Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Psychology (Ph.D.)



First Advisor

Mark Terjesen

Second Advisor

Marlene Sotelo-Dynega

Third Advisor

Samuel Ortiz


School readiness refers to continuous, multi-faceted, abilities that develop during early childhood and encapsulate how prepared children are to learn as they enter their first formal school experience (Howard, 2011; Romano et. al., 2010; Stormont et. al., 2015). Children who exhibit greater school readiness skills, such as cognitive, language, and fine and gross motor abilities, prior to the start of kindergarten are more likely to succeed academically throughout their later school years (Ricciardi et. al., 2021; Schachter et. al., 2019; Williams & Lerner, 2019), while children who lack school readiness skills are more likely to demonstrate difficulties throughout elementary school (Linder et. al., 2013; Russo et. al., 2019, Welsh et. al., 2010). Research has also shown that socio-economic status and familial background play a significant role in a child’s school readiness skills (Borre et. al., 2019; Cameron et. al., 2012; Linder et. al., 2013; Williams & Lerner, 2019). Kindergarten screening has been an increasing practice in school districts throughout the United States to assess for school readiness abilities (Howard, 2011; Romano et. al., 2010; Stormont et. al., 2015; Williams & Lerner, 2019). Children who score lower on screening measures in kindergarten are more likely to exhibit later reading and mathematics difficulties throughout elementary school (Jordan et. al., 2010; McNamara et. al., 2011). In the current study, the relationship between results from the kindergarten screening, using the Developmental Indicator for the Assessment of Learning, Fourth Edition (DIAL-4), and later academic achievement, as measured by Fountas & Pinnell (F & P) Benchmark Assessment System, Second Edition Reading Levels and New York State test scores, was examined. The aim of this study is to add to the existing literature regarding the predictive ability of kindergarten screening measures on subsequent academic achievement, while also examining the role that socio-economic status and ethnicity play on kindergarten readiness skills and later academic success. The findings of the study supported the DIAL-4 as a valid and accurate kindergarten screening measure of later academic achievement, while also providing new findings regarding school readiness skills for children of ethnically diverse backgrounds and from economically disadvantaged families. Limitations and directions for further research are discussed as well as practical implications for the practice of school psychology.

Included in

Psychology Commons