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ERIC Number: EJ827998
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Apr
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 41
ISSN: ISSN-1524-0754
Early Head Start: Factors Associated with Caregiver Knowledge of Child Development, Parenting Behavior, and Parenting Stress
Belcher, Harolyn M. E.; Watkins, Katara; Johnson, Elizabeth; Ialongo, Nicholas
NHSA Dialog, v10 n1 p6-19 Apr 2007
This study investigates the role of socioeconomic status, parental mental health, and knowledge of child development on parenting styles and perceived parenting stress in caregivers of children, ages 3 months to 3 years, enrolled in Early Head Start (EHS). Caregivers of EHS students were interviewed using the Knowledge of Infant Development Inventory, Psychiatric Symptom Index, Parenting Style Expectations Scale to measure optimal parenting behavior, and Parenting Stress Index. Caregivers (n = 125) in this study were primarily African American (95.2%) women (94.6%). Mean psychiatric symptom severity scores for this population of EHS caregivers were in the top 15% of the normative population. Caregivers with more knowledge of child development had more optimal parenting behavior. In addition, more knowledge of child development was associated with lower parent child dysfunctional interaction and lower perceived parenting stress. Household income was positively associated with improved knowledge of child development. Larger household size was associated with younger caregivers and more severe psychiatric symptoms. Psychiatric symptoms were not associated with less optimal parenting behavior and more perceived parental stress. Caregiver psychiatric symptoms were, however, associated with more parent-child dysfunctional interactions. Analysis of caregiver demographics and psychiatric symptoms did not change the association between knowledge of child development and parenting behavior. In summary, the results of this study suggest that more knowledgeable caregivers report more optimal parenting behavior and less parenting stress. EHS caregivers endorse a high degree of psychiatric symptoms that may place them at risk for parent-child dysfunctional interactions. (Contains 4 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Parenting Stress Index