Longitudinal and Geographic Trends in Family Engagement During the Pre-kindergarten to Kindergarten Transition

Susan M. Sheridan, Natalie Koziol, Amanda L. Witte, Iheoma Iruka, Lisa L. Knoche

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The transition to kindergarten is foundational for children’s future school performance and families’ relationships with the educational system. Despite its well-documented benefits, few studies have explored family engagement across the pre-Kindergarten (pre-K) to kindergarten transition nor considered the role of geographic context during this period. This study examined trajectories of family engagement across the pre-K to kindergarten transition, and identified whether engagement differs for families in rural versus urban settings. Participants were 248 parents of children who participated in publicly funded pre-K programs and transitioned 1 year later into kindergarten. Home-based involvement increased from pre-K through kindergarten. School-based involvement increased during pre-K and decreased through the end of kindergarten. Structural and relational communication remained stable during pre-K and decreased through the end of kindergarten. Compared to urban parents, rural parents reported less home-based involvement, structural communication, and relational communication. Implications for practice and policy are explored.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)365-377
Number of pages13
JournalEarly Childhood Education Journal
Volume48
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2020

Keywords

  • Home–school communication
  • Parent engagement
  • Parent involvement
  • Pre-K to kindergarten transition
  • Rural and urban schools

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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