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Citation:Connell, C. M., & Prinz, R. J. (2002). The impact of childcare and parent-child interactions on school readiness and social skills development for low-income African American children. Journal of School Psychology, 40(2), 177-193.

This study explores associations between school readiness skills, child care involvement and parent-child interaction quality among kindergarten children from low-income minority families. Findings from the study indicate that mothersÕ educational level and childrenÕs previous involvement in child care were positively associated with a number of readiness outcomes. The quality of parent├Échild interactions also was positively and significantly associated with specific readiness outcomes; however, no significant associations were found with childrenÕs Òoverall cognitive performanceÓ (p. 188). The sample consisted of 47 children participating in the federal free- and reduced-lunch program in an urban/suburban school district in a medium-sized southeastern U.S. city. All participants were African American. Parents completed survey information and were videotaped interacting with children; the study also used readiness screens and the Brigance, Batelle, and Walker Survey Instrument (WSI), which assesses socio-emotional development. Videotaped interaction involved three semi-structured activities, conducted either at home or at the schoolÕs media center. The study was limited by its small sample size and by the methods used to assess the quality of parent-child interactions. The authors also list as limitations Òassessment of childcare exposure retrospectively from parent report,Ó and Òuse of Caucasian coders for parent-child interactions with an African American sampleÓ (p. 190).

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