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Examining the roles of child temperament, home, and classroom environments on low income preschool children's self-regulation

Ibrahim H Acar, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

The purpose of the current study was to examine how qualities of parent-child and teacher-child relationships predict pathways to self-regulation (behavior regulation and executive function) for children from low socioeconomic backgrounds. In addition, the current study examined how parent-child and teacher-child relationships moderated and mediated effects of children’s temperament on their self-regulation. Participants included 291 preschool aged children (159 boys, Mage= 53.88 months, SD= 6.44 months) enrolled in 17 different classrooms across 3 different Educare Programs in two Midwestern cities. Children’s temperament and parent-child relationship were assessed via parent-report, and teachers reported on the quality of their relationship with children in the fall. Trained researchers assessed children’s self-regulation during spring and summer semesters. It was hypothesized that positive (high closeness and low conflict) parent-child and teacher-child relationships would be associated with better self-regulation in children. In addition,it was hypothesized that positive parent-child and teacher-child relationships would positively moderate the association between reactive temperament and self-regulation. Children’s reactive temperament was positively associated with teacher-child and parent- child conflict, and negatively associated with parent-child closeness and executive function. Hierarchical regression analyses revealed that closeness with parents moderated the association between their temperament and behavior regulation and also mediated the association between temperament and executive function. Teacher-child relationship quality moderated the associations between temperament and both behavior regulation and executive function. Teacher-child conflict moderated the association between parent-child closeness and children’s behavior regulation. Regulatory temperament moderated the association between reactive temperament and executive function. Regulatory temperament also moderated the association between reactive temperament and teacher-child closeness. Finally, children’s regulatory temperament was positively associated with teacher-child closeness and negatively associated with teacher-child conflict. Findings from this study highlight the importance of positive parent-child and teacher-child relationships for children’s self-regulation, in particular children with low regulatory and high reactive temperament. Limitations of the current study and future directions are also discussed.^

Subject Area

Early childhood education|Educational psychology|Developmental psychology

Recommended Citation

Acar, Ibrahim H, "Examining the roles of child temperament, home, and classroom environments on low income preschool children's self-regulation" (2016). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI10139057.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI10139057

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