Participation patterns of urban preschoolers attending head start

Meredith P. Gronski, Ann Niemann, Christine Berg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Awareness of the impact of poverty on early childhood participation is crucial in providing adequate and effective services for young children and their families. Through a university-community partnership to support Head Start teachers to broaden their developmental evaluations, the Preschool Activity Card Sort (PACS) was administered to the parents of 81 preschoolers in a semi-structured interview format. Fifty-two (64%) of the children were served by a Head Start program and 29 (36%) were a convenience sample control group. Results from the PACS demonstrate that all of the preschoolers participate in a range of age-appropriate activities. Comparison between the Head Start and control groups revealed differences, with Bonferroni correction, in participation in community mobility (p =.000). It is imperative to provide opportunities for early childhood participation because many community activities are implicitly tied to school readiness. To fully meet the needs of families in impoverished communities, occupational therapists need to seek out the voice of parents and focus on learning opportunities arising naturally in the context of daily living and community experiences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-75
Number of pages8
JournalOTJR Occupation, Participation and Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2013


  • Community
  • Poverty
  • Preschool


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