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Do they practice what they preach?: An ecocultural, multidimensional, group-based examination of the relationship between beliefs and behaviours among child care providers

Research examining child-care providers' beliefs and behaviour has produced contradictory evidence perhaps because analyses commonly examine providers as a homogenous group. Among providers in the Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development, we used cluster analysis to identify groups based on profiles of beliefs. We found evidence for five groups: 'Progressive' (high progressive, low traditional), 'Traditional' (high traditional, low progressive), 'Eclectic' (high on both), 'Alternative' (low on both), and 'Moderate' (high progressive, moderate traditional). Progressives were younger, paid more, and less often non-White as compared with other groups. Progressives were less directive than all other groups, but not different in enriching or responsive interactions. Background, beliefs and behaviours are complex and multidimensional; group-based analyses better represented that complexity and the connections between beliefs and behaviour. Thus, summarising beliefs and behaviours into larger, molar composites may move too far from essential grounding in what people actually believe and do. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States
Arkansas; California; Kansas; New Hampshire; Pennsylvania; Virginia; Washington; Wisconsin

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