Research has yet to understand the extent to which early indicators of self-control and sustained attention are associated with long-term measures of academic motivation and engagement in adolescence. Furthermore, multi-informant assessments of self-control and sustained attention are rarely considered. Using a longitudinal sample (N = 1364 children), teacher and mother reports and direct assessments of self-control and sustained attention problems in early childhood were examined for associations with achievement, motivation, and engagement at age 15, both before and after controlling for early measures of achievement. Teacher ratings and direct assessments predicted achievement, while maternal ratings of self-control predicted engagement. After controlling for early achievement, most longitudinal associations with achievement were reduced to nonsignificance. Only the pathways modeling teacher-rated sustained attention problems onto achievement and maternal ratings of self-control onto engagement remained. Fifth grade math achievement mediated the association between teacher-rated attention problems and adolescent achievement. Implications of findings are discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology