Author

Rachel Chase

Date Approved

12-17-2015

Date Posted

7-6-2016

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Psychology

Committee Member

Heather Janisse, Ph.D., Chair

Committee Member

Catherine Peterson, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Stephen Jefferson, Ph.D.

Abstract

Preschool has been identified as a critical period during which children who are at-risk for school difficulties are most responsive to intervention (National Institute of Mental Health, 2002; National Research Council & Institute of Medicine, 2001). Because of this, school readiness has recently become a prioritized area of interest for the educational system, the health care industry, and the federal government. However, many efforts to comprehensively prepare a child to begin school have not been successful because factors beyond the educational system (e.g., parenting/parent attributes, environmental stressors, and other demographic characteristics) have not been closely considered nor adequately researched. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine if maternal characteristics (e.g., maternal role satisfaction, future orientation, and level of maternal involvement) were positively related to domains of school readiness in children. I hypothesized that higher levels of maternal satisfaction and future orientation would result in more maternal involvement, subsequently leading to higher levels of child school readiness. Participants included 202 low-income, African American mother-child dyads, with the child being preschool age and enrolled in a Head Start program at the time of the study. The current study utilized secondary data where participants were recruited from Head Start facilities in Detroit, Michigan. Hierarchical multiple regression was utilized to test study hypotheses. Results revealed that maternal satisfaction and future orientation was positively related to some domains of child school readiness. The current study did not find support for the mediation hypothesis.

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