Transition practices and children's development during kindergarten: The Role of close teacher-child relationships

Najia Zulfiqar, Jennifer LoCasale-Crouch, Beverly Sweeney, Jamie DeCoster, Kathleen Moritz Rudasill, Colin McGinnis, Ibrahim Acar, Kathleen Miller

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Scopus citations


Children's early school success is critical, and evidence suggests that when kindergarten teachers provide more transition practices as children prepare to enter kindergarten, they show improved outcomes in kindergarten. Positive teacher-child relationships may be a link between transition practices and children's school success. Here we examine whether teacher-child closeness mediates between kindergarten teachers' use of transition practices and children's academic and social growth during kindergarten. Data for this study came from the National Center for Early Development and Learning's (NCEDL) Multi-State Study of Pre-Kindergarten. Children from 240 pre-K classrooms from six states were followed from pre-K to kindergarten. For this study, 730 children were included and were ethnically diverse: 40% White, 24% Black/African-American, and 26% Latinx. Three main findings emerged: (1) teacher-child closeness was predictive of children's growth in multiple academic and behavioral outcomes in kindergarten; (2) transition practices were positively related to teachers' perceptions of closeness with children in kindergarten; and (3) teacher-child closeness mediated the association between transition practices and children's academic and behavioral outcomes. Implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationKindergarten Transition and Readiness
Subtitle of host publicationPromoting Cognitive, Social-Emotional, and Self-Regulatory Development
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9783319902005
ISBN (Print)9783319901992
StatePublished - Jun 9 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology
  • General Social Sciences


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