Mastery motivation (intrinsic drives to explore and master one's environment) is a key developmental element. The aims of this study were to investigate (1) the stability of mastery motivation between 2 and 3 years of age for two genders; and (2) the associations between early home environment and toddlers' mastery motivation in children with typical development.
Methods: Data of 102 children developing typically from a birth cohort study at Northern Taiwan were analyzed in two parts: (1) stability part: mastery motivation of children were measured at 2 and 3 years of age; (2) environment part: child-parent dyads were assessed from birth, 4 months, 6 months, and 2-3 years of age. Outcomes variables were measured at ages 2 and 3 years by the Dimension of Mastery Questionnaire-17th version. Main predictive variables were measured by Home Observation for Measuring Environment Inventory (HOME) to collect data of the qualities of home environment at 6 months and 2 years; by the Revised Infant Temperament Questionnaire to obtain 4-month activity levels; and by the Comprehensive Developmental Inventory for Infants and Toddlers to obtain 2-year developmental quotient (DQ).
Results: There was moderate stability of mastery motivation from 2 to 3 years, and girls' stability was higher than boys'. 6-Month HOME rather than 2-year HOME measures were positively and significantly correlated with instrumental mastery motivation even when controlling for gender, activity level, and DQ.
Conclusion: Mastery motivation had moderate stability during the toddler period. The quality of home environment in infancy appeared to have a significant impact on toddler's mastery motivation. To promote mastery motivation, caregivers should provide better quality of home environment for infants/toddlers during the very early years.
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