The starting school study: the transition to school experiences of families living in disadvantage

Catherine Kaplun

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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    The Starting School Study is an independent study of school transition for children and families living in a disadvantaged community. Participants were identified from families participating in the Maternal Early Childhood Sustained Home Visiting (MECSH) Trial, a longitudinal project which assessed the impact of sustained nurse home visiting on families and children from an area of low socioeconomic background. The Starting School Study utilised predominantly qualitative methods to gain the perspectives of the families and children sharing in the transitional experience at two time points: prior to school entry and towards the end of the second term in school. A combination of data collection techniques were employed to gain childrenâÂ's perspectives including the use of interviews, drawings and childrenâÂ's associated narratives, and questionnaires. Parent and teacher data from the MECSH trial were incorporated to provide additional information concerning childrenâÂ's experiences. Results identified factors that supported and challenged families and children from a low socioeconomic background in transition. Life circumstances and parental experiences of school added to the complexity of transition for these families. Links were made to the aims of the MECSH intervention, specifically using parental goal setting and aspirations for children living in disadvantage. The experiences of transition to school were similar for families and children in the intervention and comparison groups, with no clear indications of an impact from the MECSH intervention at the time of transition to school.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • Charles Sturt University
    • Perry, Bob, Co-Supervisor
    • Dockett, Sue, Co-Supervisor
    Award date01 Aug 2012
    Place of PublicationAustralia
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


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