Effects of after -school programs on the relationships among emotional regulation, behavior regulation, and social competence

Shelly Ann Gifford, Fordham University

Abstract

In light of the increasing number of mothers entering the workforce and heightened concern over the safety of unsupervised children, educators, policymakers, and practitioners are advocating for new and expanded after-school programs for school age children. To date, there are few studies that have examined the benefits of after school programs. As a result, practitioners do not have access to research-based quality indicators of successful after school programs. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effect of the quality of after school programs on the relationship between emotional regulation, behavior regulation, and social competence. The study involved 14 after school programs that were designated as high quality (n = 7) or low quality (n = 7) based upon principals' ratings of three components of after school programs, which included staff support, the clarity of rules, and activity variety. After school staff rated children's level of emotional regulation, behavior regulation, and social competence. A total of 389 kindergarten through 5th grade children were included in the study. Using hierarchal linear modeling, the following findings were reported: (1) there was a significant relationship between emotional regulation and social competence in high quality programs only, (2) there was a significant relationship between behavior regulation and social competence; this relationship held regardless of the quality of the after school program, and (3) after school quality was not directly associated with social competence. While the present study found that quality of after school program had an effect on the relationship between emotional regulation and social competence only, other studies have linked quality to children's social functioning. These findings suggest that researchers should continue to examine and clarify ways in which the quality of after school programs have an effect on children's development. ^

Subject Area

Education, Elementary|Education, Educational Psychology|Psychology, Developmental

Recommended Citation

Shelly Ann Gifford, "Effects of after -school programs on the relationships among emotional regulation, behavior regulation, and social competence" (January 1, 2001). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI3017550.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI3017550

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