Observed activities and stress behaviors of children in developmentally appropriate and inappropriate kindergarten classrooms

Diane C. Burts, Louisiana State University
Craig H. Hart, Louisiana State University
Rosalind Charlesworth, Louisiana State University
Pamela O. Fleege, University of North Texas
Jean Mosley, Louisiana State University
Renee H. Thomasson, Louisiana State University


This study investigated the effect of classroom type (developmentally appropriate; inappropriate) on the stress behaviors of 204 kindergarten children as mediated by race, sex, and SES. There were 101 children in inappropriate classrooms and 103 children in appropriate classrooms. Substantive findings indicated that males in inappropriate classrooms exhibited more stress than males in appropriate classrooms. Blacks in inappropriate classrooms exhibited more stress than whites during transition, waiting, and teacher-directed whole group, while whites in inappropriate classrooms exhibited more stress during group story. More overall stress was exhibited by children in developmentally inappropriate classrooms than by children in appropriate classrooms, particularly during transition, waiting, and workbook/worksheet activities. For activity types, low SES children and black children had tendencies to be less involved in developmentally appropriate activities. More appropriate activities (e.g., center, story) were found in appropriate classrooms, while more inappropriate activities (e.g., waiting, workbook/worksheet) were noted in inappropriate classrooms. © 1992.