Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Human Development and Family Studies


Developmental Science


Human Development and Family Studies

First Advisor

Sue K. Adams


School readiness has been identified as one of the major determinants of an individual’s later academic success (Cappelloni, 2011; Kim, 2008; Lunenburg, 2011). School readiness encapsulates academic readiness and socio-emotional development, and is impacted not only by the child, but also by the child’s family, the early environment, the school, and the community (Cavanaugh, Lippitt, & Moyo, 2000; Huffman, Mehlinger, & Kerivan, 2000; Maxwell & Clifford, 2004; National Research Council and Institute of Medicine, 2000; Peth-Pierce, 2000; Raver, 2002).

Despite a plethora of studies in school readiness, there has been a lack of examination of school readiness through the lens of teachers. As parents and teachers vary in their expectations regarding the academic tasks children should be able to perform before entering school (Hains et al., 1989; O’Donnell, 2008; Piotrkowski et al., 2000; Wesley & Buysse, 2003), exploring the phenomenon of school readiness through teacher reports is warranted.

The current study will be well grounded in Urie Bronfenbrenner's ecological systems theory since this theory provides a framework for the impact of immediate family and school contexts on child outcomes (Bronfenbrenner, 1979, 2005). School readiness involves children, families, early environments, schools, and communities (Maxwell & Clifford, 2004). Each aspect is housed in the systems within Urie Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory. Since the three contexts of child, family, and community are critical factors for young children academically and socio-emotionally, Urie Bronfenbrenner's ecological systems theory can explain the variations in children’s academic and socioemotional readiness.

The sample for this study included 13,383 first time kindergarteners from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study- Kindergarten Cohort of 2011-11 (ECLS-K 2011). This nationally representative dataset was used to examine child factors and family backgrounds effects on school readiness based on teacher report.

This study found that the interaction between both high literacy and low self-control had significant outcomes on academic readiness. Those children with high literacy and low self-control had lower scores on academic readiness. In addition, low literacy and high self-control also had significant effects on academic readiness. Children with low literacy and high self-control had higher scores on academic readiness. These findings suggest that both literacy and self-control have significant effects on child academic readiness.



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