Links between maternal parenting characteristics and the development of preschool peer play competence

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Diana Westerberg (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Julia Mendez Smith

Abstract: Peer play is a salient context for examining social competence in preschool children. Play experiences in preschool consisting of positive, prosocial and reciprocal exchanges between peers has been associated with positive adjustment throughout development, particularly for children at risk for poor developmental outcomes associated with poverty. Given the importance of peer play, this study examines child and parenting factors that may be associated with children's peer play skills, based on models of parenting in low-income African American families. Specifically, this study examines a) the relation between emotion regulation abilities of children and peer play in the classroom and b) the influence of parenting factors, including maternal warmth and harsh discipline, on the relation between preschooler's emotion regulation and peer play competence. Using a sample of 137 African American mothers and their children attending a Head Start early intervention program, results showed that as hypothesized, emotion regulation and lability at the beginning of the preschool year were related to peer play interaction and peer play disruption at the end of the year. Study hypotheses relating parenting characteristics to the relationship between emotion regulation and peer play competence were not supported. Additional findings and implications for future research and practice are discussed.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2011
African American, Low Income, Parenting, Preschool, Social Competence
Play $x Sociological aspects
Play assessment (Child psychology)
Poor children $x Education (Preschool) $z United States $v Case studies
Parental influences $x Social aspects $z United States $v Case studies
Mother and child $x Social aspects $z United States $v Case studies

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