Predicting Early Literacy Growth: The Influence of Temperament and Social Behaviors
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The foundations of lifelong academic and personal success are initially shaped even before children start school. Research is beginning to pinpoint the salient developmental characteristics of successful outcomes. In particular, temperament, social skills, problem behaviors, and self-regulatory abilities, specifically effortful control, are studied as important components of personality that can affect the performance of children in academic settings. To further analyze these relationships, this study examined the influence of the 2 components of the SSRS-T (social skills and problem behaviors) and the 3 shortened characteristics of the CBQ (surgency, negative affect, and effortful control) on the Woodcock-Johnson III scores of 117 Michigan State University Lab School preschoolers over the course the 2008-2009 school year. Regression results demonstrated a significant positive relationship between effortful control and WJ-111 literacy growth measures. Further correlation results reveal high ratings of social skills were positively correlated to literacy growth and high ratings of problems behaviors were negatively correlated with literacy growth. These results suggest future researchers examine the specific components of effortful control that contribute to academic success. The results also propose that additional studies isolate and investigate the components of negative affect which remain unstudied. Finally, the results recommend that educational administrations include self-regulatory programs within their academic curriculum to cultivate optimum student success.