Gender as predictor of social rejection: the mediating/moderating role of effortful control and parenting.
The aim of this work was to analyze the gender differences found in a sample of 474 spanish children aged between 6 and 8 years with respect to peer rejection using a sociometric status technique. Thus, we analyzed how temperament (Effortful Control) and parenting practices (Parental support and Discipline) were involved in this relation. To measure social rejection we used the nominations method in the classroom context, while for temperament and parenting practices, parents were given a TMCQ (Temperament in Middle Childhood Questionnaire; Simmonds and Rothbart, 2004) and the Spanish version of the PCRI (Parent-Child Relationship Inventory; Gerard, 1994). Using an statistical modeling approach, we tested various mediation/moderation models until the best one with selected variables was found to explain the relation between these variables. The results confirmed gender differences in social rejection, with boys being rejected more than girls. The model that gave the best fit was the one that placed effortful control latent variable mediating the relation between gender and social rejection and parenting practices as a latent explanatory variable of effortful control. In conclusion, differences between girls and boys in social rejection are to a large extent explained by the significantly lower scores for boys in effortful control construct and, in turn, these lowest scores are explained by negative parental practices, with low levels of support and discipline.
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