Relationship of caregiver education to child-oriented attitudes, job satisfaction, and behaviors toward children

Abstract

This study examined relationships between behaviors toward children and a variety of caregiver characteristics—formal education, child-oriented attitudes, satisfaction with child care employment, and commitment to the child care field as a career. Detailed narrative descriptions of the behavior of 37 center-based caregivers responsible for groups of three- to five-year-olds were collected and then coded according to the Prescott, Jones, and Kritchevsky (1967) observational system. Caregivers also answered attitude and job satisfaction questionnaires and provided information about their educational background and child-related preparation. Overall findings indicated that, for the most part, caregiver actions stressed “caretaking” as opposed to “educational” functions. However, variations in behavior were related to caregiver characteristics. In contrast to previous research, higher education, as well as child-related preparation, was associated with several qualities of caregiver behavior—decreases in restriction and increases in encouragement, development of children's verbal skills, and the use of indirect forms of guidance. Education was positively associated with caregiver commitment to child care as a career. Also, career commitment, child-oriented attitudes, job satisfaction, and stimulating but nondirective behaviors toward children were positively correlated with one another. Results are discussed in relation to social policies concerning the preparation and training of child care professionals.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. Austin, D. Formal educational preparation: The structural prerequisite to the professional status of the child care worker.Child Care Quarterly 1981,10 250–260.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Berk, L., & Berson, M. A. A review of the Child Development Associate credential.Child Care Quarterly 1981,10 9–42.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Bernstein, B. Social class and linguistic development: A theory of social learning. In A. Hakey, J. Floud, & C. Anderson (Eds.),Education, economy, and society. New York: Free Press, 1961. Pp. 288–314.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Bernstein, B. A sociolinguistic approach to socialization: With some references to educability. In F. Williams (Ed.),Language and poverty. Chicago: Markham, 1970.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Berson, M., & Sherman, C. Divergent views on prekindergarten teacher education.Educational Leadership 1976,34 143–149.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Coelen, C., Glantz, F., & Calore, R.Day care centers in the U.S.: A national profile 1976–1977. Cambridge, MA: ABT Books, 1979.

    Google Scholar 

  7. Cook, W., Leeds, G., & Callis, R.Minnesota Teacher Attitude Inventory, Form A. New York: The Psychological Corporation, 1951.

    Google Scholar 

  8. Federal Interagency Day Care Requirements (FIDCR): Report of findings and recommendations. Washington, D.C.: Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Office of the Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, 1978.

  9. Fishaut, E., & Pastor, D. Should the public schools be entrusted with preschool education: A critique of the AFT proposals.School Review 1977,86 38–49.

    Google Scholar 

  10. Granger, R., & Gleason, D. A review of the Child Development Associate credential: Corrections and comments.Child Care Quarterly 1981,10 63–73.

    Google Scholar 

  11. Grotberg, E., Chapman, J., & Lazar, J.A review of the present status and future needs in day care research. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Office of Child Development, 1971.

    Google Scholar 

  12. Hess, R. D. Social class and ethnic influences upon socialization. In P. H. Mussen (Ed.),Carmichael's manual of child psychology (3rd ed.). New York: Wiley, 1970.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Hess, R., & Shipman, V. Early experience and the socialization of cognitive modes in children.Child Development 1965,34 869–886.

    Google Scholar 

  14. Hess, R., & Shipman, V. Cognitive elements in maternal behavior.Minnesota symposium on child psychology. Vol. 1. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1967.

    Google Scholar 

  15. Jambor, T. Teacher role behavior: Day care versus nursery school.Child Care Quarterly 1975,4 93–100.

    Google Scholar 

  16. Jones, L., & Hamby, T. Comments on ‘A review of the Child Development Associate credential.’Child Care Quarterly 1981,10 74–83.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Klinzing, D., & Klinzing, D. An examination of the verbal behavior, knowledge, and attitudes of day care teachers.Education 1974,95 65–71.

    Google Scholar 

  18. McCartney, K. Effect of quality of day care environment on children's language development.Developmental Psychology 1984,20 244–260.

    Google Scholar 

  19. Peters, D. Social science and social policy and the care of young children: Head Start and after.Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology 1980,1 7–27.

    Google Scholar 

  20. Peters, D., Cohen, A., & McNichol, M. The training and certification of early childhood personnel.Child Care Quarterly 1974,3 39–53.

    Google Scholar 

  21. Peters, D., & Kostelnik, M. Current research in day care personnel preparation. In S. Kilmer (Ed.),Advances in early education and day care. Greenwich, CN: JAI Press, 1981. Vol. 2, Pp. 29–60.

    Google Scholar 

  22. Prescott, E., Jones, E., & Kritchevsky, S.Group day care as a child-rearing environment: Report to the Children's Bureau, U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Pasadena, CA: Pacific Oaks College, 1967.

    Google Scholar 

  23. Prescott, E., Jones, E., & Kritchevsky, S.Day care as a child-rearing environment. Washington, D.C.: National Association for the Education of Young Children, 1972.

    Google Scholar 

  24. Robertson, A. Day care and children's responsiveness to adults. In E. F. Zigler & E. W. Gordon (Eds.),Day care: Scientific and social policy issues. Boston: Auburn House, 1982. Pp. 152–173.

    Google Scholar 

  25. Ruopp, R., Travers, J., Glantz, F., & Coelen, C.Children at the center (Summary Findings of the National Day Care Study). Cambridge, MA: ABT Books, 1979.

    Google Scholar 

  26. Ruopp, R., Travers, J., & Goodrich, N.Technical appendices to the National Day Care Study, effects analyses (Final Report, Vol. IV-C). Cambridge, MA: ABT Associates, 1980.

    Google Scholar 

  27. Spodek, B. Early education and teacher education: A search for consistency. In B. Parsky & L. Golubchick (Eds.),Early childhood education. Wayne, NJ: Avery, 1977.

    Google Scholar 

  28. Thomson, C., Holmberg, M., & Baer, D. An experimental analysis of some procedures to teach priming and reinforcement skills to preschool teachers.Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 1978,43 (4, Serial No. 176).

  29. Tizard, B., Cooperman, O., Joseph, A., & Tizard, J. Environmental effects of language development: A study of children in long-stay residential nurseries.Child Development 1972,43 337–358.

    Google Scholar 

  30. Vocational Psychology Research.Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 1963.

    Google Scholar 

  31. Ward, E. The Child Development Associate Consortium's assessment system.Young Children 1976,31 244–254.

    Google Scholar 

  32. Williams, C. R., & Ryan, T. F. Competent professionals for quality child care and early education: The goal of the CDA.Young Children 1976,31 244–254.

    Google Scholar 

  33. Wright, H.Recording and analyzing child behavior. New York: Harper & Row, 1968.

    Google Scholar 

  34. Zukow, P.Cross cultural research on language acquisition. Presentation given to language development seminar, Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles, March, 1983.

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Laura E. Berk.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Berk, L.E. Relationship of caregiver education to child-oriented attitudes, job satisfaction, and behaviors toward children. Child Youth Care Forum 14, 103–129 (1985). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01113405

Download citation

Keywords

  • Child Care
  • Educational Background
  • Satisfaction Questionnaire
  • Verbal Skill
  • Observational System