Applied Psychology OPUS

Exploring Parental Self-Efficacy and Preschoolers' School Readiness

Lillian Maltz

Faculty Mentor | Dr. Gigliana Melzi

Parental self-efficacy (PSE) – the confidence parents have in their parenting skills – is an influential belief that shapes children’s development. Past research has established significant relations between PSE and children’s academic outcomes, but few have measured PSE as a multi-dimensional construct, taking into account different domains and tasks of parenting. The present study utilized the Tool to Measure Parenting Self Efficacy (TOPSE; Kendall & Bloomfield, 2005), a multidimensional self-report measure to assess PSE among eight different subscales, and explored its relation to children’s school readiness skills. Results showed that the TOPSE was not a reliable measure for use in the U.S. with pan-ethnic, low-income parents as only three of the eight subscales had moderate inter-item reliability. Findings also showed that educational and immigration experiences lead to differences in the ways parents feel they can cope with pressure from their peers. The present study found no relation between PSE and children’s school readiness.  In conclusion, this study raises questions about the appropriateness and validity of the TOPSE with U.S., low-income, ethnically diverse samples.