Publication Details

Hammer, D., Melhuish, E. & Howard, S. (2017). Do aspects of social, emotional and behavioural development in the pre-school period predict later cognitive and academic attainment?. Australian Journal of Education, 61 (3), 270-287.


© 2017, © Australian Council for Educational Research 2017. Some aspects of child non-cognitive development in pre-school have independently been shown to predict academic outcomes in later primary and early high school. However, the extent to which each aspect uniquely predicts these outcomes remains unclear. It is also unclear as to what mechanisms may predict these aspects of non-cognitive development. To address these issues, the current study sought to explore the antecedents to, and the predictive strength of, prominent aspects of early non-cognitive development (e.g. hyperactivity, pro-social behaviour, peer and conduct problems at 4–5 years of age) on children’s academic achievement at 6–11 years of age from a large, longitudinal and nationally representative sample. The study found early hyperactivity to be the strongest predictor of academic achievement at age 10–11 years of age. Further, early hostile parenting styles, child’s gender, and parental educational levels were the strongest and most consistent predictors of children’s non-cognitive development. Findings from this study further clarify the relational nature of aspects of non-cognitive development and academic outcomes, as well as the factors that best predict early non-cognitive development.



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