Direct and indirect pathways from children’s early self-regulation to academic achievement in fifth grade in Norway
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionLenes, R., McClelland, M. M., ten Braak, D. et al. (2020) Direct and indirect pathways from children’s early self-regulation to academic achievement in fifth grade in Norway. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 53, pp. 612-624.
A large body of research has documented the role of self-regulation in academic skill development for young children. However, few studies have investigated longitudinal and indirect effects from kindergarten through later elementary school. In this longitudinal Norwegian study, we investigated pathways from children’s self-regulation in kindergarten (Mage = 5.8; N = 243, 49% girls), to language and math skills in first grade (N = 240) and reading comprehension and math achievement in fifth grade (N = 160). Self-regulation was measured with direct and teacher-reported assessments. Path models showed that both directly assessed and teacher-reported self-regulation in kindergarten predicted math skills but not vocabulary and phonological awareness skills in first grade. Teacher-reported self-regulation indirectly predicted fifth grade reading comprehension through first grade teacher-reported self-regulation, and directly assessed self-regulation predicted fifth grade math achievement through math skills and directly assessed self-regulation in first grade. When controlling for kindergarten self-regulation, both self-regulation measures in first grade predicted fifth grade reading and directly assessed self-regulation predicted math achievement. Findings elucidate the foundational role of early self-regulation for later academic achievement and the differential effects of directly assessed versus teacher-reported self-regulation in a Norwegian sample.