A Longitudinal Study of Power-Assertive Discipline, Inductive Discipline and Preschoolers’ Anxiety : Preschoolers’ Forgiveness as a Moderator

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

2 Scopus Citations
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-103
Journal / PublicationChild Indicators Research
Issue number1
Online published18 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020


Existing studies on parental discipline have largely focused on its effects on child’s compliance and internalization, with few studies on its emotional outcomes in children. Using data collected over a 1-year period on a stratified random sample of 368 parents with children studying in nurseries (mean age = 3.97 years), this study assessed the predictive effects of parent reports of power-assertive discipline, inductive discipline, and preschoolers’ forgiveness on preschoolers’ anxiety symptoms in Hong Kong, China. Results of hierarchical regression analyses showed that parent reports of preschoolers’ anxiety symptoms at Time 2 were positively predicted by both strong power-assertive discipline and mild power-assertive discipline at Time 1. Moreover, the prospective relation between mild power-assertive discipline and preschoolers’ anxiety symptoms was moderated by preschoolers’ forgiveness. This study extended previous research on power-assertive discipline by showing that strong power-assertive discipline and mild power-assertive discipline are two distinct forms of discipline, which independently exert adverse impacts on preschoolers’ mental well-being. Further, this study demonstrated that the preschoolers’ trait forgiveness can protect them against anxiety in the face of mild power-assertive discipline.

Research Area(s)

  • Anxiety, Chinese preschoolers, Forgiveness, Inductive discipline, Power-assertive discipline