Title

A comparison of teacher and observer ratings of Head Start children's social competence

Date of Award

2000

Availability

Article

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Department

Psychology

First Committee Member

Daryl B. Greenfield, Committee Chair

Abstract

The goal of this project was to critically compare two sources of data, teacher and observer, on preschool children's play interaction, disruption, and disconnection in the context of peer play. Two hundred and fifteen Head Start children from 22 classrooms were on rated on the Penn Interactive Peer Play Scale (PIPPS) by their classroom teacher and by an independent observer. The objectives of this study were to (a) examine and compare the construct validity and reliability of the PIPPS as a teacher and observer measure using exploratory factor analyses and reliability analyses; (b) examine the relation between teacher and observer ratings of children's play interaction, disruption, and disconnection using correlation analyses; and (c) determine if there is a significant effect for rater, ethnicity, and/or gender on ratings of children's play interaction, disruption, and disconnection using repeated measures analysis of variance. The results indicated that the PIPPS measures distinct aspects of social competence in low-income minority preschool children both as a teacher and observer measure. Both teacher and observer ratings revealed factor structures that reflect Play Interaction, Disruption, and Disconnection. However, observer ratings distinguished between Non-aggressive Disruption and Aggressive Disruption. Significant correlations between teacher and observer ratings were found in 4 classrooms for ratings of disconnection and 9 classrooms for ratings of disruption. The rater effect for ratings of play interaction, disruption, and disconnection were significant. For play interaction ratings, the rater by ethnicity effect was also significant. Finally, for disruption ratings, the ethnicity, gender, and rater by gender interaction effects were also significant. In summary, though teachers and observers categorized similar behaviors of preschool children as play interaction, disruption, and disconnection, they rated the children differentially on these items. Rationale and implications are discussed.

Keywords

Education, Early Childhood; Psychology, Developmental

Link to Full Text

http://access.library.miami.edu/login?url=http://gateway.proquest.com/openurl?url_ver=Z39.88-2004&rft_val_fmt=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:dissertation&res_dat=xri:pqdiss&rft_dat=xri:pqdiss:3001160