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Eurasian Society of Educational Research
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Christiaan Huygensstraat 44, Zipcode:7533XB, Enschede, THE NETHERLANDS
academic self efficacy children at risk for specific learning disabilities cognitive predictors academic functioning

The Predictive role of Cognitive Factors and Academic Self-efficacy on Academic Functioning of Children at Risk for Specific Learning Disabilities

Evguenia Shilshtein , Malka Margalit

The goals of the study were to examine the predictive power of general cognitive ability, working memory, and self-efficacy in first grade for academi.

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The goals of the study were to examine the predictive power of general cognitive ability, working memory, and self-efficacy in first grade for academic functioning of children at risk for learning disabilities in second grade. The study involved 82 children (age 6-7 years) from five local public elementary schools in middle-class neighborhoods in Jerusalem, including 41 children at risk for specific learning disabilities and 41 typically developing peers. In the first stage of the study, (performed at the end of first grade), general cognitive ability and working memory were assessed using subtests from the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (the subtests consisted of:  Vocabulary and Block Design for general cognitive ability; Arithmetic and Digit Span for working memory). Academic self-efficacy was rated using a structural interview. At follow-up, academic functioning was assessed at the end of second grade. A serial-multiple mediation analysis revealed significant mediating roles for levels of performance in the Arithmetic subtest and for academic self-efficacy in predicting the academic functioning in second grade. The significance of the Arithmetic subtest, based on contemporary research on the structure of the intelligence was proposed. Educational implications call for sensitizing teachers to the unique role of academic self-efficacy in shaping trajectories of academic functioning development among children with RLD and in using effective strategies of promoting self-efficacy.

Keywords: Academic self-efficacy, children at risk for Specific learning disabilities, cognitive predictors, academic functioning.

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