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Inattentive Behavior and Homework Performance in Elementary School: the Mediating Effects of Academic Enablers

Abstract

Early attention skills have been found to be a significant and consistent predictor of academic outcomes, grades, and achievement results (Rabiner et al., School Psychology Review, 45(2), 250–267, 2016; Rhoades et al., Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 26(2), 182–191, 2011). A significant portion of students in elementary school experience attention difficulties, which can lead to difficulties attaining fundamental academic skills and enablers (DiPerna & Elliot, School Psychology Review, 31(3), 293–297, 2002; Merrell & Tymms, British Journal of Educational Psychology, 71(1), 43–56, 2001). The current study aimed to investigate the role of four academic enablers—motivation, study skills, interpersonal skills, and engagement—in the relationship between inattention and homework performance. Teachers completed questionnaires on inattention, academic enablers, and homework for 147 students in 1st through 4th grades. Using a multivariate path analytic approach, we tested the hypothesis that the academic enablers would have mediational, and potentially differential, effects on the relationship between inattention and two facets of homework performance—homework responsibility and homework competence. Our proposed model was supported by the data; results suggested that academic enablers play a significant role in the relationship between inattention and homework performance. These findings support a shift in focus to supporting students’ academic enabling behavior as a means of providing the necessary academic skills to mitigate the effects of attention difficulties on academic outcomes.

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Correspondence to Maria Rogers.

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Oram, R., Rogers, M. Inattentive Behavior and Homework Performance in Elementary School: the Mediating Effects of Academic Enablers. Contemp School Psychol (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40688-021-00353-w

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Keywords

  • Inattention
  • Homework
  • Motivation
  • Study skills
  • ADHD