Research

Achievement, Attention, and Behavior Across Middle Childhood

Investigator: Greg Duncan

Funding: Spencer Foundation

This research focuses on school readiness by assessing the impact of school-entry achievement, attention, and socio-emotional skills on learning-related behaviors, utilizing existing data sets. Findings to date indicate that children entering kindergarten with elementary math and reading skills are the most likely to do well in school later, even if they have various social and emotional problems. Controlling for IQ, family income, gender, temperament, type of previous educational experience, and whether children came from single- or two-parent families, mastery of early math concepts when entering school was the strongest predictor of future academic success.

Other findings in this project indicate that ill-behaved boys and girls from either rich or poor families learn just as much as their better behaved or more socially adjusted peers-provided that they come to school with the prerequisite academic skills.