Children's Psychological Adjustment to Entry into Kindergarten

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Children's Psychological Adjustment to Entry into Kindergarten From an ecological perspective, early childhood development occurs within the multiple contexts of the home, the school, and the neighborhood, and aspects of these environments can contribute to the development of adjustment problems (Bronfenbrenner, 1979). A child’s psychological adjustment to entry into school for the first time can have a significant impact on the level of success achieved later in life. Children rated higher in school adjustment by their elementary school teachers, as a result of improved cognitive development, showed positive attitudes toward school resulting in better school performance which lead to higher educational attainment and lower delinquency at age 19. Not one factor alone accounts for children’s adjustment problems. Therefore it is important that we take a closer look at a wide range of factors that can affect the psychological adjustment to school in early childhood. Ladd, Birch, & Buhs derived a child x environment model of early school adaptation that breaks these factors into five categories: children’s entry factors, behavioral styles, relationships with classroom peers and teachers, classroom participation, and achievement. A child’s entry factors are those attributes that are present in the child prior to entry into school, but impact the child’s psychological adaptation after entry into school. Children that enter school with greater cognitive and linguistic maturity tend to form better relationships with teachers and perform better scholastically. Typically, girls are known to establish supportive ties with teachers, more often than boys (Birch and Ladd, 1997) because of their cognitive/linguistic maturity mak... ... middle of paper ... ...l and Scholastic Lives in Kindergarten: Related Spheres of Influence? Child Development, 70(6), 1373-1400 Birch, S. H., & Ladd, G. W. (1996), Continuity and change in the quality of teacher-child relationships: Link’s with children’s early school adjustment. Child Development, 67(1) 980-1012. Bronfenbrenner, U. (1979), The ecology of human development: Experiments by nature and design. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Greenberg, M. T., Coie, J. D., Lengua, L. J., & Pinderhughes, E. E. (1999), Predicting Developmental Outcomes at School Entry Using a Multiple-Risk Model: Four American Communities. Developmental Psychology, 35(2), 403-417. Reynolds, A. J., Mavrogenes, N. A., Bezruczko, N., & Hagemann, Mavis (1996), Cognitive and Family-Support Mediators of Preschool Effectiveness: A Confirmatory Analysis. Child Development, 67(3), 1119-1140.

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