Interaction-quality and children’s social competence in Norwegian ECEC.
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionVarhaiskasvatuksen Tiedelehti. 2018, 7 (2), 338-361.
This study investigated whether interaction quality in toddler groups, when children were age three, was associated with changes in children’s social competence from age three to age five years in Norwegian Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC). ECEC groups (n = 206) were observed with the Infant/ Toddler Environment Rating Scale Revised (ITERS-R). The subscale Interaction was used for this study, including four items: supervision of play and learning; peer interaction; staff-child interaction; and discipline. Children’s social-emotional competence was rated by ECEC teachers using the Norwegian Lamer Social Competence in Preschool scale (LSCIP) with six dimensions: prosocial behavior, self-control, assertiveness, adjustment, empathy, and fairness. Multilevel models were applied to investigate the associations between the ITERS-R scale and social-emotional competence at age three and age five. Results showed an association of interaction quality with empathy at T1, and a marginally significant association between interaction quality and self-control at T2. No other associations were found between interaction quality and social-emotional competence. The paper discusses why the associations between interaction quality and outcomes are limited and the need to revise and expand quality measures especially in Norwegian ECEC. This study also stresses the need to further investigate quality of interactions between staff and children, and its associations with children outcomes.