Perspectives of ""Big School"": Kindergarten Children's Response to the Pictorial Measure of School Stress

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This paper describes the development, administration, and scoring of the Pictorial Measure of School Stress (PMSS). This instrument was designed to describe individual differences in kindergarten1 children's feelings about everyday school situations and their coping strategies for dealing with these. The PMSS uses a semi-structured interview to present specific school scenarios, including in-class routines such as talking in front of the class/doing schoolwork, out-of-class events such as lining up/going to the toilet alone/buying lunch at the canteen, and scenarios involving peers such as joining in with group play/being pushed by other children. Children are asked how they feel, why they feel that way, whether they would tell the teacher about their feelings, and what might happen next. Following initial analysis of children's positive and negative responses to these questions, interpretive methods were used to identify underlying themes. Positive responses to school were explained by children's enjoyment of learning, warm relationships with peers and the teacher, and understanding and meeting the expectations of school. Negative responses were associated with a dislike of school activities, peer rejection, separation anxiety, and conflicted relationships with the teacher.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAARE2004
Subtitle of host publicationDoing the public good
EditorsPeter Jeffrey
Place of PublicationMelbourne, Australia
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2005
EventAustralian Association for Research in Education Conference: AARE 2004 - Brisbane, Australia, Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 01 Dec 200205 Dec 2002


ConferenceAustralian Association for Research in Education Conference


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