Foundational Skills among Black and Latino Children in Poverty: Predicting School-Related Outcomes and Exploring Family Stress Processes as Correlates of Development

Author: ORCID icon
Duran, Chelsea, Education - Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Grissmer, David, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia

Improving racial and socioeconomic equity may require better understanding how cognitive skills and behavioral tendencies, especially those systematically varying with family background but not explicitly taught or tested in school, relate to academic outcomes in non-White and/or low-income populations. Given that distal contextual factors, including structural inequalities, tend to affect children through interactions within their most proximal contexts, and their families in particular, it is also important to understand how family processes relate to children’s development in these populations. Motivated by these needs, the three papers in this dissertation focus on foundational, developmental outcomes among mostly Black and Latino children from low-income families during the first three years of elementary school. All three papers include self-regulatory constructs among focal constructs. The first identifies unique, statistical contributions of executive function and visuomotor integration to children’s mathematics learning over the course of one school year. Guided by a causal model for how economic hardship affects family stress and children’s development, the second paper in this dissertation focuses on relations between multiple family stress processes and the development of executive function and delay of gratification. The third investigates the psychometric properties of a delay of gratification measure, including its relations with school-related outcomes. Insights from these papers may inform, for example, prevention programs targeting low-income families and school-based programs targeting non-academic skills among children of color from low-income families.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
Self-Regulation, Executive Function, Delay of Gratification, Socioeconomic Status, Child Development, Education, Early Childhood, Visuospatial Abilities, Mathematics Achievement, Family Stress, Racial Minorities, Measurement, Structural Equation Modeling
Sponsoring Agency:
Institute for Educational SciencesNational Science Foundation
Issued Date: