Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Committee Member

Dr. Sandra M. Linder, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. David Reinking

Committee Member

Dr. Jennifer Bailey Bisson

Committee Member

Dr. Barbara Bradley


This dissertation study addresses the need for innovative home-based interventions supporting parent-child play through feasible, culturally responsive, and engaging interventions for families in poverty with preschool aged children. This study utilized an embedded mixed methods design to understand the family feasibility and influence of the Play Pack Intervention. The Play Pack intervention aimed to support the in-home parent-child play of Head Start families in the Upstate of South Carolina and develop assertions that further the understanding and application of the present study’s intervention. In this embedded mixed methods study, the Project Play Pack intervention was implemented in which delivery of six Approaches to Learning themed take-home play bags over six weeks was intended to support parent-child in-home play and children’s Approaches to Learning behaviors. The goal of the study of the Project Play Pack intervention was to further the understanding of families’ experiences with take-home bag intervention models and explore Approaches to Learning among parent-child play. Overall, there was qualitative evidence that this intervention was feasible for families. Their positive descriptions of the intervention experience characterize the ways the intervention supported more and new in-home parent-child play. Moreover, this study provides new results regarding the occurrences of Approaches to Learning behaviors of Head Start children within parent-child play interactions. In addition, the quantitative results provide complementary support to assertions regarding family feasibility and children’s Approaches to Learning behaviors within parent-child play. Findings from the final mixing phase of the study revealed new insights into Head Start families’ experiences of parent engagement interventions and the utility of parent-child play for preschool children’s Approaches to Learning



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