Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy



Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Dawn Lee Garzon PhD, CPNP, FAANP


Jean H. Bachman

Wilma J. Calvert

Lloyd I. Richardson, Jr.


Unintentional injury is the leading cause of childhood mortality and morbidity in the United States. The effects of injury on children, families and society encompass physical, mental, emotional, and financial consequences. The highest injury rates are among preschool age children, especially preschool children who have siblings. Child injury prevention strategies can reduce the rates of childhood unintentional injuries and minimize the burdens to children, families, and society created by these injuries. To design and implement effective child injury prevention strategies, further investigation is needed to understand the relationship between the variables influencing the occurrence of child injuries. The specific aim of this study was to describe relationships between the injury variables of sibling presence, parental supervisory beliefs and practices, parental developmental competence and implementation of home safety modifications. This descriptive study included 130 parents of preschool children between the ages of 30 months and 59 months. Parents completed a self-report questionnaire collecting data regarding parent developmental competence, beliefs about supervision, supervisory attributes, home modification behaviors, child injury history, and child and parent demographic information. Based on higher child injury rates within multiple child families, it was hypothesized that significant relationships existed between the presence of siblings and parental developmental competence, parent supervisory beliefs and behaviors, and home modification behaviors. Analysis of the questionnaire data revealed no significant relationships between the presence of a sibling and parental developmental competence, beliefs about supervision, supervisory attributes, and home modification behaviors. The lack of significant relationships between the study variables suggests that the causes posited for the increased rates of child injury in multiple child families are not significant contributors to the increase in injury risk. The lack of demographic variability in the study could be a contributing factor to the non-significant results. The most important finding of this study is the overwhelming lack of parental developmental competence which will be investigated further for a relationship to injury risk among all preschool age children. Effective injury prevention strategies for this vulnerable population depend on an evidenced based understanding of child injury variables and parent education aimed at decreasing child injury risks.

OCLC Number


Included in

Nursing Commons