Impact of Classroom Computer Availability on Preschoolers’ Social Interactions


  • Heather C. Janisse Eastern Michigan University
  • Navaz Bhavnagri Wayne State University
  • Xiaoming Li Wayne State University
  • Bonita Stanton Wayne State University
  • Sara Johns Eastern Michigan University
  • Sheretta Butler-Barnes Washington University in St. Louis



Social Interaction, Computers, African American


Despite increases in computer availability in the classroom, very little data exists on computer availability and its use in Head Start classrooms. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the impact of availability of computers on urban preschoolers’ naturally occurring social interactions in Head Start classrooms across one school year. The sample consisted of 66, predominantly African American, children in four urban, Head Start classrooms. A quasi-experimental design was employed in which three classrooms had computers, while one classroom served as the control. Naturally occurring social interactions were observed during free-play sessions over an 8-month period. Hierarchical linear modeling was used to analyze differences in social interactions across classrooms and school year. Results suggest that classroom computer availability may increase the interactive behavior of preschoolers. Results suggest that investing resources into a computer center in the Head Start classroom can have a positive effect on social development.

Author Biographies

Heather C. Janisse, Eastern Michigan University

Department of Psychology

Assistant Professor

Navaz Bhavnagri, Wayne State University

Xiaoming Li, Wayne State University

Bonita Stanton, Wayne State University

Sara Johns, Eastern Michigan University

Sheretta Butler-Barnes, Washington University in St. Louis






Research Articles