Profiles of emergent writing skills among preschool children
Background Research suggests that considerable individual differences may exist among preschool children in terms of emergent writing performance. However, there is no study examining this variability. Objective This research explored the patterns of within-group individual differences in the emergent writing skills of preschool children. Method Cluster analysis was employed to identify profiles of emergent writing skills in two independent samples (children from middle-socioeconomic status backgrounds N = 36; children from socioeconomically and racial/ethnically diverse backgrounds N = 367). Results Cluster analysis identified three emergent writing profiles: (1) highest emergent writing-strength in letter writing and spelling; (2) average emergent writing-strength in name writing; and (3) lowest emergent writing across skills. Children's letter name knowledge and phonological awareness significantly predicted profile membership when controlling for age. Conclusion These findings provide evidence regarding the heterogeneity of preschool children's emergent writing skills and suggest that different profiles of emergent writing can be explained by children's letter name knowledge, phonological awareness, and age. (author abstract)
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