Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

Early family risk and children's academic achievement Public Deposited

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https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/rv042z70v

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  • Children who have multiple family risk factors are at increased risk for poor developmental outcomes, including poor academic achievement. The present study focused on charting the pathways through which early family risk – as indexed by ethnic minority status, low maternal education, low family income, and chronic maternal depressive symptoms – influences academic achievement in first grade using data on 1,364 children from the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development. In addition, the mediating role of children's social competency and behavioral regulation at 54 months was explored.Structural equation modeling indicated that family risk factors during early childhood negatively influenced social competency, behavioral regulation, and academic achievement in first grade, but the mechanisms by which each risk factor exerted influence on academic achievement varied. Child's ethnicity emerged as being significantly and directly related to lower achievement. Maternal education and average family income-to-needs ratio were primarily associated with lower achievement directly with a small indirect effect through behavioral regulation. In contrast, maternal depression had a modest indirect effect through behavioral regulation, such that as the number of time points a mother showed significant depressive symptoms increased,children's behavioral skills decreased, which, in turn, was related to lower academic achievement in first grade.In addition, behavioral regulation significantly predicted better reading,mathematics, and vocabulary achievement in first grade after controlling for early family risk factors. Results suggest that strengthening a child's behavioral regulation skills prior to school entry may help to compensate for early exposure to family risk factors and decrease the likelihood of poor academic adjustment and later academic failure.
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