Preschoolers' social behavior: Teachers' and parents' assessments

Stephen N. Elliott, James Barnard, Frank M. Gresham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


This study explored the use of a multi-rater social behavior scale with a diverse sample of preschoolers to test the influence of demographic, family status, and language ability variables on the rated frequency and functional importance of prosocial and problem behaviors. Major results from the teachers' ratings of behavior indicated (a) significant differences between boys and girls in that the average girl exhibited more prosocial behaviors and the average boy more problem behaviors; (b) significant differences for language ability; those preschoolers with excellent language ability showed more prosocial skills and fewer problem behaviors than did children with average or poor language; and (c) differences among families depending on the work status of mothers and fathers. The results of the parents' ratings indicated similar patterns as teachers and also suggested differences in social behavior between White and Black preschoolers. Although the overall perceptions of preschoolers' social behavior were similar as rated by parents and teachers, the correlation between their frequency and importance ratings on specific behavior items were moderately low at best. These data were interpreted to reinforce the practice of acquiring cross-informant ratings of preschoolers and to support the validity of the Social Skills Rating System.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-234
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Psychoeducational Assessment
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Clinical Psychology
  • General Psychology


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