Date of Award

Fall 12-2015

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Scaramella, Laura

Second Advisor

Frick, Paul

Third Advisor

Weems, Carl


Social competence during kindergarten has been linked to adaptive teacher-child and peer relationships. The quality of parents’ interaction with their children during the toddler years may promote better social development placing children on a trajectory towards social competence. Quite possibly, children vary in how responsive they are to parenting efforts. This study evaluated the extent to which positive parenting predicted change in social competence from child age 3 to 4 among 137 parent-child dyads. Observational measures of positive parenting and fearful temperament were analyzed when children were 3-years of age. Teacher reports of social competence in the classroom were collected during children’s 4-year old assessment. Positive parenting was positively associated with children’s level of social competence. No evidence emerged of fearful temperament as a moderator for the association between positive parenting and social competence. Regardless of children’s temperament, all children benefit from positive parenting during early childhood.


The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.