Behavioral and cognitive readiness for school: Cross-domain associations for children attending head start

Karen L. Bierman, Marcela M. Torres, Celene E. Domitrovich, Janet A. Welsh, Scott D. Gest

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

106 Scopus citations

Abstract

Utilizing a diverse sample of 356 four-year-old children attending Head Start, this study examined the degree to which behavioral aspects of school readiness, including classroom participation, prosocial behavior, and aggression control were related to direct assessments of child cognitive readiness (academic knowledge, executive function skills) at the start of the prekindergarten year. Classroom participation and prosocial behavior each accounted for unique variance in cognitive readiness. Aggressive behavior, in contrast, was not correlated with academic knowledge, and was associated with low levels of executive function skills. In multiple regressions, aggressive behavior paradoxically enhanced the prediction of child cognitive readiness. Profile analyses strengthened the conclusion that the promotion of competencies associated with classroom participation and prosocial behavior may be particularly critical to cognitive readiness in prekindergarten. Implications are discussed for developmental models of school readiness and preschool classroom practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)305-323
Number of pages19
JournalSocial Development
Volume18
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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