Continuity of care is a practice in the early childhood field that promotes continuous relationships between children and caregivers. This study investigated whether toddlers in continuity classrooms experienced more responsive caregiving and were rated more socially competent and had fewer problem behaviors compared to their peers in non-continuity rooms and whether responsive caregiving mediated the relationship between continuity of care classrooms and toddler social competence and problem behaviors. Toddlers (n=117) between the ages of 12-24 months were observed in 30 continuity and 30 non-continuity classrooms. Average time with a caregiver for toddlers in continuity rooms was 14 months and average time with a caregiver for toddlers in non-continuity rooms was 5.2 months. Toddlers in continuity rooms experienced more responsive caregiving and were rated higher in social competence compared to their peers in non-continuity rooms. Toddlers in classrooms with higher staff:child ratios experienced more responsive caregiving compared to toddlers in classrooms with lower staff:child ratios. No differences were found between the two groups on problem behaviors, although center quality and temperament accounted for some of the variance in reported problem behaviors. Responsive caregiving did not mediate the relationship between continuity of care classrooms and toddler social competence and problem behaviors.
|Advisor:||Elicker, James G.|
|Commitee:||Posada, German, Thomas, Volker, Wachs, Theodore|
|Department:||Child Development and Family Studies|
|School Location:||United States -- Indiana|
|Source:||DAI-A 72/07, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Early childhood education|
|Keywords:||Continuity of care, Responsive caregiving, Social competence, Toddlers|
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