Relationship of preschool special education outcomes to instructional practices and parent-child interaction

Res Dev Disabil. 2004 Nov-Dec;25(6):539-58. doi: 10.1016/j.ridd.2004.04.001.


Developmental outcomes attained by children receiving preschool special education services in relationship to both the general instructional approach used by their teachers and their parents' style of interaction were examined. The sample included 70 children from 41 Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) classrooms. The type of instructional model children received was determined by dividing the sample into three clusters based upon six global ratings of children's classroom environment: Choice; Cognitive Problem-Solving; Child-Initiated Learning; Developmental Match; Child-Centered Routines; and Rewards and Discipline Strategies. Based on this analysis, 27 children were classified as receiving developmental instruction; 15 didactic instruction; and 28 naturalistic instruction. Observations of parent-child interaction collected at the beginning and end of the year were classified along four dimensions using the Maternal Behavior Rating Scale: Responsiveness, Affect, Achievement Orientation and Directiveness. Results indicated that the kinds of experiences that children received varied significantly across the three instructional models. However, there were no significant differences in the impact of these instructional models on children's rate of development. Regression analyses indicated that children's rate of development at the end of intervention was significantly related to their parents' style of interaction but was unrelated to the type of instructional model they received.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Autistic Disorder / psychology
  • Autistic Disorder / rehabilitation*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Developmental Disabilities / psychology
  • Developmental Disabilities / rehabilitation*
  • Disabled Children / psychology*
  • Early Intervention, Educational / methods*
  • Education, Special / methods*
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Language Development Disorders / psychology
  • Language Development Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Male
  • Ohio
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Professional-Family Relations