Differences between pre-k and kindergarten classroom experiences: Do they predict children’s social-emotional skills and self-regulation across the transition to kindergarten?
Continuity of pre-k and kindergarten classroom experiences is a key area of interest for early childhood researchers interested in supporting public pre-k children’s development over time. To advance the empirical evidence on this topic, this study examined whether differences in classroom experiences as children transition from pre-k to kindergarten are associated with kindergarten social-emotional and self-regulation skills among low-income, race- and language-diverse public pre-k children. Children attending public pre-K were assessed in the spring of pre-k and fall and spring of kindergarten on a range of social-emotional and self-regulation skills (N = 1,358; 67.1 months old (SD = 3.6) in kindergarten; 50% male; 60% Hispanic and/or Latine, 17% Black, 10% White, 13% other). Classroom experiences (teacher-child interactions, teacher-child closeness, and the amount of time spent in teacher-structured activities) were assessed using observations and teacher reports in both grade levels. (author abstract)
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