The influence of home environmental factors, socio-emotional factors and academic resilience on reading achievement
Research shows that the influences of home environment, as well as social and emotional behaviors, have a significant relationship to academic achievement. Emerging research, as well as this study, shows that positive learning behaviors such as persistence, attention to task and adaption to change in routines can mediate negative influences of poor social-emotional behaviors and at-risk home environments (McTigue, Washburn & Liew, 2009). These positive learning behaviors are referred to as academic resilience, traits that are gaining increasing awareness as important to academic achievement. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships among social and emotional factors, home environment, academic resilience and reading achievement for third-grade students who participated in the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study Kindergarten Class of 1998-1999 (ECLS-K), conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES, 2004). Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) using Stata 14.0 (Stata Corp., 2105) was used to analyze the relationships and to answer the research questions for this study. Additionally, SEM analysis was conducted based on the third-grade model was conducted by gender, socioeconomic status, and racial groups. Social and emotional behaviors were found to have a significantly negative relationship with academic resilience and reading achievement. Home Environment was not found to be significantly related to either academic resilience or reading achievement. Academic resilience was found to mediate 33% of the total effects of negative social and emotional behaviors on reading achievement. Similar results were found for the subgroup analyses. This study highlights the importance of academic resilience behaviors for mediating the negative social and emotional factors many students struggle with every day. Results from this study suggest the inclusion of social and emotional learning in the K-12 curriculum beginning in the primary years. Such instruction can bolster behavior related to academic resilience and thus promote increased academic achievement. School administrators will need to select a curriculum that is complementary to community programs that seek to provide the same type of instruction and to meet the needs of school and community stakeholders in general. Teachers will need to reconsider instructional responsibilities to include the integration social and emotion learning into classroom instruction.