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Dynamic coupling of mothers' and children's positive behaviors predicts decreases in problem behaviors over time

Self-reported harsh parenting relates to children's lower likelihood of responding positively to maternal autonomy support in a challenging task. Children whose mothers respond to their autonomous behavior with further autonomy support exhibit fewer internalizing and externalizing problems over time; this pattern also relates to decreases in mothers' harsh parenting. These effects appear unique to the dynamic coupling of autonomy-promotive behaviors (Lunkenheimer, Ram, Skowron, & Yin, 2017).