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Associations between preschool cognitive and behavioral skills and college enrollment: Evidence from the Chicago School Readiness Project


The current article examines associations between preschool cognitive and behavioral skills and indicators of college enrollment in a sample (n = 379) of primarily Black and Hispanic youth growing up in low-income areas of Chicago. Although we found that most early cognitive and behavioral skills were only weakly or moderately related to later college enrollment, a rating of preschool attention and impulsivity control was a relatively strong predictor. Across most models tested, attention and impulsivity control, executive functioning, and effortful control produced predicted probabilities that were similar in magnitude, or larger, than the effects produced by early math and literacy. There was no indication that early behavioral difficulties were substantive predictors of college enrollment. These descriptive findings suggest that in a low-income sample of children, some early cognitive capabilities related to attention and EF predict longer term college enrollment. We discuss implications for developmental theory and suggest that caution should be applied when projecting likely effects of early skill-focused interventions. (author abstract)

Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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