Date of Award

2015

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

Abstract

The current study examined ecological predictors of the trajectory of effortful control (EC) across ages 4, 5, and 6 in a community sample of young children (N = 796). The specific goals of the study were to examine poor neighborhood quality as a predictor of EC development, to evaluate the moderating role of supportive and hostile parenting in relation to poor neighborhood quality and EC development, and to determine if the interaction between poor neighborhood quality and parenting predicted change in children’s social competence through the mediating role of EC. Data were analyzed using latent growth curve modeling (LGM). Results of the LGM analyses indicated that children experienced steady and significant improvements in EC across ages 4, 5, and 6. Poor neighborhood quality was a significant predictor of the intercept of EC (EC at age 4) and the growth in EC across the three years of study. There were significant direct effects of supportive and hostile parenting on EC intercept. Hostile parenting emerged as a significant moderator of the relationship between poor neighborhood quality and EC intercept. Neither of the mediated moderation analyses supported an indirect effect of EC on the interaction between poor neighborhood quality and parenting predicting change in children’s social competence. However, several significant direct effects between supportive/hostile parenting and social skills at age 6 and between EC and social skills at age 6 emerged. Overall, the current study provides information regarding ecological predictors of EC and of the influential role of EC during early childhood.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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