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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/26410

Title: The Effects of Parent-child and Teacher-child Relationships on Diverse Children's Transition to School
Authors: Brent, Julaine
Advisor: Pelletier, Janette
Department: Human Development and Applied Psychology
Keywords: attachment
transition to school
Attachment Q-Sort
parent-child realtionships
teacher-child realtionships
preschool
kindergarten
childcare
Issue Date: 28-Feb-2011
Abstract: The transition to school marks an important developmental step for children and families. Coping and competence during such a transition begin long before the child enters the classroom and effects last for many years. Although children are born with the capacity to learn, it is the quality of relationships, particularly the relationship with the primary caregiver that shapes early learning experiences. This study examined the links between the attachment relationship between mother and child on the developing teacher-child relationship, the effects of the adult-child relationships on child outcomes and on children’s perspectives of their kindergarten experience. Contextual factors were considered in relation to adult-child relationships and child outcomes. Despite a robust literature on mother-child relationships and teacher-child relationships, no empirical studies have examined these relationships with parallel instruments and few studies include the children’s voices. For this study, participants included mothers and their kindergarten children (N= 74) and kindergarten teachers (N=7) from five schools that differed in linguistic and socio-economic profiles. Mothers and teachers completed a Q-Sort measure of child attachment security and dependency, and children participated in three early literacy tasks and a child interview. The lack of significant association between mother-child attachment quality and dependency and direct child literacy outcomes was a surprising finding. Nevertheless, child interviews revealed that children who were less secure and more dependent with their mothers expressed difficulties with the academic aspects of school. The quality of teacher-child relationships was positively related to children’s early literacy outcomes. These findings were interpreted in light of contextual factors as suggested by Bronfenbrenner’s social-ecological theory. Adult reports of children’s attachment security and dependency were related to children’s participation in childcare or in a preschool program for more than 10 hours a week and to attendance in a private school that offered a full day preschool and kindergarten program. The implications of these findings point to the important role of high quality early childhood experiences that support attachment relationships with caregivers as children make the transition to school.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/26410
Appears in Collections:Doctoral

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