Graduation Year

2006

Document Type

Ed. Specalist

Degree

Ed.S.

Degree Granting Department

Psychological and Social Foundations

Major Professor

Kathy Bradley-Klug, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Linda Raffaele-Mendez, Ph.D.

Committee Member

John Ferron, Ph.D.

Keywords

early childhood, social competence, play behavior

Abstract

For young children, a primary component of social competence is establishing effective interactions with peers during play. To inform the development of practices that promote this competency starting in early childhood, quality assessment measures are needed. These instruments must have the capacity to establish linkages between the home and school as well as utilizing multiple informants. A promising early childhood assessment measure is the Penn Interactive Peer Play Scale (PIPPS), which is a rating scale created with parent and teacher versions. Previous research has established its validity for preschoolers from among various populations.

The purpose of this study was to examine the validity of the PIPPS system in a population of preschool children, by investigating: (1) the concurrent validity of parent and teacher versions of the PIPPS and a standardized assessment measure of social competence (PKBS-2 Social Skills Scale); (2) the relationship between teacher/parent ratings and child gender; (3) the relationships between the teacher and parent versions of vi the PIPPS; and (4) the predictive validity of teacher and parent ratings on the PIPPS and PKBS-2 with level of communication between the two parties.

To meet inclusion criteria, teachers and parents had to have contact with preschool students ages 3-5 years enrolled in a preschool classroom for at least 4 months, and who were proficient in either English and/or Spanish. In total, across the three participating preschool centers, 50 students were found eligible to participate in this study and 32 students returned with completed packets parent rating scales (64%).

Results indicated some relationship between the parent and teacher versions of the PIPPS and PKBS-2 Social Skills rating systems as well as the influence of communication level. However, there were no statistically significant findings for the influence of gender on these ratings. There were several limitations to the external validity of the results of this study. Limitations included sample bias and the use of self-report questionnaires. Implications and future directions for research are discussed.

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