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Longitudinal predictors of reading and math trajectories through middle school for African American versus Caucasian students across two samples.

Authors
  • Hooper, Stephen R
  • Roberts, Joanne
  • Sideris, John
  • Burchinal, Margaret
  • Zeisel, Susan
Type
Published Article
Journal
Developmental psychology
Publication Date
Sep 01, 2010
Volume
46
Issue
5
Pages
1018–1029
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1037/a0018877
PMID: 20822220
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

This study's primary purpose was to examine the relative contribution of social-behavioral predictors to reading and math skills. The study expands on Duncan et al.'s (2007) work by using longitudinal methodology from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development's Study of Child Care and Youth Development (SECCYD) and the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 1998-1999 (ECLS-K) databases, and by focusing on potential differences in patterns of early predictors of later reading and math trajectories for African American versus Caucasian students. Predictor measures were selected at kindergarten, and the outcomes included standardized reading and math scores obtained from Grades 1, 3, 5, and 9 for the SECCYD sample, and Grades 3, 5, and 8 for the ECLS-K sample. Consistent with Duncan et al.'s findings, results reflect the relative contributions of early reading and math skills to later functioning in these respective academic domains for both samples, and there are indications for the importance of early expressive language skills to both reading and math in the SECCYD sample. Findings related to the power of social-behavioral predictors, however, are not consistent across samples. Although the SECCYD sample evidenced no such predictors, several interactions in the ECLS-K sample suggested the moderating effects of early ratings of aggressive behaviors and internalizing behaviors on later reading and math for African American students. The moderating effects of early teacher ratings of attention and internalizing behaviors for African American students as compared with Caucasian students in later math growth also were noted. The importance of early social-behavioral functions as related to later academic skills remains an important area of inquiry.

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