Julia T. Mattson, John C. Thorne & Sara T. Kover (2022) Parental interaction style, child engagement, and emerging executive function in fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD), Child Neuropsychology, DOI: 10.1080/09297049.2021.2023122
Children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) are known to experience cognitive and neurobehavioral difficulties, including in areas of executive function and social skills development. Interventions for these challenges have focused on a number of areas, including parent-based training. Despite the general consensus that specific parenting styles consistent with an “authoritative” – warm but firm – parenting approach may influence behavioral self-regulation, it is not known what specific parental interaction styles are associated with child engagement and emerging executive function in this population.
The current study used an observation-based behavioral coding scheme during parent–child play interactions and associated parent report-based executive function measures in children with FASD.
Here, we demonstrate that parental interaction styles with increased responsive/child-oriented behavior and parental affect are associated with higher levels of child play engagement, while parental interaction that has increased achievement-orientation is associated with higher levels of emerging executive function in children with FASD.
These findings help inform future studies on behavioral targets in parent-based training programs and highlight the importance of considering certain parental interaction styles during parent–child play.