Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

Sarah Enos Watamura

Second Advisor

Julia Dmitrieva

Third Advisor

Lauren McGrath

Fourth Advisor

Jenalee Doom

Fifth Advisor

Jennifer Bellamy


Executive functioning, Multi-method parenting, Positive parenting, Set-shifting, Working memory


Supportive and responsive parenting is vital to the healthy development of young children. Parenting behaviors are determined by many factors, including caregivers’ cognitive resources and abilities such as executive functioning (EF). The present study investigated how two core dimensions of EF, working memory and set-shifting abilities, are related to parenting behaviors in a sample of Latinx caregivers of young children experiencing low income. Positive parenting was measured using a multi-method approach including video-coded observations, parent self-report, and evaluation of the home environment. Findings from hierarchical regressions indicated that caregiver working memory, but not set-shifting, predicted positive parenting as measured by this multi-method parenting composite. Regarding negative parenting, poorer working memory predicted more negative parenting behaviors during free play, while poorer setshifting predicted more anger during free play. Intrusiveness during free play was not significantly predicted by EF. Finally, relations were tested between EF and parenting during a task designed to be frustrating for the child. Under these conditions, caregiver set-shifting abilities predicted observed positive parenting behaviors during the caregiver-child interaction while working memory did not. EF was not related to negative parenting behaviors of intrusiveness or anger during the frustration task. These findings provide valuable insight into the role caregiver EF plays in parenting young children under both non-stress and stress conditions. Results from the current study also inform recommendations for parenting interventions and provide important future directions for research exploring the potential impact of caregiver EF on parenting of young children.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.


Received from ProQuest

Rights holder

Amy Dominguez Fabatz

File size

112 pgs

File format





Clinical psychology

Available for download on Thursday, September 26, 2024