Volume 34, Issue 3 (2005)
Father-School Communication in Preschool and Kindergarten
Sara E. Rimm-Kaufman, Yubo Zhang
Abstract. This article describes the frequency, characteristics, and predictors of father-school communication in preschool and kindergarten in a sample of children “at risk” for school failure based on family sociodemographic characteristics. Data were gathered during the implementation of the National Center for Early Development and Learning Transition to Kindergarten Intervention. Preschool and kindergarten teachers used family involvement logs to record the frequency and characteristics of family-school communication for 75 children. Family workers conducted interviews with family members asking questions about family process. In preschool, one-third of fathers had no contact with their child’s teacher, a number that exceeded one-half in kindergarten. Father-school communication occurred at a rate of 10% of family-school communication with other caregivers. Most typically, fathers participated in school-initiated school visits lasting more than 10 minutes and discussing aspects of the child, not the family. Fathers’ presence in the home was related to frequency of father-school communication in preschool, but not in kindergarten. These findings have implications for school psychologists as schools develop family involvement policies and practices in accordance with local and state policies and No Child Left Behind legislation.
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