9 research outputs found

    Reading-specific flexibility moderates the relation between reading strategy use and reading comprehension during the elementary years

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    The goal was to test whether cognitive flexibility moderates the relation between reading strategy use and reading comprehension during the elementary years. Seventy-five second through fifth grade students completed a think aloud task and a metacognitive questionnaire to measure reading strategies, two card-sorting tasks to measure general and reading-specific cognitive flexibility, and one standardized measure of reading comprehension, as well as measures of oral reading fluency and vocabulary. As expected, oral reading fluency and vocabulary predicted reading comprehension, as did reading-specific flexibility. Importantly, reading-specific flexibility had a significant moderating effect, over and above the other effects. Specifically, weak reading-specific flexibility skills were associated with a negative relation between reading strategy use during think aloud and reading comprehension, suggesting that children with weak flexibility skills are less adept at using reading strategies effectively

    Complex spatial language improves from 3 to 5 years: The role of prompting and overhearing in facilitating direction giving using between and middle.

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    The primary goal of this study was to specify age-related improvements in young children’s use of the complex spatial terms between and middle in response to prompting and overhearing supports. Three- to 5-year-old children described the location of a mouse hidden between two furniture items in a dollhouse. Three prompting conditions (Between Directive, Middle Directive, Nondirective) were compared with two overhearing conditions (Overhearing Between, Overhearing Middle). Children’s use of between and middle was much more frequent in response to directive prompting than in response to nondirective prompting or overhearing. Only 4-5-year-old children showed some evidence of using middle in response to nondirective prompting and overhearing, demonstrating developmental gains in sensitivity to subtle cues. The secondary goal was to assess young children’s production and comprehension of between and middle using tasks suitable for young children and parent report checklists. As expected, children’s spatial language showed strong developmental improvement and was related to direction-giving performance

    Pathways to school readiness: Executive functioning predicts academic and social-emotional aspects of school readiness.

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    The current study specified the extent to which hot and cool aspects of executive functioning predicted academic and social-emotional indicators of school readiness. It was unique in focusing on positive aspects of social-emotional readiness, rather than problem behaviors. One hundred four 3- to 5-year-old children completed tasks measuring executive functioning, social-emotional readiness, academic readiness, and vocabulary. As expected, age predicted executive functioning components and social-emotional readiness. Moreover, working memory and inhibitory control directly predicted academic readiness, whereas delay of gratification predicted social-emotional readiness. Working memory and inhibitory control predicted delay of gratification, consistent with the notion that simpler executive functions may set the stage for more complex executive functions. Interestingly, social-emotional readiness predicted academic readiness. These findings confirm that hot and cool aspects of executive functioning are related to social-emotional and academic school readiness

    Executive functioning predicts reading, mathematics, and theory of mind during the elementary years.

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    The goal of this study was to specify how executive functioning components predict reading, mathematics, and theory of mind performance during the elementary years. Ninety-three 7- to 10-year-old children completed measures of working memory, inhibition, flexibility, reading, mathematics, and theory of mind. Path analysis revealed that all three executive functioning components (working memory, inhibition, and flexibility) mediated age differences in reading comprehension, whereas age predicted mathematics and theory of mind directly. In addition, reading mediated the influence of executive functioning components on mathematics and theory of mind, except that flexibility also predicted mathematics directly. These findings provide important details about the development of executive functioning, reading, mathematics, and theory of mind during the elementary years

    Identifying the motivations of African American volunteers working to prevent HIV/AIDS

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    Community-based organizations that are engaged in HIV/AIDS prevention and support services often rely on volunteers. This article describes the development of a 22-item inventory that measures the motivations of volunteers who deliver HIV prevention education in the African American community. In a statewide survey of volunteers (N = 102), the two strongest motivations for volunteer activity were concern for the African American community and a desire to understand the causes and consequences of the epidemic. These motives predicted the frequency that volunteers held discussions about HIV/AIDS with members of their community. Discussion focuses on the relevance of the results for the recruitment, training, and retention of volunteers

    Factor Structures of Three Measures of Research Self-Efficacy

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    Measures of research self-efficacy have the potential to facilitate graduate training and mentoring, but the hypothesized factor structures of these measures have not been confirmed empirically. Moreover, the underlying dimensions of research self-efficacy across multiple measures are unknown. Graduate students in psychology programs (N = 1,004) completed three research self-efficacy instruments via a Web-based survey. Confirmatory factor analyses did not support the hypothesized factor structures. An exploratory factor analysis suggested that four dimensions of research self-efficacy (data analysis, research integration, data collection, and technical writing) underlie responses to items from the three instruments. The authors present possible reasons for the differences in factor structures across instruments and suggest how the assessment of research self-efficacy may facilitate the training and career mentoring of graduate students