Self-reported early experiences of children from low socioeconomic status backgrounds: The children's thoughts about school study

O'Farrelly, Christine; Booth, Ailbhe; Tatlow-Golden, Mimi and Doyle, Orla (2016). Self-reported early experiences of children from low socioeconomic status backgrounds: The children's thoughts about school study. Children's Research Digest: Transitions, 3(2)

URL: https://childrensresearchnetwork.org/knowledge/res...

Abstract

Kagan (2010) likens early childhood transitions to something that is “as common as air and as complex as the molecules that compose it” (p.3). This is an apt description of the transition to school, a move that nearly all children encounter, yet one that brings considerable changes in value systems, demands, practical concerns, group dynamics, and cultural traditions (Fabian and Dunlop, 2002). Negotiating these changes is challenging and carries high stakes, as children who struggle to adjust well to school are more likely to experience poorer outcomes (Ladd and Price, 1987; Kagan and Neuman, 1998). This is especially true for children from low socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds, who frequently start school behind their peers, without the socioemotional, cognitive and behavioural skills needed to navigate school successfully (Doyle, McEntee and McNamara, 2012). Accordingly, children from low SES backgrounds are often the focus of interventions that seek to improve school readiness and promote positive transition experiences. Developing effective and efficient supports, however, requires an understanding that spans the full complexity of these transitions.

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