Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Youngest kindergarteners most likely to be held back, study finds

Date:
March 4, 2014
Source:
University of Missouri-Columbia
Summary:
The youngest kindergartners are about five times more likely to be retained, or held back, compared to the oldest students, resulting in higher costs for parents and school districts. In general, children must be five years old to be eligible to be enrolled in kindergarten. However, the developmental differences between a young kindergartener who barely qualifies for the state-mandated age cutoff date compared to a child who is almost year older, may have implications.

For some parents, the decision of when to enroll their children into kindergarten can result in costly consequences such as another year of daycare expenses. In general, children must be five years old to be eligible to be enrolled in kindergarten. However, the developmental differences between a young kindergartener who barely qualifies for the state-mandated age cutoff date compared to a child who is almost year older, may have implications. Now, a University of Missouri researcher has found that the youngest kindergartners are about five times more likely to be retained, or held back, compared to the oldest students, resulting in higher costs for parents and school districts.

"Research on retention has been somewhat more consistent in suggesting that holding children back a year is not the most effective practice," said Francis Huang, assistant professor in the MU College of Education. "Requiring children to repeat a grade is not only expensive for parents and school districts, but it also can affect children's self-esteem and their ability to adjust in the future."

Huang suggests that schools should continue to be more flexible in assisting kindergarteners of varying ages so that they can proceed normally rather than requiring them to repeat the grade the following year.

"The youngest students in a classroom can be nine to 12 months less mature than their oldest peers," Huang said. "Since older kindergarteners can have as much as 20 percent more life experience than their younger classmates, teachers need to meet students where they are developmentally and adjust instructions based on a student's ability. Studies have shown that only a small number of teachers modify classroom instruction to deal with a diverse set of students."

Huang also investigated the relationship between retention and a child's socioemotional skills, such as the child's self-control and interpersonal skills, to further understand why younger students were more likely to be retained. Huang analyzed data from the nationally-representative "Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 1998-99" and found that, on average, the youngest kindergarteners were about five times more likely to be retained compared to the oldest kindergartners. However, Huang found that children with higher attentiveness, task persistence, and eagerness to learn were less likely to repeat a grade.

In addition, Huang also noticed that a child's height was associated with the likelihood of a child being retained. This relationship existed even after accounting for differences in children's academic abilities, socioeconomic status, age, and fine motor skills.

"Retention is usually reserved for children who struggle academically; however, if two children are having the same difficulties in the classroom and one child happens to be shorter than the other child, then the smaller, younger child has a much higher likelihood of being retained," Huang said.

Since parents, teachers and school administrators may be operating under the assumption that early retention may be beneficial, Huang says awareness of higher retention rates among young students is important to acknowledge in order to address the issue. Huang's study, "Further Understanding Factors Associated with Grade Retention: Birthday Effects and Socioemotional Skills," was published in the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Missouri-Columbia. The original article was written by Diamond Dixon. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Francis L. Huang. Further understanding factors associated with grade retention: Birthday effects and socioemotional skills. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 2014; 35 (2): 79 DOI: 10.1016/j.appdev.2013.12.004

Cite This Page:

University of Missouri-Columbia. "Youngest kindergarteners most likely to be held back, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140304113517.htm>.
University of Missouri-Columbia. (2014, March 4). Youngest kindergarteners most likely to be held back, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140304113517.htm
University of Missouri-Columbia. "Youngest kindergarteners most likely to be held back, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140304113517.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Kids' Drawings At Age 4 Linked To Intelligence At Age 14

Kids' Drawings At Age 4 Linked To Intelligence At Age 14

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) A study by King's College London says there's a link between how well kids draw at age 4 and how intelligent they are later in life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mental, Neurological Disabilities Up 21% Among Kids

Mental, Neurological Disabilities Up 21% Among Kids

Newsy (Aug. 18, 2014) New numbers show a decade's worth of changes in the number of kids with disabilities. They suggest mental disabilities are up; physical ones are down. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fake Weed Wreaks Havoc In New Hampshire

Fake Weed Wreaks Havoc In New Hampshire

Newsy (Aug. 17, 2014) New Hampshire's governor declared a state of emergency after more than 40 overdoses of synthetic marijuana in one week throughout the state. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins