Mother Sense of Competence Associated with Child Sensory Processing and Social Skills/Behavior Challenges in Homeless and Low-Income Housed Families

Author #1

Abstract

17 million children are low-income and 1.6 million are homeless in the United States. Mothers, who are poor, care for their children in environments that can be toxic and a challenge to optimal mothering. These factors may negatively impact child occupational participation and development (Shonkoff et al. 2011). Occupational science compels researchers to observe meaningful connections in the study of mother and child occupations. Thus, mother-child co-occupations are important scenarios to explore in the situated sphere. A mother’s sense of competence is a self-reflection of one’s achievement as a parent and can impact mothering behaviors which in turn, may impact child participation. Mothers who are poor or homeless may experience a diminished sense of competence and their children may experience sensory, social and emotional challenges (Gewirtz et al., 2009). Occupational science and occupational therapy study family co-occupations “of and in natural environments” (Cutchin, 2012) to better understand and inform occupationally just and best practice family-centered care. The purpose of this study was to explore a mother’s sense of competence in relationship to her child’s sensory processing, social skills and behavioral challenges in homeless and low-income housed families.

Participants were 91 mothers: 18 years of age, with a child 36-71 months; homeless or low-income housed from a large Midwest city. The Parent Sense of Competence Scale (PSOC) (Johnston, 1989) measures self-efficacy and satisfaction, a general parenting domain. The Sensory Profile measures child sensory processing. The Social Skills Rating Scales measures child social skills and behavior challenges.

Quantitative methods were used to investigate mother reports. The association between a mother’s PSOC and her child’s sensory and social skills /behavior challenges was measured by Pearson’s correlation. Results indicated significant associations between mother PSOC and child social skills/ behavior challenges and sensory processing, with the former, a stronger association, than the later. This study can contribute to the understanding of mothering and the development of young children in challenging natural environments. Furthermore, the findings can add to occupational science research, with a unique focus on enhancing mother child co-occupations in multi-risk environmental contexts. Finally, the results will provide insight for interdisciplinary policy and intervention agendas to address the social needs and occupational possibilities (Rudmin, 2006) of mothers and young children who are poor and or homeless.

 
Oct 17th, 10:30 AM Oct 17th, 11:00 AM

Mother Sense of Competence Associated with Child Sensory Processing and Social Skills/Behavior Challenges in Homeless and Low-Income Housed Families

Hiawatha 1

17 million children are low-income and 1.6 million are homeless in the United States. Mothers, who are poor, care for their children in environments that can be toxic and a challenge to optimal mothering. These factors may negatively impact child occupational participation and development (Shonkoff et al. 2011). Occupational science compels researchers to observe meaningful connections in the study of mother and child occupations. Thus, mother-child co-occupations are important scenarios to explore in the situated sphere. A mother’s sense of competence is a self-reflection of one’s achievement as a parent and can impact mothering behaviors which in turn, may impact child participation. Mothers who are poor or homeless may experience a diminished sense of competence and their children may experience sensory, social and emotional challenges (Gewirtz et al., 2009). Occupational science and occupational therapy study family co-occupations “of and in natural environments” (Cutchin, 2012) to better understand and inform occupationally just and best practice family-centered care. The purpose of this study was to explore a mother’s sense of competence in relationship to her child’s sensory processing, social skills and behavioral challenges in homeless and low-income housed families.

Participants were 91 mothers: 18 years of age, with a child 36-71 months; homeless or low-income housed from a large Midwest city. The Parent Sense of Competence Scale (PSOC) (Johnston, 1989) measures self-efficacy and satisfaction, a general parenting domain. The Sensory Profile measures child sensory processing. The Social Skills Rating Scales measures child social skills and behavior challenges.

Quantitative methods were used to investigate mother reports. The association between a mother’s PSOC and her child’s sensory and social skills /behavior challenges was measured by Pearson’s correlation. Results indicated significant associations between mother PSOC and child social skills/ behavior challenges and sensory processing, with the former, a stronger association, than the later. This study can contribute to the understanding of mothering and the development of young children in challenging natural environments. Furthermore, the findings can add to occupational science research, with a unique focus on enhancing mother child co-occupations in multi-risk environmental contexts. Finally, the results will provide insight for interdisciplinary policy and intervention agendas to address the social needs and occupational possibilities (Rudmin, 2006) of mothers and young children who are poor and or homeless.