School Readiness of Turkish Children Living in Poverty: The Mediating Roles of Home Environment and Maternal Behaviors

Okur-Atas S., Berument S.

EARLY EDUCATION AND DEVELOPMENT, vol.34, no.8, pp.1779-1798, 2023 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 34 Issue: 8
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/10409289.2022.2127291
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, EBSCO Education Source, Education Abstracts, Educational research abstracts (ERA), ERIC (Education Resources Information Center), Psycinfo
  • Page Numbers: pp.1779-1798
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: No


Research Findings: The present study examined the relationship between poverty (income-to-needs ratio [INR], parent education, material hardship, and food insecurity) and children's school readiness (vocabulary, mathematic skills, and phonological awareness) through the mediating roles of stimulation and chaos in the home environment, maternal depression, and perceived maternal rejection. Participants were 5-year-old children (N = 184) and their mothers living in socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhoods in Turkey. Mothers completed scales regarding poverty, home quality, and depression. Children were tested for their school readiness via several assessments. Moreover, children reported the parenting quality of their mothers. The results indicated that family INR and parent education positively, and food insecurity negatively predicted children's school readiness through the mediation of stimulation at home and perceived maternal rejection. Stimulation at home was positively related to children's math skills and receptive vocabulary, mothers' depression was negatively related to math skills, and perceived maternal rejection was negatively related to receptive vocabulary and phonological awareness. Practice or Policy: Implications of the findings for social policies and intervention programs are discussed. Improving home environment quality and mothers' parenting behaviors should be targeted in future policies to contribute to children's school readiness.