Longitudinal associations among interest, persistence, supportive parenting, and achievement in early childhood
This study investigates two facets of children's school readiness: interest in new cognitive tasks (interest) and persistence in task completion (persistence). Little attention has been paid to the early development of these learning behaviors, although they might prove susceptible to intervention even before school entry. Using data from the Early Head Start Research and Evaluation Project, a sample of low-income children (N = 1771) was followed to model bidirectional associations among interest and persistence and maternal supportive parenting between ages 1 and 3, and estimate associations between children's interest and persistence at age 3 and their academic skills at age 5. Results indicate that maternal supportive parenting influences children's interest and persistence more strongly and consistently than interest or persistence influences parenting, and that interest but not persistence transacts with parenting over time. Interest and persistence were equally predictive of children's early academic skills. Findings affirm that both interest and persistence during toddlerhood predict children's academic standing at school entry. (author abstract)
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