Maternal perception of mother-child relationships and preschool children's social competency
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The study explored mother-child relationships and preschool children’s social competency. The sample of the study included 100 mothers and their children enrolled in three child care centers in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. The majority of the mothers were middle class Caucasians with bachelor’s degrees. The majority of children were three-year-old girls. Mother-child relationships were measured using the Parenting Relationship Questionnaire-Preschool (PRQ-P) (Kamphaus & Reynolds, 2006). The subscales of the PRQ-P included Attachment, Discipline Practices, Involvement, Parenting Confidence, and Relational Frustration. Children’s social competency was measured by the Social Skills Rating System (SSRS) (Gresham & Elliott, 1990). The SSRS subscales rated by the mothers included Cooperation, Assertion, Responsibility, and Self-Control, along with Problem Behaviors. The methodology examined correlations between maternal perception of mother-child relationships and children’s social competency. The results produced both positive and negative correlations between subscales of the PRQ-P and the SSRS. Mothers reported significantly high scores in Involvement and Parental Confidence. There were significant differences in mothers’ ratings of the frequencies of children’s social skill behaviors and the importance they placed on these skills. The results of the study will benefit family life educators, child development professionals, and families by providing them with information about mother-child relationships and children’s social competence. This awareness could lead to the development of interventions that would support mother-child relationships and promote the social skills of young children.