Étudiante-chercheure étoile April 2013

Célia Matte-Gagné

Postdoctoral researcher in Psychology
Concordia University

Award-winning publication: Stability of Maternal Autonomy Support between Infancy and Preschool Age

Published in: Social Development, September 26, 2012


"It has been proven that parental autonomy support is associated with several spheres of a child's development across cultures and development stages. While the impact of parental autonomy support has been studied extensively, very little is known about its fundamental features, such as the factors associated with the stability of parental behaviours. To better understand their impact on a child's development over time, I explored the temporal stability of autonomy support for the very first time and determined three factors that impact behaviour stability: the perception of the mother's bonding, the gender of the child and stressful life events."

Célia Matte-Gagné's research enhances our understanding of parental autonomy support, its development over time and the factors that may influence it. Parents tend to remain stable in their autonomy support behaviours, and the research results suggest, among other things, that it is best to teach parents educational techniques early on to support their child's autonomy. It is impossible to conceive of societal and cultural development without placing the child at the heart of the discussion—a dialogue in which parental autonomy support plays a key role.