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Parental Perspectives on Their Children's Social and Emotional Skill Development at Home and at School

Title: Parental Perspectives on Their Children's Social and Emotional Skill Development at Home and at School.

Inaccessible until May 8, 2020 due to copyright restrictions.

Name(s): Blalock, Jennifer, author
Gawlik, Marytza, 1973-, professor directing dissertation
Reynolds, John K. (John Kenneth), university representative
Schwartz, Robert A., committee member
Iatarola, Patrice, committee member
Florida State University, degree granting institution
College of Education, degree granting college
Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, degree granting department
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Doctoral Thesis
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2017
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource (175 pages)
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: This dissertation examines parents’ perspectives on their children’s development of social and emotional skills, both at home and at school. It explores how parents view the school’s role and their own role; how they conceptualize and value social and emotional skills, both on their own and in relation to academic skills; what they do to nurture their children’s skill development; and how demographic and other external factors such as policy pressure, resources, and support may impact their perspectives and experiences. Its theoretical framework is guided by a pragmatic and constructivist philosophy and influenced by theories of skill formation and social and cultural capital. Prior research on skill formation has shown that social and emotional skills are important to children’s life outcomes, can potentially reduce inequality, and are most efficacious when developed in early childhood. Yet social and emotional skill development has been underemphasized in educational policymaking and in schools. Research on the roles of social capital and cultural capital in education and family life has demonstrated the significance of familial capital on children’s educational experiences and life outcomes. The different forms of capital that parents possess, along with their beliefs and actions, influence their children’s social and emotional skill formation, yet in schools and the policymaking process, parental perspectives are frequently marginalized. Changes can be made to education policy and practice at all levels to better support children’s social and emotional skill development. The relative neglect of social and emotional skills in schools is significant beyond their contribution to individual learning and life outcomes, impacting both inequality and the economy at a global level. This research contributes to the literature on skill formation and social and cultural capital theory by investigating how parents perceive and experience their children’s development of social and emotional skills. Data come from in-depth interviews with 16 parents of children attending two diverse elementary schools. Field notes, audio-recordings of the interviews, and interview transcripts were analyzed, looking for emergent themes and areas of commonality or difference. Findings reveal that education policy pressure has a nuanced impact on children’s social and emotional skill development at home and school, based upon the circumstances of the school environment and the individual child. Parents’ levels of social and cultural capital appear to shape their expectations of their children’s school regarding its role in social and emotional skill development, with parents possessing higher levels of capital also having higher expectations for the school and identifying fewer barriers to the school fulfilling those expectations. Capital also seems to influence the home-school relationship in terms of how parents view their role, whether as volunteers or in their relationships with teachers and other parents, and how their role is perceived by others. Furthermore, evidence emerged that parental capital may play a role children’s technology use in ways that could impact their development of social and emotional skills. However, despite possessing different degrees and varieties of capital, parents shared similar perspectives on the nature of social and emotional skills, the skills they value, and how they perceive their roles, actions, and confidence in helping their children develop social, emotional, and academic skills. Perceived similarity between parent and child emerges as a possible influence on how parents relate to their child’s skill development. Parents frequently compared their child’s skills with their own perceived skills and reported more confidence in their ability to help their children develop social and emotional skills when their child’s personality reminded them of their own. Stress and the role of their child’s other parent also appear to impact parents’ perspectives and experiences regarding their children’s social and emotional skill development by affecting them personally, their parenting practices, and the amount of resources and support they have available. This study’s findings reinforce several tenets of skill formation theory. Parents discussed the malleable and interrelated nature of skills, alluding to the concepts of self- productivity and dynamic complementarity. Findings also suggest a potential way of understanding the “rhetoric/reality gap” based upon how parents perceive the nature of skill development and the interaction between different types of skills.
Identifier: FSU_SUMMER2017_Blalock_fsu_0071E_13936 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Degree Awarded: Summer Semester 2017.
Date of Defense: May 12, 2017.
Keywords: Economics, Education Policy, Inequality, Parenting, Social and Emotional Skills, Technology
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Marytza Gawlik, Professor Directing Dissertation; John Reynolds, University Representative; Robert Schwartz, Committee Member; Patrice Iatarola, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Educational sociology
Education and state
Educational technology
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU

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Blalock, J. (2017). Parental Perspectives on Their Children's Social and Emotional Skill Development at Home and at School. Retrieved from