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Experts in: Parent-child attachment

Mageau, Geneviève

MAGEAU, Geneviève

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My current research focuses on the definition, the determinants and the outcomes of autonomy support (Grolnick & Ryan, 1989; Mageau & Vallerand, 2003) in hierarchical relationships in general, and in parent-child interactions in particular.

  • To be autonomy supportive is to consider another (e.g., a child) as a separate individual who has unique needs and feelings and who deserves respect and self-determination (Deci & Ryan, 1985, 2000). 
  • Autonomy support has often been operationalized using the following behaviors: (1) to acknowledge the other’s feelings, (2) to give a rational for rules and demands, and (3) to provide choice and opportunities for initiative taking (Grolnick, Frodi, & Bridges, 1984; Koestner, Ryan, Bernieri, & Holt, 1984).

I am also interested in looking at the other key interpersonal dimensions (i.e., involvement and structure) and how they combine with autonomy support to foster optimal functionning.

Finally, I am co-leader of the How to Project, whose goal is to evaluate the effects of the parenting program called "How to talk so kids will listen & how to listen so kids will talk". This program teaches parents how to offer a clear and consistent structure to their children, while supporting their autonomy and maintaining a warm interpersonal relationship.

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