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Title:Teacher-rated family involvement and childrenÕs social and academic outcomes in kindergarten
Author:Rimm-Kaufman, S. E., Pianta, R. C., Cox, M., & Bradley, R.
Resource Type:Journal Article
Early Education and Development, 14(2)

pp. 179-198
Education Level:Elementary
Literature type:Research and Evaluation

This study examines the associations between teachersÕ reports of family involvement in school and childrenÕs social and academic competencies in the kindergarten year. The study found that familiesÕ socio-economic status (SES) and maternal sensitivity were associated with seven of the nine outcomes studied. Both higher SES and higher maternal sensitivity were associated with higher teacher ratings of childrenÕs language and math skills. Higher levels of maternal sensitivity were associated with teacher ratings of fewer behavior problems, higher competency, and greater likelihood of the child being identified as well-liked. Regarding family involvement, higher teacher ratings of positive family attitudes were associated with eight of the nine child readiness outcomes. However, higher ratings on family involvement activities were associated with only two of the nine outcomes. The study also found a negative association between teachersÕ reports of family involvement activities and childrenÕs behavior problems. The study used a sub-sample of 223 kindergarten children from the NICHD Study of Early Child Care (SECC), using all children from 3 of 10 SECC sites. Data were obtained from families regarding family background characteristics; observations of mother-child interactions and of childrenÕs classroom behaviors; teacher-reported measures of family involvement; and teacher ratings on three scales addressing childrenÕs behavioral competency, academic adjustment, and peer relationships at the end of the childÕs kindergarten year. The authors used statistical methods to control for variations in familiesÕ socio-economic status (and mothersÕ sensitivity (a variable shown in other studies to be associated with child readiness outcomes). The heavy reliance on teacher reports is a limitation in this study. The authors noted that, ÒBecause the same teacher rated both family involvement and child performance for each child, it is possible that teachers with positive relationships with families inflated their ratings of the children and vice versaÓ (p. 194).

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