Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Family Consumer Human Development

Committee Chair(s)

Shelley L. K. Lindauer


Shelley L. K. Lindauer


Dr. Miller


Dr. Schvaneveldt


Dr. Austin


Dr. Sisson


This study investigated the links between the family and peer systems by examining whether mothers' beliefs about social skills and management practices of peer interactions were related to their children's social relations with peers. The sample was comprised of 185 mothers of preschool children, ranging in age from 44 to 81 months, who resided in Seoul, Korea. Children of the participating mothers were enrolled in center- based preschool programs. Mothers were asked to complete the Maternal Beliefs Scale, the Mothers' Management Strategies Scale, and demographic measures. Using the Child Behavior Scale, teachers rated the social competence of each child whose mother returned a set of questionnaires.

The findings suggested that most Korean mothers in this sample highly rated the importance of preschoolers' social development. They believed that social skills were amenable to modification, rather than innate. Whereas mothers in this study were frequently involved in direct or indirect monitoring of children's social activities, they infrequently engaged in direct management of peer relationships.

The results also showed that mothers who assigned greater importance to social skills and believed that the social skills of their children could be obtained by direct parental teaching were more likely to manage their children's social activities. In addition, mothers who made more efforts to enhance their children's social skills were more likely to have socially competent children with peers.

Additionally, younger mothers attached greater importance to social skills than older mothers and were more likely to attribute the experience factor to these skills. Employed mothers, as compared to nonemployed mothers, also made more external attributions for the development of social skills.