The effects of early intervention on the cognitive and social development of kindergarteners

Jennifer Foster Pope

Abstract

Research has, for years, linked early intervention with student achievement. Students coming from an appropriate developmental preschool program are at an advantage and are readily able to face the rigor of elementary school (Campbell & Ramey, 1994). This study investigated whether there were statistically significant relationships among preschool attendance, gender, free/reduced status, and ethnicity and the cognitive development of kindergarten students as measured by AIMSweb Progress Monitoring and Response to Intervention System. This study also investigated the relationship between social skills competence and the cognitive development of kindergarten students as measured by the School-age Social and Emotional Adaptive Skills Inventory. The study was conducted over a nine month period initiating the efforts of approximately 19 teachers and four administrators in one coastal school district. The primary data for this study were obtained from 373 social skills inventories completed by kindergarten teachers in one school district. Multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA) tests were conducted to identify statistically significant relationships between the literacy and numeracy averages of kindergarten students and preschool attendance, gender, free/reduced status and ethnicity. Multiple regression analyses were conducted to determine if there was a statistical relationship between the social skills competence and the cognitive development of kindergarten students. The results of the study revealed, through the MANCOVA tests, that socioeconomic status had a statistically significant effect on a kindergarten achievement. The study also revealed a significant relationship between kindergarten achievement and the ethnicity and preschool background of the student. The study did not reveal gender to have a statistically significant relationship with kindergarten achievement. This study also revealed, through the multiple regression analyses, that social skills competence had a statistically significant effect on kindergarten achievement. The regression analyses revealed a strong relationship in the academic achievement of students who possessed a larger number of social skill traits as opposed to those who did not possess many social skill traits. From these analyses, it was concluded that social skills competence had a significant effect on kindergarten achievement.