Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
This study investigated children's perceived self-competence and its relationship to the social antecedent of adult attachment and the outcome of children's cognitive ability. Utilizing a predominantly African American sample, 154 mothers, 80 fathers and 205 children were included in this cross-sectional study of second and fourth grade children. Regression analyses indicated that the exploratory relationship between adult attachment as a predictor of children's self-competence was upheld with both second and fourth grade children of participating mothers and fathers. More specifically, maternal attachment was a significant predictor of second grade children's perceived physical competence, social acceptance, and maternal acceptance. Maternal attachment was a significant predictor of fourth grade children's perceived social acceptance. Paternal attachment was a significant predictor of fourth grade children's perceived athletic competence. Regression analyses also indicated that second and fourth grade children's perceived self-competence was a significant predictor of cognitive ability as measured by a standardized test of cognitive ability. In addition, fourth grade children's perceived cognitive competence was a significant positive predictor of cognitive ability while perceived social acceptance was a significant negative predictor of cognitive ability. This exploratory study found relationships between adult attachment and children's perceived self-competence in middle childhood. Further research is necessary to investigate whether these relationships are upheld over time and with larger and more diverse samples.
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Block, Elizabeth Benchea, "Adult attachment styles, children's self-competence, and children's cognitive ability: an ecological study" (2004). LSU Doctoral Dissertations. 2584.
M.E. (Betsy) Garrison