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Cognitive predictors of kindergarten achievement in African American children


Three aspects of cognition (fluid intelligence, executive functioning, and crystallized intelligence) in pre-K were examined as predictors of math and reading achievement in kindergarten among an economically diverse sample of 198 African American children. From a variable-centered perspective, confirmatory factor analyses revealed that the three aspects of cognition can be distinguished. Subsequent regression analyses indicated that only executive functioning and crystallized intelligence predicted math and reading achievement in kindergarten. From a person-centered perspective, three profiles of cognition were identified: low fluid and crystallized intelligence with average executive functioning, average abilities in all three areas, and high abilities in all three areas, but particularly higher in executive functioning. Children with low fluid and crystallized intelligence during pre-K had the lowest math and reading skills in kindergarten, whereas children with the highest cognitive skills had the highest math and reading skills in kindergarten. Together, the variable-centered and person-centered results suggest that perhaps there should be increased focus on crystallized intelligence in early education programs, policies, and interventions in addition to a focus on executive functioning. (author abstract)

Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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