Date of Award

2010

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Social Work

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between the number of resources and levels of parent involvement across state-funded preschool programs in Illinois. This dissertation presented a mixed methods study using survey data from the Illinois Birth to Five Evaluation FY09 (n=843) and interviews with ten preschool administrators who completed the survey. Based on the survey data for Illinois state-funded preschools, the number of social resources provided by a program was positively associated with levels of parent involvement. The correlation analysis (r = -0.22, p=.0001) and analysis of variance (ANOVA) F(2,708) = 23.19, p =.0001) findings both demonstrated a positive relationships wherein high numbers of social resources were associated with higher levels of parent involvement in programs. The administrator interviews revealed further depth to the role of early childhood programs, the social resources they provide, and levels of parent involvement in addition to confirming survey responses. Administrators spoke to the barriers for providing resources, barriers to families using the resources, and successes and challenges in engaging parents in programs. The mixed methods findings together illustrated the complexity between level of social resources and levels of parent involvement in Illinois preschool programs. Research, practice, and policy implications related to child welfare are presented in the concluding chapter.

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