Early home learning environment predicts children’s 5th grade academic skills

Catherine S. Tamis-LeMonda, Rufan Luo, Karen E. McFadden, Eileen T. Bandel, Claire Vallotton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We examined whether the early learning environment predicts children’s 5th grade skills in 2,204 families from ethnically diverse, low-income backgrounds; tested the mediating roles of children’s pre-kindergarten school-related skills and later learning environment; and asked whether lagged associations generalize across White, Black, Hispanic English-speaking, and Hispanic Spanish-speaking samples. Children’s early learning environment comprised measures of literacy activities, the quality of mothers’ engagements with children, and learning materials assessed at 14 months, 2 and 3 years, and at pre-kindergarten; learning environments were again assessed in 5th grade. At pre-kindergarten and in 5th grade, children were assessed on pre-academic and academic skills respectively. Early learning environments predicted children’s 5th grade academic skills, and children’s pre-kindergarten skills and 5th grade learning environment mediated longitudinal associations. The early learning environment supports the emergence of pre-academic skills that are stable into early adolescence, and pathways generalize across ethnic/racial groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-169
Number of pages17
JournalApplied Developmental Science
Volume23
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 3 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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