Parent- and Preschool-Teacher-Perceived Strengths Among Black and Latino Boys in Miami: Links to Early Success in Elementary School
Children’s social and behavioral skills prior to school entry are important components of school readiness that relate to long-term academic success. Parents and teachers, however, can have different perceptions of children’s strengths. We examined parent and preschool teacher reports of the social and behavioral skills of predominantly low-income Black and Latino preschool boys (N = 13,448) on the Devereux Early Childhood Assessment (DECA; Lebuffe and Naglieri in Devereux early childhood assessment. Kaplan Press, Lewisville, NC, 1999). We also examined the extent to which these reports predicted later academic outcomes in kindergarten and first grade. Teachers rated boys of color as having higher social skills and behavioral strengths than parents on all subscales, with parents of Black boys being particularly “tough” with their ratings. Latino preschoolers were perceived as showing slightly stronger skills than their Black peers. Both parent and teacher reports of child behavior at age 4 predicted GPA, test scores, and school suspension and retention in K and first grade, with parent ratings of socio-emotional skills being more predictive of later academic performance for Black boys than for Latino boys.
KeywordsParent Preschool teacher Perceptions Social skills Behavioral strengths Agreement Black Latino First-grade achievement
This multi-agency, university–community collaborative project was supported by the Early Learning Coalition of Miami-Dade/Monroe and The Children’s Trust. The Trust is a dedicated source of revenue established by voter referendum to improve the lives of children and families in Miami-Dade County. We would like to thank the dedicated staff at the Early Learning Coalition of Miami-Dade/Monroe, Miami-Dade County Child Development Services, and Miami-Dade County Public Schools, as well as the participating children, families, and teachers.
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