College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Spring 6-14-2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Cecilia Martinez-Torteya, PhD

Second Advisor

Susan McMahon, PhD

Third Advisor

Bernadette Sanchez, PhD


Early childhood socioemotional difficulties are of increasing concern due to their impact on later functioning, particularly in the academic environment. A large body of research highlights the relation between parent educational involvement and student academic success, such that more involvement is associated with better grades, retention, and graduation. It is praised as a protective factor for those students at risk for poor outcomes. An under-researched area of the parent educational involvement literature is the construct’s relation to student socioemotional functioning, which also affects success in the academic environment and predicts long term functioning. This study seeks to longitudinally investigate these associations, evaluating parent educational involvement as a predictor of later child socioemotional difficulties, and socioemotional difficulties as a predictor of later parent educational involvement. Participants were low-income, predominantly Latinx preschoolers (n =69) and their primary caregivers. Regression analyses revealed a significant negative association between baseline home-school conferencing and later child difficulties (ß = -.20, p <.05), after controlling for child age and gender, and initial socioemotional functioning. Additionally, child socioemotional difficulties predicted later home-based involvement (ß = .23, p <.05), after controlling for initial levels of parent educational involvement and marital status. Results suggest promoting positive home-school communication may curb later socioemotional concerns. In addition, findings highlight child functioning influences parent educational involvement, and socioemotional problems may act as an invitation for parents to increase their educational involvement at home. Cultural considerations and the implications for research and policy are discussed.

SLP Collection