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Executive function skills and academic achievement gains in prekindergarten: Contributions of learning-related behaviors.
Dev Psychol. 2015 Jul; 51(7):865-78.DP

Abstract

Although research suggests associations between children's executive function skills and their academic achievement, the specific mechanisms that may help explain these associations in early childhood are unclear. This study examined whether children's (N = 1,103; M age = 54.5 months) executive function skills at the beginning of prekindergarten (pre-K) predict their learning-related behaviors in the classroom and whether these behaviors then mediate associations between children's executive function skills and their pre-K literacy, language, and mathematic gains. Learning-related behaviors were quantified in terms of (a) higher levels of involvement in learning opportunities; (b) greater frequency of participation in activities that require sequential steps; (c) more participation in social-learning interactions; and (d) less instances of being unoccupied, disruptive, or in time out. Results indicated that children's learning-related behaviors mediated associations between executive function skills and literacy and mathematics gains through children's level of involvement, sequential learning behaviors, and disengagement from the classroom. The implications of the findings for early childhood education are discussed.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Peabody Research Institute, Vanderbilt University.Peabody Research Institute, Vanderbilt University.Department of Psychology, University of Dayton.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

Language

eng

PubMed ID

26010383

Citation

Nesbitt, Kimberly Turner, et al. "Executive Function Skills and Academic Achievement Gains in Prekindergarten: Contributions of Learning-related Behaviors." Developmental Psychology, vol. 51, no. 7, 2015, pp. 865-78.
Nesbitt KT, Farran DC, Fuhs MW. Executive function skills and academic achievement gains in prekindergarten: Contributions of learning-related behaviors. Dev Psychol. 2015;51(7):865-78.
Nesbitt, K. T., Farran, D. C., & Fuhs, M. W. (2015). Executive function skills and academic achievement gains in prekindergarten: Contributions of learning-related behaviors. Developmental Psychology, 51(7), 865-78. https://doi.org/10.1037/dev0000021
Nesbitt KT, Farran DC, Fuhs MW. Executive Function Skills and Academic Achievement Gains in Prekindergarten: Contributions of Learning-related Behaviors. Dev Psychol. 2015;51(7):865-78. PubMed PMID: 26010383.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Executive function skills and academic achievement gains in prekindergarten: Contributions of learning-related behaviors. AU - Nesbitt,Kimberly Turner, AU - Farran,Dale Clark, AU - Fuhs,Mary Wagner, Y1 - 2015/05/25/ PY - 2015/5/27/entrez PY - 2015/5/27/pubmed PY - 2016/1/6/medline SP - 865 EP - 78 JF - Developmental psychology JO - Dev Psychol VL - 51 IS - 7 N2 - Although research suggests associations between children's executive function skills and their academic achievement, the specific mechanisms that may help explain these associations in early childhood are unclear. This study examined whether children's (N = 1,103; M age = 54.5 months) executive function skills at the beginning of prekindergarten (pre-K) predict their learning-related behaviors in the classroom and whether these behaviors then mediate associations between children's executive function skills and their pre-K literacy, language, and mathematic gains. Learning-related behaviors were quantified in terms of (a) higher levels of involvement in learning opportunities; (b) greater frequency of participation in activities that require sequential steps; (c) more participation in social-learning interactions; and (d) less instances of being unoccupied, disruptive, or in time out. Results indicated that children's learning-related behaviors mediated associations between executive function skills and literacy and mathematics gains through children's level of involvement, sequential learning behaviors, and disengagement from the classroom. The implications of the findings for early childhood education are discussed. SN - 1939-0599 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/26010383/Executive_function_skills_and_academic_achievement_gains_in_prekindergarten:_Contributions_of_learning_related_behaviors_ L2 - http://content.apa.org/journals/dev/51/7/865 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -