Title

Infant characteristics, parental beliefs and behavior: A study of the effects of parental perceptions on child cognitive competence

Date of Completion

January 1998

Keywords

Education, Early Childhood|Psychology, Developmental|Psychology, Cognitive

Degree

Ph.D.

Abstract

This longitudinal study of preterm and full term infants, explored the relationship between early attention measures as evidence of child competence, maternal interaction style, and child cognitive competence at age three; in a sample of preterm and full term children, using data collected by female observers in the homes of 48 mothers and their children, at ages 13, 15, 20, 24, 30, and 36 months.^ Attention Deployment at 13 and 15 months and selected subscales of the Stanford Binet at 36 months provided the basis for examining early cognitive competence. Mother/child interactive styles were videotaped at 20, 24, and 30 months and later coded using the Parent/Caregiver Involvement Scale (PCIS). Mother's perception of child competence was analyzed using the Perception of Cognitive Competence Scale (PCC).^ Parametric and nonparametric statistical analysis was employed. Differences between birth status groups across measures of cognitive competence at 13 and 15 months were explored through ANOVA's. The relationship between attention deployment measures at 13 and 15 months and the Stanford Binet at 36 months was examined using Pearson Product Moment Correlations. Maternal displays of control and directing behavior were examined at 20, 24, and 30 months through the Kruskal-Wallis test of significance.^ Differences in maternal interaction at 20, 24, and 30 months were explored using Spearman Rank Correlations with emphasis on stability and consistency of behaviors. The relationship between attention deployment and maternal interactive style was explored through Pearson Product Moment Correlation. Significant correlations were subjected to Spearman Rank correlation for comparison.^ T-tests were applied to explore significant differences between mothers' perception of child competence. Significant relationships among Perception of Child Competence, Attention Deployment at 13 and 15 months, maternal interactive style at 20, 24, and 30 months, and Stanford Binet at three years old were explored by Pearson Product Moment Correlations.^ Results indicated significant differences in preterm and full term's patterns of attention deployment, in the manner in which mothers interact with their children; and in the manner in which cognitive development is supported for each group. Implications for future research and intervention are discussed. ^