The Protective Role of the Caregiving Relationship in Child Care for Infants and Toddlers from High Risk Families
AuthorMortensen, Jennifer Ann
KeywordsFamily & Consumer Sciences
AdvisorBarnett, Melissa A.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractInfancy and toddlerhood is an important time for the development of emotion regulation, with interactions between parents and children critical to these processes. Negative parenting behaviors can have a deleterious impact on this development; however, for infants and toddlers in child care, the classroom environment, including teacher-child interactions, provides an important setting for emotional development and may serve as a protective factor when parenting risk at home is high. The aim of the three papers presented in this dissertation was to explore the potential for child care to act as a protective factor for infants and toddlers experiencing different dimensions of parenting risk that threaten emotion regulation development: minimal sensitivity and support, harsh and intrusive behaviors, and physical abuse and neglect. Results confirmed the negative impact of unsupportive, harsh, and intrusive parenting behaviors on emotion regulation, but child care was either insignificant in mitigating these effects or operated as a buffer for certain children only. Additionally, a review of the extant literature suggested that understanding the optimal caregiving experiences in child care that meet the unique regulatory needs of maltreated infants and toddlers is limited. Collectively, implications of these findings include the need to ensure measurement validity when assessing children’s experiences within child care, the importance of considering the interactive nature of child, parent, and child care factors, and the pressing need for more research regarding child care teachers' roles in facilitating emotional experiences in the classroom that meet the unique regulatory needs infants and toddlers facing risk at home.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Family & Consumer Sciences