The emergence of children's interest orientations during early childhood: When predisposition meets opportunity Academic Article uri icon


  • 2019 Elsevier Ltd There is growing evidence that even prior to school, young children are capable of exhibiting enduring, persistent interests. Such interests have potential consequences for the child's learning and behavior in school, peer interactions, and later patterns of achievement. We investigated the relations among young children's early interests, personal characteristics, and home environments to examine distinctive predictive profiles among young children with various types of early interest orientations. We followed 109 children from age 4 to 5 years through bimonthly parent reports and comprehensive assessments of child, family and home characteristics. Four types of early interests were identified: conceptual, procedural, creative, and socially-oriented. Results indicated that children's interests are not simple reflections of personal styles or predispositions, but are socialized and supported through an array of parental and home factors.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Neitzel, C. L., Alexander, J. M., & Johnson, K. E.

citation count

  • 5

complete list of authors

  • Neitzel, Carin L||Alexander, Joyce M||Johnson, Kathy E

publication date

  • January 2019