The proposed project seeks to establish the extent to which measures of behavioral regulation, along with other oral language and reading-related cognitive skills, can explain both concurrently and longitudinally the reading performance of Chinese children from relatively poor and middle socioeconomic status (SES) Hong Kong Chinese families. The findings from this work may elucidate the relations among behavioral regulation, a relatively broadly defined, distal factor in school success, other more proximal metalinguistic abilities such as oral language, phonological awareness and morphological awareness, and Chinese reading itself in children from different SES backgrounds. On the theoretical level, this research will clarify the importance of a model of reading achievement that includes behavioral regulation for beginning readers: is behavioral regulation a basic capacity that precedes and accounts for oral and reading-related skills in literacy acquisition or, rather, is behavioral regulation a socioemotional factor, complementary to cognitive skills, with an independent association with reading achievement in kindergarteners? In addition, our proposed research will highlight the extent to which these models vary with SES background. Practically, this research will highlight the extent to which there exist achievement differences in Hong Kong preschoolers based on SES level, the trajectories of literacy learning and achievement with development across these SES levels, and the importance of measuring behavioral regulation as an indicator of concurrent or subsequent school achievement. The results will have direct policy implications related to whether or not Hong Kong's poorer children are in need of additional educational interventions in kindergarten to get a "head start" in academic achievement, and whether or not kindergartens should explicitly assess young children's behavioral regulation skills and possibly provide interventions based on such assessments.
|Effective start/end date||01/01/09 → 30/06/12|