Term of Award

Fall 2000

Degree Name

Master's of Science in Psychology

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)


Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Janice H. Kennedy

Committee Member 1

Janice N. Steirn

Committee Member 2

Paul R. Kleinginna

Committee Member 3

Richard Rogers


Parenting styles of caregivers based on Baumrind's (1971) authoritative, authoritarian, and permissive styles were examined in relation to levels of secure attachment and social competence in preschoolers. Participants were primary caregivers of preschoolers enrolled in a public school system, daycare programs, and in a gymnastics program in a town in southern Georgia, as well as the preschoolers' teachers. Participation was voluntary. Parenting styles were measured using Buri's (1991) Parental Authority Questionnaire (PAQ). Levels of secure attachment were measured using Waters' (1987, as cited in Waters, 1995) Attachment Q-Set (AQS; Version 3.0). Social skills were measured using Gresham and Elliott's (1990) Social Skills Rating System (SSRS; Teacher Form). Data were analyzed using Analysis of Variance, Pearson's Product Moment correlations, independent samples ^-tests, and step-wise multiple regressions. Parenting styles were found to be related to levels of secure attachment in that children of authoritative and authoritarian caregivers had high levels of secure attachment, while children of authoritarian/authoritative caregivers had low levels of secure attachment. Attachment security was related to some items of the PAQ and SSRS. Parenting style classification was not related to social competence scores, but permissiveness scores were positively correlated with Internal Problem Behaviors and Total Problem Behaviors. Permissiveness scores, authoritarianism scores, and authoritativeness scores were related to several SSRS items. Attachment security in girls was found to predict cooperation. Significant relationships for several demographic variables were also found.

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