Mother-child dyadic synchrony and its association with children’s socio-emotional competence in Mexican-American families



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Dyadic synchrony refers to a type of interaction between two people characterized by a mutually regulated, reciprocal, and harmonious relationship. Studies have shown that the ability to achieve dyadic synchrony in the mother-child relationship can facilitate social, emotional, and cognitive growth for the child. The present study investigated the predictors of mother-child dyadic synchrony in Mexican American families and their association to the child’s socio-emotional competence. Specifically, the study examined the association of maternal parenting stress, maternal childrearing beliefs, family income, maternal education and acculturation level with mother-child dyadic synchrony when children were 24 months old, and how these predicted the child’s later social and emotional competence at 48 months. Data were collected from 80 families in the Lubbock area. Results show that mother-child dyads in families with higher SES displayed significantly higher levels of dyadic synchrony. Furthermore, higher levels of dyadic synchrony at 24 months significantly predicted fewer aggressive behaviors in the child at 48 months. Implications of these findings for researchers and practitioners working with Mexican-American families are discussed.