The Interaction of the Parent with the Young Child: Structure and Dynamics of Parental Responsiveness



The article presents a theoretical justification of the concept of Parental Responsiveness (PR) based on the cultural and historical concept, the activity paradigm and the results of an empirical study, the purpose of which is to operationalize the psychological construct of parental responsiveness and build an explanatory model of the dynamic functioning of parental responsiveness. The study involved 55 mothers with children between the ages of 2.4 and 3.3 years, developing within the norm. The method "Evaluation of child-parent interaction (ECPI)", which provides video surveillance, was used. The data was processed using the Observer XT-14 computer program. The Principal component analyses the method with orthogonal rotation Varimax was used to identify generalizing categories that characterize PR and allows describing their variations. As a result, there were 4 categories (scales) that determine the manifestation of responsiveness by the parent: Dominance, Apathy, Sensitivity, and Support. Their stability was shown in the process of parent-child interaction. A profile of parental responsiveness is constructed for each parent, which determines the extend of each scale when interacting with the child. The developed dynamic multidimensional autoregressive model of Parental Responsiveness allows us to evaluate the dynamics of parental behavior and determine the nature of the relationship between scales during the session.

General Information

Keywords: parental responsiveness, scales, video obsevation, Observer XT, toddler, mother-child interaction, mother-toddler dyad, categories of parental responsiveness, multivariate autoregression model

Journal rubric: Empirical Research

Article type: scientific article


Funding. The reported study was funded by Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR), project number 19-513- 92001 «Cross-cultural specifics of interaction between a significant adult and a child in Russia and Vietnam».

Acknowledgements. The authors are grateful to the young scientists, clinical psychologists of the Chair of Neuro-and Pathopsychology of Development of MSUPE Pak V.V. and Garifullina A.D. for their help in coding cases with the Observer — XT 14 program.

For citation: Galasyuk I.N., Mitina O.V. The Interaction of the Parent with the Young Child: Structure and Dynamics of Parental Responsiveness. Kul'turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya = Cultural-Historical Psychology, 2020. Vol. 16, no. 4, pp. 72–86. DOI: 10.17759/chp.2020160408.

A Part of Article

The psychological birth of the human infant and consequent development during early childhood is analyzed from various perspectives, but regardless of the approach, all of them look at these processes through the prism of parent-child interaction. Parent-child interaction is a set of behaviours that could be observed and measured with the help of scales that are marked during the observation.


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Information About the Authors

Irina N. Galasyuk, PhD in Psychology, Associate Professior, Department of Neuro and Pathopsychology, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Olga V. Mitina, PhD in Psychology, Leading Researcher of the Laboratory of Communication Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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