How Linguistic Skills Mediate the Effects of Demographic Characteristics on Reading and Math Achievement in the Elementary Grades

Rachel E. Durham, Pennsylvania State University
George Farkas, Pennsylvania State University
Carol Scheffner Hammer, Pennsylvania State University

The effects of student demographics, non-verbal IQ, and kindergarten language scores on elementary grade reading and math achievement are examined using longitudinal data collected at the University of Iowa's Child Language Research Center. Structural equation analysis is applied to determine what factors are most important for educational success in the elementary grades. It is discovered that early linguistic skills drive later success in both reading in math, net of student demographic characteristics and non-verbal IQ.

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Presented in Poster Session 6: Applied Demography, Methods, Migration, Labor and Education, Gender, and Race and Ethnicity