School-readiness profiles of children with language impairment: Linkages to home and classroom experiences
This study represents an effort to advance our understanding of the nature of school readiness among children with language impairment (LI), a population of children acknowledged to be at risk of poor academic achievement. The academic, social-emotional, and behavioural competencies with which children arrive at kindergarten affect the nature of their future educational experiences, and their overall academic achievement. Aims: To examine whether there are reliable profiles that characterize children with LI just prior to kindergarten entrance, and the extent to which profile membership is associated with characteristics of children's homes and preschool experiences. Questions addressed were twofold: (1) To what extent are there reliable profiles of children with LI with respect to their school readiness? (2) To what extent is children's profile membership associated with characteristics of their homes and preschool classrooms? Methods & Procedures: Participants were 136 children with LI from early childhood special education classrooms. We utilized latent class analysis (LCA) to classify individuals into profiles based on individual responses on school readiness measures. We then used multilevel hierarchical generalized linear models to examine the relations between profile membership and children's home/classroom experiences. Outcomes & Results: LCA analyses revealed that a four-profile solution was the most appropriate fit for the data and that classroom experiences were predictive of these profiles, such that children in classrooms with more instructional/emotional support were more likely to be placed in profiles characterized by higher school readiness skills. Conclusions & Implications: These results suggest that the school readiness profiles of young children with LI are associated with the quality of children's classroom experiences, and that high-quality classroom experiences can be influential for ensuring that young children with LI arrive in kindergarten ready to learn. (author abstract)
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