Family–School Connectedness and Children's Early Social Development


  • The research reported herein was supported by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, through the National Center for Research on Early Childhood Education, Grant R305A060021 to the University of Virginia. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not represent views of the U.S. Department of Education.

Zewelanji Serpell, Department of Psychology, Virginia State University, 1 Hayden Drive, P.O. Box 9079, Petersburg, VA 23806, USA. Email:


This study examined the extent to which teacher ratings of the frequency of parent–teacher contacts and quality of parent–teacher relationships in prekindergarten were associated with teachers' perceptions of the quality of their relationship with children and children's social development. Participants were a diverse sample of 2966 four-year-olds who attended publicly funded prekindergarten programs in the USA. Results indicated that after controlling for child and family characteristics, the perceived quality of the parent–teacher relationship during prekindergarten was associated with prekindergarten teachers' ratings of children's social development during prekindergarten and kindergarten teachers' ratings at the beginning of kindergarten. Furthermore, the association between quality of the parent–teacher relationship and reductions in problem behavior was stronger among children who experienced social/economic risks.