Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

Executive deficits, behavioural problems and early reading development

This study tests whether behavioural problems at a young age are related to early reading and mathematics development.

Marga Sikkema-de Jong


Researchers agree upon the value of rich home literacy environments for children’s language development. Much less is known about specific child characteristics that might interfere with parents’ attempts to interest the child in book reading.

In this longitudinal study it is tested whether junior kindergarten children’s executive function processes (e.g., behavioural control, inhibition and memory) moderate the relation between the home literacy environment and emergent literacy and mathematical skills at age four and conventional reading and numeracy in grade one. If so, early intervention programmes should not exclusively rectify deficiencies in the home environment but should also take child characteristics into account.

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