Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Diane Lickenbrock (Director), Jenni Teeters, Matthew Woodward

Degree Program

Department of Psychological Sciences

Degree Type

Master of Science


A parent’s efficacy can be associated with several other characteristics within parenting such as parental involvement, as well as infant behavior (Johnson & Marsh, 1989; Leerkes & Burney, 2007). Parents who are more involved with their children tend to be higher in their efficacy (Leerkes & Burney, 2007). Child negative temperamental reactivity is negatively associated with parental efficacy (Coleman & Karraker, 2003). Associations might vary based on parent gender; with maternal efficacy being associated with temperament and paternal efficacy being associated with involvement (Leerkes & Burney, 2007). However, the extent to which these associations vary by parent gender across early infancy remain unclear. The current study examined associations between parental involvement, infant temperament, and parental efficacy with mothers and fathers across early infancy. Families (n =76) participated when infants were 4 and 8 months of age. Parents completed questionnaires (parental efficacy & involvement; Johnston & Marsh, 1989; Planalp et al., 2013). Infants participated in laboratory temperamental anger and fear tasks (Goldsmith & Rothbart, 1999). Findings revealed differences in predictors of parental efficacy for mothers versus fathers. For mothers, a significant Play Involvement main effect was found; as maternal play involvement increased, maternal efficacy also increased. For fathers, a significant Care Involvement X Infant Anger interaction was found; there was a negative association between father care and efficacy for fathers whose infants were high in anger. This study adds to the literature by measuring temperament on a fine-grained level and including fathers.


Child Psychology | Developmental Psychology | Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences

Available for download on Thursday, May 08, 2025