Objective: The main purpose of this study was to investigate the direct effect of maternal parenting behavior and indirect effects through preschoolers’executive function on three types of social behavior, prosocial, aggressive and withdrawn behavior.
Methods: A total of 299 mothers and their preschool-aged children were the subjects of this study. Mothers completed the questionnaire that included measures of their parenting behavior, preschoolers’ executive function, and social behavior.
Results: First, mothers’ positive parenting behavior had a direct effect on preschoolers’ prosocial behavior, and mothers’ negative parenting behavior had direct effects on preschoolers’ aggressive and withdrawn behavior. Second, mothers’ positive parenting behavior had indirect effects on preschoolers’ prosocial, aggressive and withdrawn behavior through preschoolers’ executive function. In contrast, indirect paths from maternal negative parenting behavior to social behavior through preschoolers’ execution function were not significant.
Conclusion/Implications: These findings underscore the importance of executive function during early childhood and suggest the need for effective parenting programs to promote executive function.