A growing body of research has found a relationship between parenting and the development of executive function in young children; however, fewer studies have examined how parenting is related specifically to the development of working memory. Using data from the Family Life Project, this study examined whether attention was a pathway through which parenting predicted working memory. A total of 1,292 children were followed from birth to 36 months. Parenting was measured at 6, 15, 24 and 36 months. Children’s attentional focusing and attentional shifting were measured at 24 months, and verbal working memory at 36 months. Sensitive, autonomy supportive and cognitive stimulating parenting at 6 months predicted better attentional shifting at 24 months, which, in turn, predicted greater working memory at 36 months. Sensitive, autonomy supportive and cognitive stimulating parenting at 15 months predicted greater working memory at 36 months. This study provided evidence that attentional shifting is a link for the association between parenting and working memory.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health