Abstract

Background: Preschool children from single-parent households with lower socioeconomic status (SES) are absent from preschool at rates higher than any other group. Some children are chronically absent, missing more than 10% of the school year. The phenomenon of preschool attendance related to behaviors, practices, and parental decision making associated with health and illness in lower SES households has not been previously studied using grounded theory methodology. Aim: The purpose of this study was to explore decision making related to supporting attendance in a preschool of 67 children (aged 3 to 4 years) with primarily low-income, single parents and preschool teachers in South Florida. The decision making process parents and teachers face every day and the environmental supports of preschool attendance facilitated identification of factors encouraging or impeding attendance. Results and Recommendations: Focus groups and interviews with teachers, parents and administrators were conducted, and direct observation of the school attendance process and health/attendance policies were examined. Data analysis was concurrent with data collection to allow for theoretical sampling. The data analysis revealed an underlying process of "communicating about health: benefitting children's attendance in a preschool environment." Supporting this theory were three themes of (a) empowerment: actions to support health, (b) trusting judgment regarding health, and (c) commitment of organization and parents to health and attendance. Recommendations for implementation of practice, policy changes, and opportunities for future research found in this unique setting were discussed to improve attendance.

Notes

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Graduation Date

2016

Semester

Spring

Advisor

Chase, Susan

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

College

College of Nursing

Department

Nursing

Degree Program

Nursing

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0006143

URL

http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/etd/CFE0006143

Language

English

Release Date

May 2016

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)

Restricted to the UCF community until May 2016; it will then be open access.

Included in

Nursing Commons

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