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Early Childhood Characteristics, Parenting, and Contextual Influences on Preschoolers’ Behaviour and Developing Competencies: An Examination of Behavioural, Academic, and Social Adjustment

Title:

Early Childhood Characteristics, Parenting, and Contextual Influences on Preschoolers’ Behaviour and Developing Competencies: An Examination of Behavioural, Academic, and Social Adjustment

Feldstein, Julia (2016) Early Childhood Characteristics, Parenting, and Contextual Influences on Preschoolers’ Behaviour and Developing Competencies: An Examination of Behavioural, Academic, and Social Adjustment. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

The present studies were designed to examine early emerging behaviour problems, temperament, parenting, maternal characteristics, and contextual influences on children’s developing competencies in a pooled sample of mother-child dyads, as well as links to academic and social adjustment following preschoolers’ transition to elementary school. Mothers from three independent Canadian samples participated with their preschool-aged offspring in data collection; questionnaire measures were employed in order to investigate temperament, behaviour problems, parenting, and maternal emotionality in early childhood (children aged 2-6), and classroom behaviour, interpersonal skills, social and attention problems in middle childhood (children aged 6-11). In addition to maternal and teacher-report questionnaires, report-card marks were collected at the conclusion of the academic year, and children completed standardized measures of verbal ability to assess school achievement and vocabulary, respectively.
Results reflected the significance of child, parental, and familial influences on children’s early behaviour and subsequent adjustment following the school transition. In addition to direct effects, findings demonstrated indirect and interactive relationships between temperament, parenting, maternal emotionality, and familial socioeconomic stress in contributing to the early emergence of externalizing problems, and to academic and social adjustment outcomes in middle childhood. Further evidence of bidirectional associations between temperament and parenting was also indicated in the context of children’s externalizing behaviour at preschool age.
The results highlight the complexity of relationships across a range of multi-level factors, and their direct, indirect, and interactive contributions to children’s early behaviour and subsequent adjustment at school age. Findings underscore the significance of early childhood in shaping social, behavioural, and academic outcomes, and have important implications for policies and programs that promote positive developmental outcomes. By pooling participants from three independent Canadian samples, results contribute valuable information to the field of early childhood development, and underscore the concurrent and longitudinal influences on preschoolers’ behaviour and school age adjustment.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Psychology
Concordia University > Research Units > Centre for Research in Human Development
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Feldstein, Julia
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:Psychology
Date:14 April 2016
Thesis Supervisor(s):Stack, Dale
ID Code:981164
Deposited By: JULIA FELDSTEIN
Deposited On:16 Jun 2016 15:34
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:52
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