Publication Date

2016-04-25

Availability

Open access

Embargo Period

2016-04-25

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Psychology (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense

2016-01-28

First Committee Member

Rebecca Shearer

Second Committee Member

Daryl Greenfield

Third Committee Member

Soyeon Ahn

Abstract

Family engagement has been found to be a protective factor for low-income children’s school readiness. However, few studies have examined the relationship between family engagement as a multidimensional construct and school readiness skills for Latino preschool children from low-income families. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between three dimensions of family engagement, children’s language skills assessed in both Spanish and English and teacher-reported approaches to learning skills. Participants included 301 Latino children from low-income families enrolled in the Miami-Dade County Head Start program. Family engagement was assessed using the Spanish form of the Family Involvement Questionnaire (FIQ-21; Fantuzzo et al., 2013), which consists of the following dimensions: home-based engagement, school-based engagement, and home-school conferencing. Structural equation modeling was used to examine the unique contribution of the three dimensions of family engagement at the beginning of the school year to children’s school readiness outcomes. Results indicated that home-based engagement was positively associated with both Spanish and English language development and all three dimensions of approaches to learning. Study findings extend prior research emphasizing the role of families in supporting school readiness skills of children from Spanish-speaking, Latino backgrounds.

Keywords

Family engagement; Head Start; Preschool

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