School readiness and later achievement: replication and extension using a nationwide Canadian survey

Dev Psychol. 2010 Sep;46(5):995-1007. doi: 10.1037/a0018880.


In this article we replicate and extend findings from Duncan et al. (2007). The 1st study used Canada-wide data on 1,521 children from the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY) to examine the influence of kindergarten literacy and math skills, mother-reported attention, and mother-reported socioemotional behaviors on 3rd-grade math and reading outcomes. Similar to Duncan et al., (a) math skills were the strongest predictor of later achievement, (b) literacy and attention skills predicted later achievement, and (c) socioemotional behaviors did not significantly predict later school achievement. As part of extending the findings, we incorporated a multiple imputation approach to handle missing predictor variable data. Results paralleled those from the original study in that kindergarten math skills and Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-Revised scores continued to predict later achievement. However, we also found that kindergarten socioemotional behaviors, specifically hyperactivity/impulsivity, prosocial behavior, and anxiety/depression, were significant predictors of 3rd-grade math and reading. In the 2nd study, we used data from the NLSCY and the Montreal Longitudinal-Experimental Preschool Study (MLEPS), which was included in Duncan et al., to extend previous findings by examining the influence of kindergarten achievement, attention, and socioemotional behaviors on 3rd-grade socioemotional outcomes. Both NLSCY and MLEPS findings indicated that kindergarten math significantly predicted socioemotional behaviors. There were also a number of significant relationships between early and later socioemotional behaviors. Findings support the importance of socioemotional behaviors both as predictors of later school success and as indicators of school success.

MeSH terms

  • Achievement*
  • Canada
  • Child
  • Child Behavior*
  • Child Development / physiology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Data Collection
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Language
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Mathematics
  • Mothers / psychology
  • Reading*
  • Schools*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Statistics as Topic