Preschool Competency in Context: An Investigation of the Unique Contribution of Child Competencies to Early Academic Success

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Abstract

The present concurrent study combined developmental and ecological considerations to examine the unique contribution of multiple preschool competencies to an indicator of early academic success. Participants included 195 Head Start children from 32 classrooms representative of a large, urban Head Start program. Dimensional (variable-centered) analyses revealed 3 distinct classroom competency dimensions (i.e., General Classroom Competencies, Specific Approaches to Learning, and Interpersonal Classroom Behavioral Problems). The first 2 of these dimensions were found to be uniquely associated with early academic success. Findings from typological (person-centered) analyses supported the dimensional findings. Typological analyses revealed 7 profiles of classroom competency distinguished by high scores on the dimensions of General Competencies and Approaches to Learning, and these profiles were found to relate differentially to the indicator of early academic success.

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