Date of Award

Winter 2011

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Communication Disorders & Special Education


Early Childhood Education

Committee Director

Andrea DeBruin-Parecki

Committee Member

Peggy P. Hester

Committee Member

Katharine Kersey

Committee Member

Shana Pribesh


The purpose of this study was to utilize Baumrind's parenting style construct, with early childhood educators, as classroom management styles by assessing the proportion of classroom management styles of Virginia Association of Early Childhood Education (VAECE) educators, and secondly to assess classroom management beliefs and practices of among urban kindergarten teachers in addition to examining whether those differing classroom management styles impacted students' social and academic skills. The study investigated the proportion of classroom management styles of VAECE educators using an online questionnaire and used a case study approach with nine kindergarten teachers to better understand the teachers' classroom management beliefs and practices with interviews, self-report questionnaires, and observations. Students' academic skills were measured using standardized literacy assessment scores and social skills using teacher reports. Results revealed that all educators reported themselves to be authoritative using the online questionnaire. Furthermore, the case study teachers also all reported themselves to be authoritative in the interview and the questionnaire; however, observations revealed seven teachers to be authoritative, one to be authoritarian, and one to be negative directive, a newly created style. Overall, the teachers understood their classroom management strategies and where they originated from, and believed their styles to positively impact both their students' social and academic skills, regardless of the style they utilized. The classroom management styles did not show any statistical significance regarding student outcomes; however, ranking the teachers based on their students' academic and social skills did reveal authoritative teachers to have students' with higher social skills but not academic skills. This study helped create a bridge in the literature for the use of Baumrind's parenting styles to be used with early childhood teachers as classroom management styles. Since Baumrind's parenting styles have been studied for over forty years and are a foundation in the parenting literature, being able to understand them from a teaching standpoint may help answer critical questions regarding the impact of teachers on students.