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The school readiness of high-risk children : a longitudinal investigation of learning competence during the early grades

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The school readiness of high-risk children : a longitudinal investigation of learning competence during the early grades

Saltaris, Christina (2002) The school readiness of high-risk children : a longitudinal investigation of learning competence during the early grades. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

The present investigation examines the competence of high-risk children as they face the challenges of school transition and the early grades. A comprehensive perspective on children's school functioning is presented, including their academic performance, work-related skills, and behavioral/interpersonal style. Within a group of children considered vulnerable to school difficulties because of their family background and early functioning, several child, family, and contextual factors are studied as predictors of school outcomes over time. The current study, comprised of three sections, involves a subset ( N = 83) of participants from the Concordia Longitudinal Risk Project, a 25-year, prospective, longitudinal investigation of individuals at elevated risk for psychosocial adversity. The focus of Part I is on the links between early child characteristics and abilities and various aspects of school competence. In Part II, the ability of high-risk mothers to foster the learning competence of their school-age offspring is examined. Finally, in Part III, an ecological model of school functioning that emphasizes the additive contribution of child, family, and contextual factors in the development of children's learning competence is tested. The findings from the present investigation provide support for the notion that the roots of academic and social competence in the early grades are established during previous periods in children's development. Specifically, children's cognitive functioning during the toddler and preschool years emerges as one of the most critical markers of school readiness. Children's early social behavior and gender are also found to bear on various aspects of their school adaptation. Finally, within a group of families from moderate to high-risk backgrounds, the quality of parenting is found to represent a strong predictor of children's school functioning. The current findings are discussed in terms of implications for future research, clinical interventions, and social policy.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Psychology
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Saltaris, Christina
Pagination:xi, 280 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (Ph.D.)
Program:Psychology
Date:2002
Thesis Supervisor(s):Serbin, Lisa A
ID Code:2162
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:25
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:25
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