Jul 27, 2010

Any Research on Confrontive I-Messages?


Baumrind, D. Child Care Practices Anteceding Three Patterns of Preschool Behavior. Genetic Psychology Monographs, 1967, 75, 43-88.

Children who rated high in self-control and self-discipline were found to have parents who refrained from punitive punishment, using instead a reasoning approach--that is, messages that told the children the negative effects of their behavior on others, as with the Confrontive I-Messages.


Parke, R. Effectiveness of Punishment as an Interaction of Intensity, Timing, Agent Nurturance and Cognitive Structuring. Child Development, 1969, 40, 211-235.

Cognitive messages (like I-Messages) were more influential than punishment in preventing children from playing with prohibited toys, even in the absence of the researcher. The effects of I-Messages as a deterrent continued over time, whereas the effects of punishment wore off more quickly.


Coopersmith, S. Antecedents of Self-Esteem. San Francisco: W.H. Freeman & Co., 1967

Mothers whose children had high self-esteem when compared with mothers whose children had low self-esteem were found to use more reasoning and verbal discussion and less arbitrary punitive discipline. This study confirms the benefits of Confrontive I-Messages which inform children of the consequences of their behavior.*

*Excerpt from Dr. Thomas Gordon's F.E.T. Adult Resource Book

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