The Impact of Child Adjustment to Preschool on Maternal Separation Anxiety




Partamian, Catherine M.

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



The purpose of the proposed study is to examine longitudinally how a mother’s perception of her child’s temperament and adjustment to preschool may mediate the relationships found in previous research between maternal separation anxiety and maternal role conflict, child care satisfaction, and job satisfaction. Approximately 110 working mothers with preschool-aged children participated in this study. In order to account for higher drop out rates that are associated with longitudinal research designs, approximately 200 mothers from various ethnic and SES backgrounds will be recruited from preschools and day care centers in the Maryland and Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C. A participant will only be included in the sample if she is working at least 15 hours per week and has a preschool-aged child (age 2-6 years). A child can be attending no higher than a kindergarten class level to be considered a preschooler. The results of this study suggest that child temperament is significantly related to both a child’s adjustment to preschool and maternal separation anxiety. However, The results of the current study suggest that a child’s positive adjustment to preschool or day care does not effect the relationships between MSA at Time 1 (i.e., the beginning of the school year) and MSA at Time 2 (i.e., 4 months later), nor does it mediate MSA and role strain as measured by scales of work-family conflict, or MSA and maternal job satisfaction, nor MSA and maternal child care satisfaction. The possible implications of this research are explored.



Maternal Separation Anxiety, Child adjustment to preschool, Maternal Mood