Article Correctness Is Author's Responsibility: The influence of parenting and temperament on empathy development in toddlers.

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Empathy is a critical ability in developing relationships, and deficits in empathy have been associated with various maladaptive social outcomes. Although specific parenting styles and behaviors (including warmth and reasoning) are expected to be related to the development of child empathy, these may function differently for children with an inhibited temperament. Children with an inhibited temperament, who are at risk for developing an anxiety disorder, may also struggle with expressing empathic behaviors. These relations were tested in a longitudinal study including mothers and their toddlers. Dyads participated at time points approximately 1 year apart when toddlers were 24 and 36 months old. Moderating effects were found for parental warmth and reasoning, as well as authoritative parenting broadly. Maternal warmth was related to higher levels of empathy for only children with low levels of inhibited temperament. Maternal reasoning was related to lower levels of empathy for children with high levels of inhibited temperament. Thus, for children with low levels of inhibited temperament, warmth predicts higher empathy, and for children with high levels of inhibited temperament, reasoning predicts lower empathy. These findings are discussed within a goodness of fit framework, suggesting that children's positive outcomes depend on the match between parenting behavior and temperament. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)