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Social and Emotional Functioning and Academic Skills in Preschool: Attention Problems, Anxiety and Adaptability

  • Author / Creator
    Walker, Meghan A.
  • Children’s social and emotional functioning is increasingly viewed as a crucial factor necessary for children’s learning, academic success, and overall well-being. The role of children’s social and emotional functioning in preschool is fundamental to children’s school readiness, as preschool is a critical period for enhancing children’s preparation for formal school entry and improving their educational outcomes. The present study investigated the predictive relationship of preschoolers’ social and emotional functioning on their academic school success in preschool, based on language, literacy and executive functioning measures. In addition, this research has sought to extend previous research and examine gender differences in children’s levels of attention problems, anxiety and adaptability in preschool. Data was collected from preschool children in Head Start programs and from their teachers in the fall and spring of the school year. Children’s attention problems in the fall were found to significantly predict their academic scores in the fall and spring, with higher attention problems predicting lower academic scores. Children’s levels of adaptability were found to significantly predict children’s academic skills in the fall and spring, with higher levels of adaptability predicting higher academic scores. Levels of anxiety were not found to significantly predict children’s academic skills in the fall or spring of their preschool year. The current study did not find any significant gender differences between children’s levels of attention problems, anxiety or adaptability in preschool. The discussion will focus on contributions to the present understanding of how children’s attention problems, anxiety and adaptability behaviours in preschool contribute to their academic skills prior to their formal school entry into kindergarten. This study highlights the importance of studying the relationship between children’s social and emotional functioning and academic skills in preschool, and the implications of this study can be used to help inform early learning programs and promote children’s overall development and well-being in early childhood.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2016-06:Fall 2016
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Education
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3RX93J76
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Master's
  • Department
    • Department of Educational Psychology
  • Specialization
    • School and Clinical Child Psychology
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Rinaldi, Christina (Educational Psychology)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Pei, Jacqueline (Educational Psychology)
    • Prochner, Larry (Elementary Education)
    • Rinaldi, Christina (Educational Psychology)