An exploration into the factors predicting positive social interactions in primary school

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Heffernan, Louise
Issue Date
BA in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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The aim of this study is to determine if children who attend preschool education will be more socially interactive with their peers in primary school. The study also takes into consideration the child's parental influence, sibling interaction, personality factors and the environment in which they live. Questionnaires were administered to seventy-one fifth and sixth class Dublin primary school students, aged between 10-12 years. They were self administered in the student's classrooms and consisted of a set of background questions containing demographic information. The Junior Eysenck Personality Short Questionnaire was used to determine the student's personality factors. The research was based on a within-participants design and it was also a quantitative cross-sectional study using questionnaires involving both retrospective and prospective questions. In addition it was a correlational design. Measured variables included pre-school attendance, sibling interaction, parental influence, personality factors and environmental factors. Analysis was conducted through examining crosstabulations, correlations and independent samples t-test procedures. Results found that only the correlations and the independent samples t-test analysis provided any significant correlations between preschool attendance, parental influence, sibling interaction, environmental factors and the child's social ability. This study could help to provide necessary information that is needed to arouse awareness about the benefits of preschool education for children's healthy development.