Date

2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

School Psychology

First Adviser

Manz, Patricia H.

Other advisers/committee members

DuPaul, George J.; Roggman, Lori A.; Sawyer, Brook

Abstract

High quality home visiting service delivery is a national priority to advance positive outcomes for low-income, ethnically diverse families of infants and toddlers. Home visiting quality is a multi-dimensional construct addressing various home visitor and parent behaviors (i.e., responsiveness, relationship, facilitation, and non-intrusiveness), yet limited work has examined the quality of home visiting, particularly as it relates to parenting behavior outcomes. One of the goals of child-development focused home visiting is to increase parents’ involvement with children in early learning experiences that promote academic gains. Current examinations of parent involvement behaviors as outcomes of Early Head Start (EHS) home visiting are limited in scope. A comprehensive understanding of parent involvement in children’s early learning as an outcome of home visiting has yet to be examined in the EHS population. To better understand EHS home visiting parent outcomes, mechanisms of parent behavior change need to be considered. One well-recognized mechanism of parent behavior change is parents’ self-efficacy for parenting. Therefore, the current study examined a multi-dimensional construct of home visiting quality and whether it predicted parents’ self-efficacy for parenting and parent involvement behaviors. Parents’ self-efficacy was first evaluated as a mechanism of change in home visiting by examining it as a mediator in a mediation model between home visiting quality and parent involvement. In a second mediation model, parent involvement was evaluated as a mediator between home visiting quality and parents’ self-efficacy. The transactional relationship between parents’ self-efficacy and parent involvement was explored. Measures of home visiting quality, parents’ self-efficacy, and parent involvement were collected at one point in time from a sample of 41 EHS families, who collectively received home visiting services from eight home visitors. Based on ordinary least squares (OLS) regression analysis with a hierarchical approach and OLS path analysis for indirect and direct effects in mediation, neither mediation model demonstrated a significant mediation. Parents’ self-efficacy and parent involvement positively and moderately predicted each other. Exploratory, post hoc examination of the individual dimensions of home visiting quality demonstrated preliminary support for a significant direct effect between responsiveness of the home visitor and parents’ self-efficacy.

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