Maternal confidence, knowledge, and quality of mother‐toddler interactions: A preliminary study

Barbara Conrad, Deborah Gross, Lou Fogg, Patsy Ruchala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships among maternal confidence, knowledge of child development, and quality of mother‐toddler interactions using self‐efficacy (Bandura, 1977, 1989) as the theoretical framework. Using the Toddler Care Questionnaire, 50 mothers of toddlers were asked to estimate their confidence in their ability to parent their toddlers. Mothers also completed the Knowledge of Infant Development Questionnaire and were videotaped in their homes during a structured interaction with their toddlers. Maternal confidence was positively correlated with maternal knowledge of child development and parenting. The relationships among mother's knowledge of child development, maternal confidence, and quality of mother‐toddler interactions were examined by a 2 × 3 analysis of variance with quality of interactions as the dependent variable. There were no significant main effects for maternal knowledge or confidence on quality of mother‐toddler interactions, but there was a significant interaction effect. That is, the combined effects of maternal knowledge and confidence were related to quality of mother‐toddler interactions. These results may explain previous inconsistencies in the literature regarding the significance of maternal confidence for mother‐child interactions and are congruent with self‐efficacy theory. Implications for interventions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)353-362
Number of pages10
JournalInfant Mental Health Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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