A structural model of the effects of preschool attention on kindergarten literacy

Abstract

Factors that lead to poor achievement in literacy are evident prior to a child beginning kindergarten. In the present study, we examined the importance of including attention in a model for predicting emergent literacy in prekindergarten and subsequent reading abilities in kindergarten. The sample was 250 children attending public prekindergarten and kindergarten. Structural equation modeling was used to test our hypothesis that children’s early literacy skills mediate the relationship between preschoolers’ attention and kindergarten decoding abilities. Using early literacy as a mediator between early attention and later decoding provided a good model fit. Results suggest that attention was integral to the fit of the model and that attention in preschool is related to the development of early literacy skills above and beyond the contribution of maternal education to these skills. The implication of our study is that attention in early childhood should be considered an important part of literacy development.

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Correspondence to Jaime L. Dice.

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Dice, J.L., Schwanenflugel, P. A structural model of the effects of preschool attention on kindergarten literacy. Read Writ 25, 2205–2222 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11145-011-9354-3

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Keywords

  • Attention
  • Emergent literacy
  • Kindergarten
  • Literacy
  • Maternal education
  • Preschool