Children's Social Competence across the Transition to Kindergarten: A Latent Growth Curve Analysis Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Holland, Adam
    • Affiliation: School of Education
  • This research examined children's social competence trajectories across the transition to kindergarten for three racial groups using a sample of children in the National Center for Early Development and Learning's Multi-State Study of Pre-Kindergarten. The analytic sample contained 939 children attending public pre-kindergarten programs in six states, with data collected in both the children's pre-kindergarten and kindergarten years. Children's social competence was modeled as a function of an underlying trajectory, defined by initial status at pre-kindergarten entry but not a linear or non-linear slope. Poverty status, gender, and math achievement were used to predict trajectory intercepts while classroom emotional climate, teacher race, and teacher experience were used to explain deviations from anticipated trajectories. Model parameters were constrained to equality across groups to investigate the possibility of moderation by race. Key findings from the analysis indicated that children possessed flat social competence trajectories across the transition, which were influenced positively by math achievement and negatively by poverty and male status. Classroom emotional climate did not predict substantively significant deviations from trajectories in pre-kindergarten or kindergarten.
Date of publication
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • New, Rebecca
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Graduation year
  • 2013

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