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Citation:Fantuzzo, J., & McWayne, C. M. (2002). The relationship between peer play interactions in the family context and dimensions of school readiness for low-income preschool children. Journal of Educational Psychology, 94 (1), 79-87.

Annotation:
The purpose of this descriptive study is to examine how peer-play behaviors observed in the home environment relate to children's behavior in the classroom. The research is based on the idea that the ability to establish effective peer relationships is an essential skill and the failure to establish effective peer interaction relates to numerous academic and behavior problems. The researchers found continuity between peer-play behaviors at home and in school. Positive, interactive play exhibited in the home environment was significantly associated with prosocial behavior in the classroom, motivation to learn, task persistence, and autonomy. Disruptive or disconnected play behaviors at home were significantly related to patterns of disruptive and dysregulated experiences in the classroom with peers and with the learning process. Subjects included 242 preschool children from a large urban Head Start program. The families were 97% African American. Researchers measured 1) peer-play behavior at home and school, 2) childrenÕs approaches to learning (motivation, persistence, and attitude), 3) classroom self-regulation, and 4) classroom problem behaviors. Data were gathered from primary caregivers, teachers, and independent observers.

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