Social competence of three- and four-year-olds and parental involvement in prekindergarten programs in New York

Antoinette Eugenia Gabriel Lyles, Fordham University


This study was an exploratory and descriptive investigation of a single prekindergarten program population in Poughkeepsie, New York and sought to examine namely social competency of 3- and 4-year-old children and parental involvement. This study is based primarily on the social systems theory of Getzels and Guba (1958); and social interaction theory of Weber (1970) and Vygotsky (1978). Thus, the theoretical formulation and evidence examined suggested a relationship among gender, number of siblings, intelligence, parental involvement, and social competency. Multiple regression and partial correlation analyses were used to support the rationale of this study. The California Preschool Social Competence (CPSCS) developed by Levine, Elzey, and Lewis was used to determine the adequacy of preschool children's interpersonal behavior and the degree to which they assume social responsibility. A Parent Inventory Questionnaire (PIQ) developed by the investigator measured the degree of parental involvement in the prekindergarten program. Parental involvement was conceptualized on a continuum ranging from low to high contact with the child at home, as well as from low to high participation in a variety of prekindergarten program related activities in the Poughkeepsie, New York program. The Personal Information Questionnaire was developed by the researcher to obtain pertinent socioeconomic and demographic data which described the primary caregivers in this study. The target population consisted of 139 prekindergarten parents and equal numbers of children, and 5 prekindergarten teachers in the prekindergarten program in Poughkeepsie, New York. The major findings indicated that intelligence, attendance in school, and parent involvement had a significant impact on the social competence of preschool children. Specifically, intelligence was the most important predictor of social competency. However, when parents are involved with their children, children attend school regularly, the children are intelligent and there are fewer brothers and sisters in the family, social competency among prekindergarten children was enhanced. A major conclusion suggested by the results of the current investigation is, that future researchers continue to examine social competency as it relates to school success.

Subject Area

School administration|Preschool education|Curricula|Teaching

Recommended Citation

Lyles, Antoinette Eugenia Gabriel, "Social competence of three- and four-year-olds and parental involvement in prekindergarten programs in New York" (1989). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8918450.