Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Department Chair

Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP

First Advisor

Jessica Glass-Kendorski, PhD, NCSP

Second Advisor

Virginia Salzer, PhD, NCSP

Third Advisor

Karen Taratuski, PsyD, NCS


This qualitative study focuses on the experiences of 11 school-aged children who were retained during either their Kindergarten or 1st grade years. By using a semi-structured interview, the author examined these children’s beliefs about the reasons why they were retained through exploration of their memories, feelings, and outcomes associated with the experiences. Children were also encouraged to reflect on aspects of the experiences they wished had gone differently and to offer advice to other children who may be preparing for retention experiences. The results indicated that there is evidence of some resiliency; however, children generally experienced a wide variety of emotions and their self-esteem was impacted. Children were most concerned about losing social connections with their peers in the context of repeating the grade. Improved communication in helping children to understand the reasons for their retentions are needed.