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Predicting Children's Competence in the Early School Years: A Meta-Analytic Review

Karen M. La Paro and Robert C. Pianta
Review of Educational Research
Vol. 70, No. 4 (Winter, 2000), pp. 443-484
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1170778
Page Count: 42
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Predicting Children's Competence in the Early School Years: A Meta-Analytic Review
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Abstract

School readiness screenings are prevalent throughout the United States. Although readiness encompasses a multitude of components, readiness assessments generally focus on measuring and predicting children's pre-academic skills and behaviors and are often the basis for placement and programming decisions. However, no quantitative estimates of effect sizes exist for the relations between preschool or kindergarten academic/cognitive and social/behavioral assessments and early school outcomes. This review presents the results of a meta-analysis of cross-time relations of academic/cognitive and social/behavioral assessments from preschool to second grade. Results from 70 longitudinal studies that reported correlations between academic/cognitive and social/behavioral measures administered in preschool or kindergarten and similar measures administered in first and second grade were included in the analysis. Academic/cognitive assessments predicting similar outcomes showed moderate effect sizes across both time spans; effect sizes were small for social/behavioral predictors of early school social outcomes. Effect sizes varied considerably across individual studies and samples. Findings are discussed in terms of assessment and conceptualization of school readiness, the role of school and classroom experiences in contributing to individual differences in school outcomes, and the importance of a quantitative estimate of effect size for early education policy and practice.

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