This study examined the developmental pathways from maternal behavior to school readiness within a sample of 1007 children, with a specific focus on the mediating role of delay of gratification (DoG). Maternal behavior across the first 36 months of age was explored as a predictor of children's DoG at 54 months as well as their behavioral and academic competence in kindergarten. Results support sensitivity as a predictor of children's DoG and indicate significant associations between DoG and teacher-reported externalizing behavior, social skills, and academic skills. Moreover, DoG partially mediated the associations between maternal sensitivity and school readiness skills, with the highest percentage of mediation reported for social skills. Findings indicate maternal sensitivity and DoG as potential targets for efforts aimed at enhancing school readiness among young children.
- School readiness
- Social behavior
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)