The Influence of Parental Self-Efficacy and Perceived Control on the Home Learning Environment of Young Children



      To: 1) examine sociodemographic factors associated with high parental self-efficacy and perceived control, and 2) determine how self-efficacy and control relate to the home learning environment (HLE), including whether they mediate the relationship between sociodemographic characteristics and HLE, among low-income parents of young children.


      Cross-sectional survey of English- and Spanish-speaking parents, 18 years of age and older, with children 15 to 36 months old, to assess parental self-efficacy, perceived control, HLE, and sociodemographic characteristics. Bivariate analysis identified sociodemographic predictors of high self-efficacy and control. Separate multivariate linear regression models were used to examine associations between self-efficacy, control, and the HLE. Formal path analysis was used to assess whether self-efficacy and control mediate the relationship between sociodemographic characteristics and HLE.


      Of 144 participants, 25% were white, 65% were immigrants, and 35% completed the survey in Spanish. US-born subjects, those who completed English surveys, or who had higher educational levels had significantly higher mean self-efficacy and perceived control scores (P < .05). Higher self-efficacy and perceived control were associated with a positive change in HLE score in separate multivariate models (self-efficacy β = .7 [95% confidence interval (CI), 0.5–0.9]; control β = .5 [95% CI, 0.2–0.8]). Self-efficacy acted as a mediator such that low self-efficacy explained part of the association between parental depressive symptoms, immigrant status, and less optimal HLE (P = .04 and < .001, respectively).


      High parental self-efficacy and perceived control positively influence HLEs of young children. Self-efficacy alone mediates the relationship between parental depressive symptoms, immigrant status, and less optimal early home learning.


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