Author

Gina A. Cook

Date of Award:

1999

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Family, Consumer, and Human Development

Department name when degree awarded

Family and Human Development

Advisor/Chair:

Lori A. Roggman

Abstract

The importance of social competence in children's development has been recognized, and evidence has been found that children who are socially incompetent are at risk for academic problems. Yet the influences that may be involved from infancy, such as temperament and attachment, have not been explored longitudinally. The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of infant temperament characteristics on later social development and to explore the idea that this influence may be affected by the infant's attachment security mediated by parenting stress.

Eighteen-month-old infants, from a previous study, were studied as second graders to examine whether their development was influenced by early attachment and temperament . This study examined the involvement of infant temperament and attachment in relation to maternal goodness-of-fit and parenting stress to predict social problems in the school years to gain valuable insight into the potential of the infant to influence his/her own development.

Results indicate that characteristics of the infant and the mother-infant relationship have only indirect relations with how children function later in childhood. However, the child's temperament as a second grader, although not stable from infancy, is related to how well a child adapts in a school environment

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