Validating the development of male and female preschoolers' help-seeking, goal-setting and planning, and self-evaluation using latent trait models.
AuthorReddy, Linda Ann.
Committee ChairBergan, John R.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe present study investigated the early development of three self-regulated learning strategies--help seeking, goal setting and planning, and self evaluation for male and female preschoolers. Skill sequences were developed by identifying demand attributes that imposed requirements on cognitive functioning. The demand attributes of adult assistance and task complexity were identified for all three learning strategies. Variations in adult assistance and task complexity were examined to determine the relative difficulty for male and female preschoolers to perform skills within each learning strategy. This study included data from 10,291 preschoolers, age 2 to 6 years, from Head Start and public preschool programs across the country. The sample included approximately 5,000 males and 5,000 females from culturally diverse backgrounds. Children were assessed by their preschool teachers over two months with a standardized observational assessment instrument. A variety of latent trait models were used to test the developmental skill sequences of these learning strategies in relation to gender. Results revealed that variations in adult assistance and task complexity were related to the relative difficulty in performing these learning strategies. These findings support the notion that adult assistance can enhance the development of preschooler's self-regulated learning strategies. In particular, adult assistance promotes preschoolers' skills to perform simple functions independently and complex functions (e.g., advance planning or checking in parts) with adult help. Gender differences were found in preschoolers' difficulties in self-evaluating and seeking help. For example, females had more difficulty than males checking completed work with adult help and checking an activity in parts with adult help. Males had less difficulty checking a completed activity independently than females. Results also suggested that males are more sensitive to the presence of adult assistance when performing complex checking (i.e., checking in parts) than females. In addition, females were found to be more skilled than males in seeking assistance from adults in the classroom. No gender differences were found in goal setting and planning. The results from this study support the importance of social influences on preschoolers' development of self-regulated learning strategies. Future research directions and implications were also addressed.
Degree ProgramEducational Psychology