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Publication Date

2008-04-25

Availability

UM campus only

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)

Department

Psychology (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense

2008-01-29

First Committee Member

Daryl B. Greenfield - Committee Chair

Second Committee Member

Christine Delgado - Committee Member

Third Committee Member

Marygrace Yale-Kaiser - Committee Member

Fourth Committee Member

Heather A. Henderson - Committee Member

Fifth Committee Member

Batya Elbaum - Outside Committee Member

Abstract

The current study examined the relation between temperament and school readiness in preschool children. Two research questions were of interest: 1) Do approaches to learning behaviors mediate the relation between temperament and school readiness and 2) Does temperament moderate the relation between approaches to learning and school readiness? Data were collected on 195 Head Start children. Teachers assessed children's temperament styles as undercontrolled, resilient, or overcontrolled, as well as their approaches to learning behaviors. Trained research assistants directly assessed children's school readiness. The results showed a gender by temperament interaction effect for overcontrolled children with boys performing the worst on all outcomes and girls performing either the best or as well as resilient girls and boys. Mediation and moderation analyses were conducted separately for girls and boys. For girls, temperament did not predict school readiness and therefore, there was no effect to mediate. For boys, competence motivation and attention/persistence partially mediated the relation between temperament and school readiness for overcontrolled versus resilient boys. For both girls and boys, temperament did not moderate the relation between approaches to learning and school readiness. These results and the implications of this research will be discussed.

Keywords

Mediation; Moderation; Gender Differences

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