Previous research has established the link between harsh parenting and poor outcomes in children, although little attention has been paid to the concurrent protective factors which may exist. The relationship between parenting behaviours and childhood externalizing behaviours was investigated in a sample of 60 parents of young children (ages 2–5 years). Thirty families were selected for participation based on teacher-reported externalizing behaviour in their young child which exceeded normal limits and matched with a sample of 30 parents of children without externalizing behaviour problems. Results found that parents of young children with externalizing behaviours tended to use more frequent verbal and corporal punishment with their young children, and reported more behaviour problems with their young children when compared with a control group. However, no significant differences were found between groups with respect to positive, nurturing behaviours, or utilizing appropriate developmental expectations. Implications for prevention are discussed. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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