The Relationship Between Age of Kindergarten Entry and Externalizing Behavior
Shisler, Shannon Michelle
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The decision regarding when to send their child to school can be difficult one for parents. Much attention has been paid to the relationship between age of entry into kindergarten and academic achievement. However, a child’s ability to maintain the behavioral standards of a classroom is an equally important aspect of readiness for school. In this study, a secondary analysis of 9,474 kindergarten students examined the relationship between the age at which a child enters kindergarten and teacher reports of externalizing behavior problems. Data on other child factors including child sex, attendance in a preschool program, socioeconomic status, race, and family structure were also obtained in the fall of the kindergarten year. There was a significant main effect of child age on externalizing behaviors, even after controlling for family structure and socioeconomic status (SES). In addition, there were significant relationships between race and externalizing behavior, child sex and externalizing behavior, and preschool attendance and externalizing behavior, even after controlling for family structure, and SES.