Cognitive flexibility and planning skills as predictors of social-academic resilience in Hispanic-American elementary school children

Maria Acevedo, Fordham University

Abstract

Hispanic-American students have the highest high school drop-out rate and as a group are considered to be at-risk for academic failure due to issues of poverty, immigration, language barriers, discrimination, and acculturative stress. This study empirically tested the extent to which cognitive flexibility and planning skills predicted social-academic outcomes among Hispanic-American students. Additionally, the extent that cognitive flexibility and planning differentiated Hispanic-American students previously identified as high, medium, or low resilience groups was also examined. The sample consisted of early elementary school aged Hispanic-American students from a previous research study who were categorized as high, medium, or low resilient. ^ The participants, comprised of 113 Hispanic-American who were 7-to-8-years old, attended an urban public school. Each participant was administered individual neuropsychological assessment, group achievement tests and teachers completed rating scales. Results statistically substantiated that cognitive flexibility and to a lesser degree planning contributed to academic outcomes in math and to a lesser degree reading. There was no shared relationship between measures of EF and social competence. ^ Furthermore, the high, medium, and low resilience groups previously identified were differentiated on the basis of current levels of EF and social-academic outcomes. Thus, Hispanic-American children with high cognitive flexibility and high academic functioning are likely to be classified as high resilience and Hispanic-American children with low reading skills, low social competence and moderate cognitive flexibility are likely to be classified as low resilient. These findings have implication for interventions that can enhance academic achievement and resilient outcomes. ^

Subject Area

Education, Bilingual and Multicultural|Education, Elementary|Education, Educational Psychology|Psychology, Cognitive

Recommended Citation

Maria Acevedo, "Cognitive flexibility and planning skills as predictors of social-academic resilience in Hispanic-American elementary school children" (January 1, 2010). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI3407469.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI3407469

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