School Psychology Review

Positive Mother-Child Interactions in Kindergarten: Predictors of School Success in High School

Anne Gregory, Sara Rimm-Kaufman

pp. 499-515

Special Topic: Promoting Social Justice

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Abstract. This longitudinal study followed 142 children to determine whether the quality of mother– child interactions, as measured in kindergarten, predicted high school academic achievement and attainment. Findings showed that, regardless of race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, and IQ, positive mother– child interactions in kindergarten were associated with an increased likelihood of high school graduation and, for some students, a higher grade-point average by 12th grade. However, mother–child interactions in kindergarten were not related to reading or math achievement test scores. The findings suggest that school psychologists should attend to children’s interactions with their caregivers during their earliest years of school to forecast and deflect future problems given the long-lasting importance of early mother–child interactions for children’s educational attainment and the protective function of such interactions for children facing risk.