Age of school entry, curricula, gender, and self-esteem of kindergarten children

Carol Frankel, Fordham University


This study examined the relationship between kindergarten curricula and the self-esteem of kindergarten children. The subjects attended five different school districts. Two hundred forty-four subjects from 17 kindergarten classes participated in the study. Classroom curricula ranged from developmental to moderately academic to strongly academic. Ratings of classroom curricula were based on the Checklist of Kindergarten Activities. Children's self-esteem was measured in the three areas of cognitive, peer, and physical self-concept, using the Pictorial Scale of Perceived Competence and Social Acceptance for Young Children. Data were analyzed using multivariate analyses of variance, followed by univariate analyses of variance, and post hoc $t$ tests where appropriate. Particular attention was given to the age of kindergarten children at entry (birth quartile) as well as gender factors. The results indicated that children in developmentally appropriate kindergarten programs had higher (cognitive) self-esteem scores than children in the other two curricula groups. Age was also found to be a significant factor, with young, last birth quartile, children in developmental classes having higher cognitive self-esteem scores than young children in the academic classes. Gender issues were noted across curricula, but were not specific to academic groups. Teacher ratings of children's skills were found to vary widely and not be reflective of kindergarten curricula orientation. Results were discussed in terms of the significance of early school experiences of children, and recommendations for future research were outlined.

Subject Area

Educational psychology|Elementary education

Recommended Citation

Frankel, Carol, "Age of school entry, curricula, gender, and self-esteem of kindergarten children" (1995). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9530948.