Preschool experience and social development during the first year at school.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
The effect of three different types of preschool experience on children's social development during their first year at school was examined. Thirty children who had attended kindergarten, 30 from playcentre, and 30 with no preschool experience were selected and an attempt was made to match them on sex, age, IQ, SES, number of siblings, and position in family. The children were observed at school during the freeplay period in the lunch-hour. Descriptions of the children's play behaviour (in terms of degree of social interaction), teachers' assessments of sociability, and sociometric ratings were obtained. There were no significant differences between the three groups on any of the dependent variable measures. Subsequent exploratory analyses suggested that variations in the children's IQs and family positions obscured the relationship between their preschool experience and their scores on the dependent variable measures. The results are discussed in relation to the major methodological problems involved in research of this nature.