NYMC Student Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation - Open Access

Degree Name

Doctor of Public Health


Public Health

First Advisor

Kenneth Knapp, PhD


During the earliest years of life, a child has rapid neurological development. In low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), such as Guyana, there continues to be a struggle to educate all children, especially those in rural or isolated areas leading to concerns about young children's development, particularly those under five. LMICs have little research on how caregiver positive parenting in the household affects early childhood development as well as how other sociodemographic factors influence positive parenting. This study answers the question: Does positive parenting in the household improve learning development in Guyanese children? This study used Guyana’s Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 6 (MICS6) and the age of interest was children ages 36 to 59 months (3 years to 4 years and 11 months) in Guyana, South America. Once adjusted to include only children 36 to 59 months, the sample size was 1,202. The main outcome was learning development. The measures of positive parenting include learning material and support for learning; inadequate supervision and physical punishment were measures of negative parenting. The results indicated the odds that a Guyanese child (36 to 59 months) was developmentally on-track for learning were 8.46 times greater when learning materials are present in the household as well as the odds were reduced by 72% when physical punishment is used; both were statistically significant (0.000 and 0.015, respectively). Based on the findings, the presence of certain parenting practices in the Guyanese household had an impact on the learning development of Guyanese children 36 to 59 months; the presence of learning material had a positive association and the use of physical punishment had a negative association in Guyanese children 36 to 59 months.