Graduation Year


Date of Thesis Acceptance

Spring 5-7-2018

Major Department or Program



Erin Pahlke


Children living in poverty are more likely than their wealthy peers to experience social rejection. One point of possible intervention lies within the family. Parental warmth has been linked to children’s social competence in past psychological research, so our study was designed to explore whether parental warmth closes this socioeconomic (SES) gap in children’s social competence. To investigate our hypotheses, six- to nine-year-old children and their parents (N = 39 and 31, respectively) were recruited to participate in this multi-method study. Overall, parents’ perceptions of children’s social competence were correlated with children’s perceptions of parental warmth. Additionally, parents’ perceptions of warmth were greater than children’s perceptions of parental warmth. No relation was found between SES and children’s levels of social competence, and no moderation was found for parental warmth on the relationship between SES and children’s social competence. The implications of this study include intervention strategies that target parenting practices and children’s social and emotional learning. Keywords: parental warmth, social competence, socioeconomic status (SES), parenting styles, psychosocial ecological systems theory

Page Count


Subject Headings

Parental influences‚ Love‚ Social skills‚ Social status‚ Parenting‚ Ecological Systems Theory‚ Parent and child -- Family relationships‚ Child development‚ Social sciences‚ Whitman College 2018 -- Dissertation collection -- Psychology Department

Permanent URL

Document Type

Public Accessible Thesis

Included in

Psychology Commons



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