Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Child and Family Studies

Major Professor

Rena Hallam

Committee Members

Sandra Twardosz, Vey M. Nordquist


The primary purpose of this study was to investigate the role of maternal (i.e., age, education, stress, depression, and self-efficacy) and toddler characteristics (i.e., temperament, dysregulation, and competence) on literacy activities and resources employed in the home. The current study was a secondary data analysis of a larger study assessing the role of infant/toddler, care, and family characteristics on preschoolers’ school readiness. Ninety-five mothers of toddlers (28 --- 31 months old) completed mailed questionnaires that assessed maternal depression, parenting stress, maternal self-efficacy, toddler self-regulation and temperament, and literacy activities. Instruments completed by mothers included the Center of Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), Parental Stress Index --- Short Form (PSI/SF), Infant and Toddler Social and Emotional Assessment (ITSEA), Self-Efficacy Parenting Task Index-Toddler Scale (SEPTI-TS), and questionnaires assessing interaction, literacy, and creativity activities. In a follow-up phone interview, mothers completed the Early Childhood Behavior Questionnaire (ECBQ) and provided demographic information. Bivariate correlations and hierarchical regression revealed gender differences in the factors related to literacy activities and resources for male and female toddlers. For boys, elevated levels of physiological dysregulation significantly predicted activities and resources. For girls, mothers’ age and self-efficacy, significantly predicted the amount of book reading materials and reading frequency to female toddlers compared to mothers of male toddlers.

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