Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Program to reduce behavior problems boosts math, reading among low-income kindergartners, first graders

Date:
May 20, 2014
Source:
New York University
Summary:
A program aimed at reducing behavior problems in order to boost academic achievement has improved performance in math and reading among low-income kindergartners and first graders, according to a study. Research has shown that growing up in poverty increases the likelihood that children will begin school well behind their more economically advantaged peers. Also, children from poor families often start school with inadequate social-emotional skills, which can stymie academic progress. The impact of these phenomena is particularly felt in pre-kindergarten through third grade.

A program aimed at reducing behavior problems in order to boost academic achievement has improved performance in math and reading among low-income kindergartners and first graders, according to a study by researchers at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.

Their findings, which appear in the Journal of Educational Psychology, point to the value of well-designed interventions to improve education, the study’s authors say.

“Supporting young low-income children so they can reach their potential in the classroom and beyond is of vital importance,” says Sandee McClowry, a professor in NYU Steinhardt’s Department of Applied Psychology and the study’s senior author. “Our findings show that learning is enhanced when it also addresses the social and emotional development of children.”

The study’s other authors were: Erin O’Connor, an associate professor in NYU’s Department of Teaching and Learning; Elise Cappella, an associate professor in NYU Steinhardt’s Department of Applied Psychology; and Meghan McCormick, a doctoral candidate in NYU Steinhardt’s Department of Applied Psychology.

Previous scholarship has shown that growing up in poverty significantly increases the likelihood that children will begin school well behind their more economically advantaged peers. Moreover, other research has revealed that children from poor families often start school with inadequate social-emotional skills, which can stymie academic progress. The impact of these phenomena is particularly felt in pre-kindergarten through third grade.

In recent decades, researchers have created interventions designed to address these matters. Among them is INSIGHTS Into Children’s Temperament, which provides teachers and parents with a framework for appreciating and supporting differences in the personalities of children. During the 10-week period, teachers and parents are also taught child management strategies that match the child’s temperament. In addition, children participate in 10 weekly sessions in their classrooms. As part of this program, educators employ puppets depicting four temperaments—Fredrico the Friendly, Gregory the Grumpy, Hilary the Hard Worker, and Coretta the Cautious—to help children understand and solve dilemmas they face on a daily basis.

In their study, the researchers randomized 22 urban elementary schools serving low-income families to either the INSIGHTS intervention or a supplemental reading program, which served as a control condition. Participants included 435 students in 122 classrooms.

Students received the intervention during the second half of kindergarten and the first half of first grade, with their parents and teachers participating during the same time period. The researchers collected data on students’ progress at five different points during the studied period. Standardized tools were used for measuring temperament, attention span, behavioral problems, and reading/math achievement.

Their results showed that children enrolled in INSIGHTS experienced growth in math and reading achievement and sustained attention that was significantly faster than that of children enrolled in the supplemental reading program. In addition, children participating in INSIGHTS showed decreases in behavior problems over time while those enrolled in the supplemental reading program demonstrated increases.

“These results indicate that INSIGHTS supports young children’s development of self-regulatory skills that are vital to learning, such as sustained attention span and curbing inappropriate behaviors,” says O’Connor, the study’s lead author. “The findings, combined with previous research in this area, show that programs of this nature can enhance low-income children’s self-regulation skills and, with it, enhance their academic achievement in early elementary school.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by New York University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Erin E. O’Connor, Elise Cappella, Meghan P. McCormick, Sandee G. McClowry. An examination of the efficacy of insights in enhancing the academic and behavioral development of children in early grades.. Journal of Educational Psychology, 2014; DOI: 10.1037/a0036615

Cite This Page:

New York University. "Program to reduce behavior problems boosts math, reading among low-income kindergartners, first graders." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140520123140.htm>.
New York University. (2014, May 20). Program to reduce behavior problems boosts math, reading among low-income kindergartners, first graders. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140520123140.htm
New York University. "Program to reduce behavior problems boosts math, reading among low-income kindergartners, first graders." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140520123140.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A study by German researchers claims watching TV while you're stressed out can make you feel guilty and like a failure. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

AFP (July 24, 2014) China's elderly population is expanding so quickly that children struggle to look after them, pushing them to do something unexpected in Chinese society- move their parents into a nursing home. Duration: 02:07 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. 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