Paper Type

Master's Thesis


College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Christopher T. Leone

Second Advisor

Dr. Jody S. Nicholson

Department Chair

Dr. Lori Lange

College Dean

Dr. George Rainbolt


Effective parent-child relationships contribute to the development of well-adjusted children. Taxing personal and situational factors encumber a caregiver’s capacity for responsivity with his or her child. The purpose of the present study was to identify interpersonal factors that impact child outcomes in low socioeconomic status family populations. Data was collected in northeast Florida Head Start centers from 219 low income, at-risk caregivers and their children ages one and a half through almost five. Parents completed questionnaires on parent perceived stress, child temperament, and child developmental outcomes. Hierarchical regression was used to assess the influence of child temperament and parent perceived stress independently and interactively on child developmental outcomes. Although parent stress and negative child temperament significantly influenced child developmental outcomes, there was no significant interaction effect. Policies aimed at ameliorating negative child temperaments or subjective parent stress may serve families and improve child developmental outcomes. Researchers should investigate the potential moderating influence of parent sensitive responding on the relationship between parent stress and child developmental outcomes.