamara

    (UCD Geary Institute, University College Dublin, Ireland)


Successful transition and adjustment to school life is critical for a child's future success. To ease this transition a child needs to arrive equipped with the necessary skills for school. The extent of a child’s behavioural problems is one indicator of his or her level of adjustment and school readiness. A factor which is consistently associated with such behaviours is parenting practices. This study examined the role of maternal parenting behaviours on externalising and internalising behaviours displayed by children in their first year of schooling. As children living in low socioeconomic status (SES) families are at risk of both adverse parenting behaviours and childhood behavioural difficulties, the study focuses on a low SES cohort. Mothers (n = 197) reported parenting behaviours using the Parenting Styles and Dimensions Questionnaire (PSDQ; Robinson, Mandelco, Olsen, & Hart, 2001). Teachers (n = 21) rated children on how frequently they engaged in fifteen behaviours. These behaviours were subjected to an exploratory factor analysis, eliciting two externalising behaviour factors (aggressive and defiant; hyperactive and inattentive) and one internalising behaviour factor. Bivariate analyses revealed that authoritarian parenting is associated with aggressive and defiant behaviours and that permissive parenting and maternal education is associated with hyperactive and inattentive behaviours. Only the latter result remains significant in the multivariate analysis. Finally, no relationships were found between parenting practices and child internalising behaviours. Parenting behaviours explained a small proportion of the variance in child externalising behaviours, highlighting the need to educate parents in effective parenting practices.

Suggested Citation

  • Carly Cheevers & Orla Doyle & Kelly McNamara, 2010. "Child Externalising and Internalising Behaviour in the First Year of School: The Role of Parenting in a Low SES Population," Working Papers 201039, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucd:wpaper:201039

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: First version, 2010
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Myeong-Su Yun, 2005. "A Simple Solution to the Identification Problem in Detailed Wage Decompositions," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 43(4), pages 766-772, October.
    2. Arnaud Chevalier, 2007. "Education, Occupation and Career Expectations: Determinants of the Gender Pay Gap for UK Graduates," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 69(6), pages 819-842, December.
    3. Alan Manning & Joanna Swaffield, 2008. "The gender gap in early-career wage growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(530), pages 983-1024, July.
    4. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde & Jürgen Schupp & Gert G. Wagner, 2005. "Individual Risk Attitudes: New Evidence from a Large, Representative, Experimentally-Validated Survey," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 511, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    5. Nyhus, Ellen K. & Pons, Empar, 2005. "The effects of personality on earnings," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 363-384, June.
    6. McCoy, Selina & Kelly, Elish & Watson, Dorothy, 2007. "School Leavers' Survey Report 2006," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number BMI198.
    7. Blau, Francine D & Kahn, Lawrence M, 1997. "Swimming Upstream: Trends in the Gender Wage Differential in 1980s," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 1-42, January.
    8. Javier Gardeazabal & Arantza Ugidos, 2004. "More on Identification in Detailed Wage Decompositions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(4), pages 1034-1036, November.
    9. Semykina, Anastasia & Linz, Susan J., 2007. "Gender differences in personality and earnings: Evidence from Russia," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 387-410, June.
    10. O'Neill, June & Polachek, Solomon, 1993. "Why the Gender Gap in Wages Narrowed in the 1980s," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(1), pages 205-228, January.
    11. Jeff Dominitz & Charles F. Manski, 1996. "Eliciting Student Expectations of the Returns to Schooling," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(1), pages 1-26.
    12. Ben Jann, 2008. "A Stata implementation of the Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition," ETH Zurich Sociology Working Papers 5, ETH Zurich, Chair of Sociology, revised 14 May 2008.
    13. repec:esr:resser:bkmnext128 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Russell, Helen & Smyth, Emer & O'Connell, Philip J., 2005. "Degrees of Equality: Gender Pay Differentials among Recent," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number BMI184.
    15. repec:feb:framed:0019 is not listed on IDEAS
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C10 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - General
    • C11 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Bayesian Analysis: General
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L65 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Chemicals; Rubber; Drugs; Biotechnology; Plastics

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucd:wpaper:201039. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Geary Tech). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.