Kearns, Amanda Catherine (2018-08). Student-Teacher Relationships, Parent-Child Relationships, Self-Regulation, and Social Competence in a Head Start Program. Doctoral Dissertation.
Student-teacher relationships, parent-child relationships, self-regulation, and social competence are important factors contributing to a child's social-emotional well-being and development. There is some research interest in determining the efficacy of Head Start centers in assisting students to achieve competency in these areas; however, this had not been previously studied in rural populations. These relationships were studied in both suburban and rural Head Start centers with the goal of identifying risk-factors for intervention in these areas. Parents and teachers were given questionnaires for information regarding their students' social, emotional and behavioral competency by using the Child Behavior Questionnaire, the Child-Parent Relationship Scale, the Student-Teacher Relationship Scale, and the Preschool and Kindergarten Behavior Scales. Of the 86 participants, approximately 29% were from Spanish-speaking homes and 70% from rural Head Start centers. Rural students were found to have a closer relationship with their teachers than students from suburban Head Start centers. Boys were also found to have more problem behaviors and a higher degree of conflict with their teachers than girls. Further research is needed to explore the relationships between caregivers and social-emotional factors in rural populations.