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Learning and Individual Differences

Eveline L de Zeeuw, Catharina E M van Beijsterveldt, Tina J Glasner, Eco J C de Geus, Dorret I Boomsma
Even children attending the same primary school and taught by the same teacher differ greatly in their performance. In the Netherlands, performance at the end of primary school determines the enrollment in a particular level of secondary education. Identifying the impact of genes and the environment on individual differences in educational achievement between children is important. The Netherlands Twin Register has collected data on scores of tests used in primary school (ages 6 to 12) to monitor a child's educational progress in four domains, i...
April 2016: Learning and Individual Differences
Ui Jeong Moon, Sandra L Hofferth
Gender differences in elementary school performance among immigrant children have not yet been well documented. This study examined how differences in parental involvement, child effort, and family characteristics and resources contribute to immigrant boys'-and girls' academic achievement from kindergarten through 5(th)-grade. The sample was drawn from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten cohort. Using a latent score growth model, this study found that parents' involvement at home benefited boys' reading and mathematics skills throughout all early elementary school years, but did not have the same benefit for girls...
April 1, 2016: Learning and Individual Differences
Sergey A Kornilov, Tatiana V Lebedeva, Marina A Zhukova, Natalia A Prikhoda, Irina V Korotaeva, Roman A Koposov, Lesley Hart, Jodi Reich, Elena L Grigorenko
Using a newly developed Assessment of the Development of Russian Language (ORRIA), we investigated differences in language development between rural vs. urban Russian-speaking children (n = 100 with a mean age of 6.75) subdivided into groups with and without developmental language disorders. Using classical test theory and item response theory approaches, we found that while ORRIA displayed overall satisfactory psychometric properties, several of its items showed differential item functioning favoring rural children, and several others favoring urban children...
February 2016: Learning and Individual Differences
Paul Bangirana, Robert O Opoka, Michael J Boivin, Richard Idro, James S Hodges, Chandy C John
This study assessed the effects of cerebral malaria (CM) and severe malarial anemia (SMA) on individual neurocognitive domains. Eighty children with CM, 86 with SMA, and 61 community children (CC) were assessed for gross motor skills, fine motor skills, visual reception, receptive language, and expressive language a week after discharge (CM or SMA) or at enrolment (CC), and 6 and 12 months later. At 12-months follow-up, children with CM had significantly lower scores than CC for all outcomes. Children with SMA had significantly lower scores than CC for visual reception, receptive language, and expressive language, and scores that were lower but did not reach significance for gross and fine motor skills...
February 2016: Learning and Individual Differences
Catalina Mourgues, Mei Tan, Sascha Hein, Emma Ojanen, Jodi Reich, Heikki Lyytinen, Elena L Grigorenko
Associative learning has been identified as one of several non-linguistic processes involved in reading acquisition. However, it has not been established whether it is an independent process that contributes to reading performance on its own or whether it is a process that is embedded in other linguistic skills (e.g., phonological awareness or phonological memory) and, therefore, contributing to reading performance indirectly. Research has shown that performance on tasks assessing associative learning, e.g...
February 2016: Learning and Individual Differences
Sascha Hein, Mei Tan, Jodi Reich, Philip E Thuma, Elena L Grigorenko
This study uses hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) to examine the school factors (i.e., related to school organization and teacher and student body) associated with non-verbal intelligence (NI) and nutritional status (i.e., body mass index; BMI) of 4204 3(rd) to 7(th) graders in rural areas of Southern Province, Zambia. Results showed that 23.5% and 7.7% of the NI and BMI variance, respectively, were conditioned by differences between schools. The set of 14 school factors accounted for 58.8% and 75.9% of the between-school differences in NI and BMI, respectively...
February 2016: Learning and Individual Differences
Itziar Familiar, Noeline Nakasujja, Judith Bass, Alla Sikorskii, Sarah Murray, Horacio Ruisenor-Escudero, Paul Bangirana, Robert Opoka, Michael J Boivin
Maternal mental health (particularly depression) may influence how they report on their child's behavior. Few research studies have focused on Sub-Saharan countries where pediatric HIV concentrates and impacts child neuropsychological development and caregiver mental health. We investigated the associations between caregivers' depressive symptoms and neuropsychological outcomes in HIV-infected (n=118) and HIV-exposed (n=164) Ugandan children aged 2-5 years. We compared performance-based tests of development (Mullen Scales of Early Learning, Color Object Association Test), to a caregiver report of executive function (Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function, BRIEF)...
February 2016: Learning and Individual Differences
Sascha Hein, Jodi Reich, Sarah Marks, Philip E Thuma, Elena L Grigorenko
Careful development and adaptation of assessments is imperative for cultural psychological research. However, despite the best efforts, the use of assessments in new contexts can reveal atypical and/or unexpected patterns of performance. We found this to be the case in the testing of assessments to be used for a larger investigation of Specific Reading Disabilities in Zambia. In a sample of 207 children (100 female) from grades 2 to 7, we illustrated that assessment characteristics (i.e., stimulus type, answer choice, and response type) differentially impact patterns of responsiveness...
February 2016: Learning and Individual Differences
Maria A Gartstein, Sam Putnam, Rachel Kliewer
Examined relationships between temperament, measured via parent report at 4 months and structures laboratory observations at 12 months of age, and a school readiness battery administered at about 4 years of age (N=31). Scores on the School Readiness Assessment of the Bracken Basic Concept Scale (BBCS) were related to infant Positive Affectivity/Surgency (PAS), with infants described as demonstrating higher levels of PAS at 4 months of age later demonstrating greater school readiness in the domains of color, letter, and number skills...
January 1, 2016: Learning and Individual Differences
Callie W Little, Sara A Hart
The present study is an examination of the genetic and environmental effects on the associations among reading fluency, spelling and earlier reading comprehension on a later reading comprehension outcome (FCAT) in a combined sample of 3(rd) and 4(th) grade students using data from the 2011-2012 school year of the Florida Twin project on Reading (Taylor et al., 2013). A genetically sensitive model was applied to the data with results indicating a common genetic component among all four measures, along with shared and non-shared environmental influences common between reading fluency, spelling and FCAT...
January 1, 2016: Learning and Individual Differences
Amy C Hartl, Dawn DeLay, Brett Laursen, Jill Denner, Linda Werner, Shannon Campe, Eloy Ortiz
This study examines whether friendship facilitates or hinders learning in a dyadic instructional setting. Working in 80 same-sex pairs, 160 (60 girls, 100 boys) middle school students (M = 12.13 years old) were taught a new computer programming language and programmed a game. Students spent 14 to 30 (M = 22.7) hours in a programming class. At the beginning and the end of the project, each participant separately completed (a) computer programming knowledge assessments and (b) questionnaires rating their affinity for their partner...
December 1, 2015: Learning and Individual Differences
Tashauna L Blankenship, Meagan O'Neill, Alleyne Ross, Martha Ann Bell
The contributions of working memory and recollection to academic achievement are typically examined separately and most often with children who have learning difficulties. This study is the first to observe both types of memory in the same study and in typically developing children. Academic achievement focused on standardized assessments of math fluency, calculation, reading fluency, and passage comprehension. As noted in previous studies, working memory was associated with each assessed measure of academic achievement...
October 1, 2015: Learning and Individual Differences
Angela L Duckworth, Elizabeth P Shulman, Andrew J Mastronarde, Sarah D Patrick, Jinghui Zhang, Jeremy Druckman
Girls earn better grades than boys, but the mechanism explaining this gender difference is not well understood. We examined the relative importance of self-control and motivation in explaining the female advantage in grades. In Study 1, we surveyed middle school teachers and found they judged girls to be higher in both school motivation and self-control. In Studies 2 and 3-using self-reported motivation and teacher- and/or parent-reported self-control, and quarterly and final grades obtained from school records-we find that self-control, but not school motivation, helps to explain the gender gap in academic performance...
April 1, 2015: Learning and Individual Differences
Young-Suk Kim, Stephanie Al Otaiba, Jeanne Wanzek
The primary goal of the present study was to examine the relations of kindergarten transcription, oral language, word reading, and attention skills to writing skills in third grade. Children (N = 157) were assessed on their letter writing automaticity, spelling, oral language, word reading, and attention in kindergarten. Then, they were assessed on writing in third grade using three writing tasks - one narrative and two expository prompts. Children's written compositions were evaluated in terms of writing quality (the extent to which ideas were developed and presented in an organized manner)...
January 1, 2015: Learning and Individual Differences
Jeanette Taylor, Sara A Hart
This study examined the association between socioemotional dispositions from the developmental propensity model and reading comprehension and whether those associations could be accounted for by level of chaos in the home. Data from 342 monozygotic and 333 same-sex dizygotic twin pairs age 7-13 years were used. A parent rated the twins on sympathy, respect for rules, negative emotionality, and daring and level of chaos in the twins' home. Reading comprehension was measured using a state-wide school assessment...
October 1, 2014: Learning and Individual Differences
Rebecca B Martin, Paul T Cirino, Carla Sharp, Marcia Barnes
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
August 1, 2014: Learning and Individual Differences
Jasmin Niedo Jones, Robert D Abbott, Virginia W Berninger
Human traits tend to fall along normal distributions. The aim of this research was to evaluate an evidence-based conceptual framework for predicting expected individual differences in reading and writing achievement outcomes for typically developing readers and writers in early and middle childhood from Verbal Reasoning with or without Working Memory Components (phonological, orthographic, and morphological word storage and processing units, phonological and orthographic loops, and rapid switching attention for cross-code integration)...
May 1, 2014: Learning and Individual Differences
Daniel A Briley, Matthew Domiteaux, Elliot M Tucker-Drob
Many achievement-relevant personality measures (APMs) have been developed, but the interrelations among APMs or associations with the broader personality landscape are not well-known. In Study 1, 214 participants were measured on 36 APMs and a measure of the Big Five. Factor analytic results supported the convergent and discriminant validity of five latent dimensions: performance, mastery, self-doubt, effort, and intellectual investment. Conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness to experience had the most consistent associations with APMs...
May 1, 2014: Learning and Individual Differences
Tammy D Tolar, Amy E Barth, Jack M Fletcher, David J Francis, Sharon Vaughn
Effective implementation of response-to-intervention (RTI) frameworks depends on efficient tools for monitoring progress. Evaluations of growth (i.e., slope) may be less efficient than evaluations of status at a single time point, especially if slopes do not add to predictions of outcomes over status. We examined progress monitoring slope validity for predicting reading outcomes among middle school students by evaluating latent growth models for different progress monitoring measure-outcome combinations. We used multi-group modeling to evaluate the effects of reading ability, reading intervention, and progress monitoring administration condition on slope validity...
February 1, 2014: Learning and Individual Differences
Cynthia S Puranik, Yaacov Petscher, Christopher J Lonigan
The primary purpose of this study was to examine the dimensionality and reliability of letter writing skills in preschool children with the aim of determining whether a sequence existed in how children learn to write the letters of the alphabet. Additionally, we examined gender differences in the development of letter writing skills. 471 children aged 3 to 5 years old completed a letter writing task. Results from factor analyses indicated that letter writing represented a unidimensional skill. Similar to research findings that the development of letter-names and letter-sound knowledge varies in acquisition, our findings indicate that the ability to write some letters is acquired earlier than the ability to write other letters...
December 2013: Learning and Individual Differences
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