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Learning and Individual Differences

Amber Y Wang, Lynn S Fuchs, Douglas Fuchs
The purpose of this study was to identify cognitive and linguistic predictors of word problems with versus without irrelevant information. The sample was 701 2nd-grade students who received no specialized intervention on word problems. In the fall, they were assessed on initial arithmetic and word-problem skill as well as language ability, working memory capacity, and processing speed; in the spring, they were tested on a word-problem measure that included items with versus without irrelevant information. Significant predictors common to both forms of word problems were initial arithmetic and word problem-solving skill as well as language and working memory...
December 2016: Learning and Individual Differences
Sara A Hart, Shayne B Piasta, Laura M Justice
The present study included 314 children who had been involved in Project STAR, and explored how two learning-related behaviors, interest in literacy and effortful control, moderated the impact of the literacy intervention on reading outcomes. Results indicated significant associations of both learning-related behaviors with reading, with the children with the highest literacy interest and effortful control in the intervention group showing the highest reading outcomes. These results indicate that accounting for a greater breadth of possible moderators of intervention impacts is an important area to explore...
August 2016: Learning and Individual Differences
Maria G Tosto, Kathryn Asbury, Michèle M M Mazzocco, Stephen A Petrill, Yulia Kovas
Drawing on Bandura's triadic reciprocal causation model, perceived classroom environment and three intrapersonal factors (mathematics self-efficacy, maths interest and academic self-concept) were considered as predictors of test performance in two correlated mathematics assessments: a public examination (GCSE) and an on-line test, both taken by UK pupils at age 16 (n = 6689). Intrapersonal factors were significantly associated with both test scores, even when the alternative score was taken into account. Classroom environment did not correlate with mathematics achievement once intrapersonal factors and alternative test performance were included in the model, but was associated with subject interest and academic self-concept...
August 2016: Learning and Individual Differences
Christopher R Wolfe, Valerie F Reyna, Colin L Widmer, Elizabeth M Cedillos-Whynott, Priscila G Brust-Renck, Audrey M Weil, Xiangen Hu
The BRCA Gist Intelligent Tutoring System helps women understand and make decisions about genetic testing for breast cancer risk. BRCA Gist is guided by Fuzzy-Trace Theory, (FTT) and built using AutoTutor Lite. It responds differently to participants depending on what they say. Seven tutorial dialogues requiring explanation and argumentation are guided by three FTT concepts: forming gist explanations in one's own words, emphasizing decision-relevant information, and deliberating the consequences of decision alternatives...
July 2016: Learning and Individual Differences
Curtis Tatsuoka, Bridget McGowan, Tomoko Yamada, Kimberly Andrews Espy, Nori Minich, H Gerry Taylor
Although mathematics disabilities (MD) are common in extremely preterm/extremely low birth weight (EPT/ELBW) children, little is known about the nature of these problems. In this study partially ordered set (POSET) models were applied to classify 140 EPT/ELBW kindergarten children (gestational age <28 weeks and/or birth weight <1000 g) and 110 normal birth weight (NBW) controls into profiles of numerical and cognitive skills. Models based on five numerical skills and five executive function and processing speed skills provided a good fit to performance data...
July 2016: 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
Rahila M Simzar, Marcela Martinez, Teomara Rutherford, Thurston Domina, AnneMarie M Conley
This study uses data from an urban school district to examine the relation between students' motivational beliefs about mathematics and high- versus low-stakes math test performance. We use ordinary least squares and quantile regression analyses and find that the association between students' motivation and test performance differs based on the stakes of the exam. Students' math self-efficacy and performance avoidance goal orientation were the strongest predictors for both exams; however, students' math self-efficacy was more strongly related to achievement on the low-stakes exam...
April 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
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