Early student (dis)engagement: Contributions of household chaos, parenting, and self-regulatory skills.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Previous studies suggest that the roots of school dropout (a) can be established early in life, (b) are likely to involve multilevel factors (home, child, classroom) operating prior to and during the elementary school years, and (c) can be identified by 3rd grade. The decision to drop out of school is thus a dynamic developmental process that can begin with disengagement in elementary school. Yet few studies have examined the multilevel factors that might contribute to children's early disengagement from school. In the present study, we examined associations between household chaos (i.e., disorganization and instability) from birth to age 5 and student (dis)engagement in third grade. We also examined positive parenting in early childhood (6-60 months) and child self-regulatory skills at kindergarten as potential mediators in this pathway. Participants were 1,097 children who participated in the Family Life Project, a longitudinal study of the development of children living in underresourced high poverty rural areas. Study questions were addressed using structural equation models. Results indicated that, even after taking into account a considerable number of covariates, early positive parenting and children's self-regulatory skills were viable process mechanisms through which early household disorganization, but not instability, was linked to student (dis)engagement in third grade. Findings are discussed with respect to the multilevel proximal forces at play in children's risk for early disengagement from school. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Garrett-Peters, PT; Mokrova, IL; Carr, RC; Vernon-Feagans, L; Family Life Project Key Investigators,

Published Date

  • July 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 55 / 7

Start / End Page

  • 1480 - 1492

PubMed ID

  • 30907606

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC7017720

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1939-0599

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0012-1649

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1037/dev0000720


  • eng