Date of Award

Spring 1998

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Psychology

Abstract

The effects of a specific parent involvement strategy on proactive behaviors in children were studied in this experiment. Four classrooms, two experimental groups and two control groups, from the Helena Head Start volunteered to take part in the study. The parents from the experimental classrooms received three weeks of educational materials based on three rules at Head Start ("walking feet," "inside voices," and "take care of your hands") and how they are taught. Pre-test data (before the parents received the materials) and post-test data (after the parents received the materials) were collected on the children's performance of these rules. The results indicated that the experimental classrooms did not have significantly higher total gain scores than the control groups. The experimental classrooms also did not have higher gain scores when each rule was considered separately. When only one experimental classroom and one control classroom were analyzed, the experimental classroom did have significantly higher gain scores on the "walking feet" rule. The materials and the results of this experiment will be used by Head Start in order to continue to encourage parent involvement.

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