Parental Scaffolding: Long Term Impacts on Children’s Cognitive and Mathematical Skills
Lindsey Richland

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship

Award Year



University of California, Irvine

Primary Discipline

Parents and teachers contribute in different, important ways to children’s development of academically key thinking and learning skills. While much research has focused on identifying high quality classroom pedagogies, much less is known about the parental contribution to children’s reasoning. With relevance to mathematics education in particular, little is known about how parents scaffold children’s problem solving, how their practices are related to children’s long-term development of analytical and problem-solving skills, and whether their practices are related to the achievement gap. This project examines these questions using longitudinal, repeated-measures data from the NICHD Study of Early Care and Youth Development, a prospective study of 1364 children and families from birth through sixth grade. The project assesses mothers and fathers’ home scaffolding practices while helping their child solve complex problems at five time periods from when the child is 36 mos to fifth grade. Structural equation models (SEM) will then test the longitudinal association between parental scaffolding and children’s math attainment both directly and through the child’s cognitive skills. Ethnicity, income, and maternal education will be included in the model to determine whether the effects of parental scaffolding mediate known contributions of these variables to the math achievement gap.
About Lindsey Richland

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