ERIC Number: EJ1071499
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Aug
Abstractor: As Provided
Early Childhood Memory and Attention as Predictors of Academic Growth Trajectories
Stipek, Deborah; Valentino, Rachel A.
Journal of Educational Psychology, v107 n3 p771-788 Aug 2015
Longitudinal data from the children of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) were used to assess how well measures of short-term and working memory and attention in early childhood predicted longitudinal growth trajectories in mathematics and reading comprehension. Analyses also examined whether changes in memory and attention were more strongly predictive of changes in academic skills in early childhood than in later childhood. All predictors were significantly associated with academic achievement and years of schooling attained, although the latter was at least partially mediated by predictors' effect on academic achievement in adolescence. The relationship of working memory and attention with academic outcomes was also found to be strong and positive in early childhood but nonsignificant or small and negative in later years. The study results provide support for a "fade-out" hypothesis, which suggests that underlying cognitive capacities predict learning in the early elementary grades, but the relationship fades by late elementary school. These findings suggest that whereas efforts to develop attention and memory may improve academic achievement in the early grades, in the later grades interventions that focus directly on subject matter learning are more likely to improve achievement.
Descriptors: Young Children, Longitudinal Studies, National Surveys, Short Term Memory, Attention, Reading Achievement, Mathematics Achievement, Reading Comprehension, Achievement Gains, Predictor Variables, Academic Achievement, Educational Attainment, Adolescents, Intelligence Tests, Achievement Tests, Hierarchical Linear Modeling
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: McCarthy Scales of Childrens Abilities; National Longitudinal Survey of Youth; Peabody Individual Achievement Test; Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test; Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A