Transition to kindergarten for children with disabilities: school practices and parent involvement Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/6682x738r

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  • Using Pianta and Walsh's (1996) Contextual Systems Model (CSM), this study analyzed parent involvement in school as a key element for transition to kindergarten for children with disabilities and their families, along with the practices schools employ to improve school-family collaboration. Focusing on the relationship between the school system and the family/child system, this research explored the parent involvement and the factors influencing it using the views of Hoover-Dempsey and Sandler (1995), Eccles and Harold (1996), and Smith et al. (1997). The study drew from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study Kindergarten Year of 1998-1999 (ECLS-K) a subsample of 1,016 children who have Individualized Education Programs (IEP). A profile of kindergarten-aged children with disabilities was created. School practices related to families were found to be low-intensity, formalized, and poorly correlated in number with degree of parent involvement. Parent involvement was assessed using seven items from the parent interviews. The items measured whether or not a parent participated in parent involvement activities with the schools during the kindergarten year. A composite variable measuring the number of types of activities a parent was involved in during the kindergarten year was created and used in a Linear Regression. A second parent involvement variable measuring the total number of activities that parents reported was created and used in a second Linear Regression. Parent involvement was unbalanced; i.e., parents tended to become involved in some types of parent involvement activities, but not in all types, and they chose different types. Family demographics (education, language), other family characteristics (perceptions, expectations, involvement at home) were found to be significant predictors for parent involvement. These results are discussed, and recommendations are offered.
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