A Longitudinal Dynamic Analysis of the Impacts of Reading on Mathematical Ability in Children and Adolescents

Grimm, Kevin John, Department of Psychology, University of Virginia
McArdle, Jack, Department of Psychology, University of Virginia
Nesselroade, John, Department of Psychology, University of Virginia
Hamagami, Aki
Pianta, Bob, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Schmidt, Karen, Department of Psychology, University of Virginia

Recent legislation, especially the Reading First initiative from the No Child Left Behind Act, has increased the focus on the development of reading skills in the early grades. Furthermore, there has been a push for content area (secondary) teachers to incorporate reading activities into content area instruction, such as mathematics and science. Proponents of this focus on reading instruction believe that reading is a necessary and fundamental building block for educational success. One hypothesis stemming from the Reading First initiative is that reading will assist the acquisition of content area knowledge and in turn lead to an increase in academic achievement. This hypothesis, as well as examining the growth of reading and mathematics, is examined with longitudinal data on reading and mathematics from the Iowa Test of Basic Skills collected in the Chicago Public Schools. Reading and mathematics skills were shown to change linearly from third through eighth grade and that ethnic and social economic differences in the growths were mainly in the level of achievement and not in the rate of change. Reading was shown to be a positive leading indicator of the changes in problem solving, but the effect was negligible given the negative effect of prior problem solving and the high correlation between the two areas of achievement. Implications and future directions for this area of research and longitudinal data analysis are discussed.

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PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
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