Date of Award

12-1993

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Department

Educational Leadership, Research and Technology

First Advisor

Dr. Robert Brinkerhoff

Second Advisor

Dr. Dale Brethower

Third Advisor

Dr. Charles Warfield

Abstract

Frequent moves by parents of elementary-aged children can cause these children a considerable amount of stress, thus creating adjustment problems and straining their coping abilities to the limits. How do these children cope with such problems compared to those who do not move frequently?

The above question was the focus of investigation to determine whether or not there was a difference between the mobile (children whose parents have moved at least once in the past 3 years) and nonmobile (children whose parents have not moved from a particular school district in the past 3 years) elementary children in the way they cope and adjust in their varied environments.

Two surveys developed by Achenbach (1991), the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) and the Teacher's Report Form (TRF), were used to collect data. The population studied consisted of children in Grades 3-6 from four public schools in the Danbury, Connecticut, School District. Parents responded to the CBCL, and teachers to the TRF. Three hundred and seventy six surveys were sent to parents and 96 completed surveys were returned. Then, TRF forms were sent to the teachers of the 96 children whose parents completed the CBCL survey. Of these, 50 were returned completed. A final sample of 50 children was studied where the researcher had both a completed CBCL and a completed TRF survey. The data were grouped into mobile and nonmobile, and upper and lower socioeconomic status (SES) groups.

The data were then analyzed using a t test to compare mobile and nonmobile children. Analyses revealed no differences between the mobile and nonmobile elementary children in the way they cope and adapt as perceived by both parents and teachers.

Future research was suggested in terms of better control of the variables of mobility and SES to identify which had a greater effect on children's coping and adaptive functioning. It was suggested also that mobile and nonmobile children themselves be used as informants and unobtrusively observed to compare how they cope. Since administrators are entrusted with the custody of school children, it would be well to use them as informants, thus actively involving them in mobile and nonmobile children's needs assessment.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

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Education Commons

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