Date Approved


Date Posted


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department or School


Committee Member

Heather Janisse, Ph.D., Chair

Committee Member

Alissa Huth-Bocks, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Stephen Jefferson, Ph.D.


A large number of children are exposed to multiple risk factors within the first 3 years of life, resulting in poorer child developmental outcomes. Additionally, exposure to multiple risks is especially prevalent in low-income populations. Several studies have found that multiple maternal and biological risks such as maternal depression, physical health or illness, other sociodemographic risks, and low birth weight lead to poor child outcomes, such as lower cognitive achievement at preschool age. The current study investigated the influence of both maternal and infant biological risks in a cumulative risk model on predicting preschool children’s cognitive outcomes. Hierarchical multiple regression was implemented through SPSS Statistical Software to test the hypotheses. Preliminary analyses indicated that maternal health risks and an infant biological risk were not risk factors in this study, and were therefore removed from the cumulative risk indices. Results indicated that cumulative maternal risks did have a direct influence on children’s cognitive scores. However, the infant biological risk did not significantly influence children’s cognitive scores. Additionally, results indicated that the effects of the cumulative risks were additive for this sample, not multiplicative

Included in

Psychology Commons