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Publication Date

2008-01-01

Availability

UM campus only

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Psychology (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense

2008-04-25

First Committee Member

Heather Henderson - Committee Chair

Second Committee Member

Daryl Greenfield - Committee Member

Third Committee Member

Teresa Lesiuk - Outside Committee Member

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the contribution of temperament to childrenâ??s behaviors in the classroom and their school readiness. Data was collected on 60 preschool children enrolled in Head Start. Teachers rated temperament using the Preschool Temperament Classification System. Trained coders observed childrenâ??s engagement and play during circle time and free play, respectively. School readiness was directly assessed using the Learning Express. Three main findings emerged: (1) Temperamentally-extreme children performed lower than resilient children on the school readiness assessment, suggesting that temperamentally-extreme children begin to lag behind their resilient peers as early as the preschool years. (2) Off-task behavior in the classroom affects undercontrolled childrenâ??s school readiness; however, the degree of influence appears to depend on the complexity of learning specific domains. That is, off-task behavior in the classroom may have a larger influence on more complex subject matter than simpler ones. Classroom behaviors were not related to overcontrolled childrenâ??s school readiness scores. (3) Behavioral differences were found between temperament groups during circle time, however no differences were found during free play. This suggests that classroom context may play a role in temperamentally-extreme childrenâ??s classroom behaviors.

Keywords

Sociability; Engagment; Play Behavior; Inhibition

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