Parent-Teacher Relationships and Preschooler Outcomes: The Importance of Parent Self-Efficacy Among Low-Income Families

  • Author / Creator
    Offrey, Laura D
  • In this quantitative study, the associations among parent-teacher relationships, parent self-efficacy (PSE), and preschooler outcomes in low-income families were explored. Specifically, the direct and indirect effects of parent-teacher relationships and PSE on children’s adaptive skills and behavioural symptoms were investigated. Because the vast majority of research includes mothers as the primary source of information, the current study also involved gathering information from the perspective of fathers. The sample was composed of 75 parents (48 mothers, 27 fathers) who had preschool aged children (3-4 years old) in a Head Start program. Data were collected using self-reports of parenting self-efficacy and parent-teacher relationships and a standardized measure of children’s behavioural and social-emotional functioning. Overall, mothers and fathers reported similar levels of PSE and perceived relationships with their child’s teacher. Furthermore, fathers’ and mothers’ perceived parent-teacher relationships were positively associated with children’s adaptive skills. These associations were stronger for fathers than mothers. Although not significant, small and negative relationships were observed between children’s behavioural symptoms and parent variables. Mediation analyses were conducted to explore how parent-teacher relationships and PSE mediated child outcomes. Altogether, no significant pathways were observed within the mother group, however, some pathways appeared to approach significance. Within the father group, although mediation was not found, significant pathways emerged between fathers’ perceived parent-teacher relationships and reported level of PSE. Fathers’ perceived parent-teacher relationships significantly predicted children’s adaptive skills but not behavioural symptoms. Findings and implications are discussed in relation to research and theory, and aim to facilitate better understandings of the role of parent-teacher relationships and PSE in determining child outcomes.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2015
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Specialization
    • School and Clinical Child Psychology
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Pei, Jacqueline (Educational Psychology)
    • Buck, George (Educational Psychology)
    • Gokiert, Rebecca (Faculty of Extension)
    • Prochner, Larry (Elementary Education)