Mothers' Temperament, Adverse Childhood Experiences, and Psychological Symptoms: How Are Enduring Maternal Characteristics Related to Mothers' Perceptions of Children's Temperament, Behavior Problems, and Adaptive Functioning?
Extant literature documented the impact of mothers' characteristics and parenting behaviors on young children's psychosocial outcomes. Additionally, previous studies demonstrated the importance of mothers' adverse childhood experiences in the relationships among some of these constructs. To expand on the existing knowledge, the present study examined the relationships among mothers' temperament, reflective functioning, attributions, and specific parenting behaviors, with reflective functioning and attributions serving as two potential mediating variables in these relationships. A community sample of 224 diverse mothers of young children who were between 2- to 5-years of age rated their own adverse childhood experiences, temperament, reflective functioning, attributions, specific parenting behaviors, satisfaction with their maternal role, and psychological symptoms. Additionally, mothers rated their children's temperament, behavior problems, and adaptive functioning. Statistical analyses were conducted on the overall sample as well as on a subsample of participants who reported a high exposure to adverse childhood experiences. Correlational analyses indicated a variety of significant relationships among the variables of interest. Next, mediational analyses indicated that mothers' attributions mediated the relationship between mothers' temperament and parenting behaviors in both the overall sample and the subsample of mothers who reported high exposure to adverse childhood experiences. Further, hierarchical regression analyses demonstrated that a number of maternal characteristics predicted young children's outcomes. Overall, this study identified unique predictors of mothers' parenting behaviors and of mothers' perceptions of the outcomes experienced by their young children. Most importantly, this study highlighted the importance of serving families as a whole when wanting to provide lasting improvements to individual and family functioning through intervention services.
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Master of Science (M.S.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Kolomeyer, Ellen, "Mothers' Temperament, Adverse Childhood Experiences, and Psychological Symptoms: How Are Enduring Maternal Characteristics Related to Mothers' Perceptions of Children's Temperament, Behavior Problems, and Adaptive Functioning?" (2016). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 4998.