ERIC Number: EJ772203
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Reference Count: N/A
Academic Competence in Preschool: Exploring the Role of Close Relationships and Anxiety
Wood, Jeffrey J.
Early Education and Development, v18 n2 p223-242 2007
This study tested a conceptual model of a psychosocial pathway to academic competence in preschool. Developmental theory and research with older children suggest that social and psychological factors could have a significant impact on young children's learning and school readiness. Children in 3 preschool classrooms (N = 31) participated. Mothers' perceptions of their children as more or less trusting and secure at age 3 years were rated on the Attachment Behavior Q-Set (Waters, 1987). Sociometric ratings were collected from classmates 1 year later through individual picture interviews. Preschool teachers rated children's academic competence and trait anxiety. Attachment Behavior Q-Set scores at age 3 were associated with teacher ratings of academic competence the following year (ages 4-5 years). However, this effect was mediated by 2 intervening psychosocial variables: anxiety and peer acceptance. Early secure attachment to parents may (a) potentiate less anxiety, removing emotional barriers to learning; and (b) enhance positive relationships with peers, perhaps motivating children to engage more in the preschool curriculum and leading to relatively greater academic competence. Adopting preschool curricula that foster positive peer relationships, anxiety regulation skills, and supportive parent-child relationships could indirectly enhance preschool children's academic competence and school readiness.
Descriptors: Preschool Teachers, Peer Acceptance, School Readiness, Preschool Curriculum, Preschool Children, Attachment Behavior, Anxiety, Parent Child Relationship, Psychological Patterns, Social Influences, Parent Attitudes, Mothers, Trust (Psychology), Teacher Attitudes, Personality Traits, Academic Ability, Competence, Correlation, Peer Relationship
Lawrence Erlbaum. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/default.html
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Preschool Education
Authoring Institution: N/A