The Relationship of Full Day Kindergarten, Children's Self-Regulation, and Early Academic Achievement Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/dv13zz91q

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  • Strong self-regulation skills can predict academic success in early childhood contexts, specifically for math and literacy skills, thus laying the foundation for future success (McClelland & Cameron, 2012; McClelland & Ponitz, 2011). Children’s exposure to increased instructional time in school through programs such as full day kindergarten (FDK) has also shown a myriad of benefits to children’s academic achievement (Cannon, Jacknowitz, & Painter, 2006; Cooper et al., 2010; Gibbs, 2014). Research has not yet examined the relationship between FDK and self-regulation or children’s self-regulation skills as a mediating or moderating factor for the association between FDK and academic achievement in math, literacy, and vocabulary. This study used multiple regression, mediation with bootstrapping, and moderation models to examine (1) how FDK is related to gains in self-regulation and academic achievement at the end of the kindergarten year when controlling for fall scores, and (2) if spring selfregulation scores in kindergarten mediate the association between FDK and academic achievement and (3) if fall self-regulation scores moderate the relationship between FDK and academic achievement. It was expected that FDK would be related to stronger self-regulation and stronger academic achievement in the spring of kindergarten. Self-regulation in spring was also expected to be a mediator of the relationship between FDK in the fall and academic Strong self-regulation skills can predict academic success in early childhood contexts, specifically for math and literacy skills, thus laying the foundation for future success (McClelland & Cameron, 2012; McClelland & Ponitz, 2011). Children’s exposure to increased instructional time in school through programs such as full day kindergarten (FDK) has also shown a myriad of benefits to children’s academic achievement (Cannon, Jacknowitz, & Painter, 2006; Cooper et al., 2010; Gibbs, 2014). Research has not yet examined the relationship between FDK and self-regulation or children’s self-regulation skills as a mediating or moderating factor for the association between FDK and academic achievement in math, literacy, and vocabulary. This study used multiple regression, mediation with bootstrapping, and moderation models to examine (1) how FDK is related to gains in self-regulation and academic achievement at the end of the kindergarten year when controlling for fall scores, and (2) if spring selfregulation scores in kindergarten mediate the association between FDK and academic achievement and (3) if fall self-regulation scores moderate the relationship between FDK and academic achievement. It was expected that FDK would be related to stronger self-regulation and stronger academic achievement in the spring of kindergarten. Self-regulation in spring was achievement in the spring. Last, it was expected self-regulation in the fall to moderate the relationship between FDK and academic achievement. Results from research question one indicated that FDK was significantly related to both literacy and vocabulary achievement in the spring of kindergarten but FDK was not significantly related to spring math achievement or spring self-regulation scores. For the second research question, no significant indirect mediation effects were found but several direct significant pathways within the mediation models were present. Specifically, spring self-regulation was significantly related to spring math achievement and spring vocabulary achievement. For the third research question, there was only one significant interaction indicating self-regulation as a moderator for the relationship between FDK and math achievement. When further probed, this interaction was proved to be not a meaningful moderator of the relationship between FDK and math achievement. No other significant interactions were found during the moderation analysis. The results from this study add to the knowledge regarding FDK, self-regulation, and academic achievement across the kindergarten year.
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