The validity of interactive peer play competencies for Latino preschool children from low-income households

Rebecca J. Bulotsky-Shearer, Lisa M. López, Julia L. Mendez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


In accord with a strength-based, eco-cultural model, the present study examined the validity of the Penn Interactive Peer Play Scale-Teacher report (PIPPS-T; Fantuzzo, Coolahan, Mendez, McDermott, & Sutton-Smith, 1998) for use with Latino preschool children from low-income backgrounds. Capitalizing upon a large, statewide sample of Latino children (N = 824, M age = 52.54 months (SD = 8.73)), exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses identified three reliable and distinct dimensions of peer social competence: Play Interaction, Play Disruption, and Play Disconnection. Findings from multilevel models controlling for program, family, and child demographic variables, provided criterion-related validity for the three dimensions with some differential associations to concurrent assessments of children's learning-related and pre-academic skills at the end the Head Start year. Study findings extend prior research, supporting the utility of the PIPPS to assess the construct of peer social competence for Latino children from low-income backgrounds. Implications for early childhood research, practice, and policy are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)78-91
Number of pages14
JournalEarly Childhood Research Quarterly
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Interactive peer play
  • Latino children from low-income backgrounds
  • Learning behaviors
  • Pre-academic skills

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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