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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Psychol. | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02225

Children’s Academic Competencies: Success is in the Eye of the Beholder

  • 1University of Maryland, College Park, United States
  • 2National Institutes of Health (NIH), United States
  • 3Brain Science Institute, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

A significant challenge to fully understanding children’s academic and other competencies is dependency of the determination on the method of study, including notably who makes the assessment. This study examined similarities and differences in child, mother, father, and teacher reports of children’s competencies across multiple domains of math, reading, music, and sports from two separate perspectives of rater agreement, mean level and order association. Two hundred and sixty-seven European American families were recruited from the mid-Atlantic region of the United States, and children, mothers and fathers, and teachers completed a commonly used rating measure of children’s competencies when the children were 10 years of age. Results showed (1) high levels of order agreement (perhaps reflecting the observable nature of children’s competencies), (2) some systematic mean level differences across raters, and (3) little inter-domain agreement (except among teachers, which may reflect teachers’ unique perspectives on children’s competencies). The educational, developmental, and methodological implications of the findings are discussed in the context of children’s school performance. Who makes the determination of children’s several different competencies matters.

Keywords: Academic competencies, Mean differences, rank order agreement, perceptions of academic performance, teacher perspectives

Received: 17 May 2019; Accepted: 17 Sep 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Racz, Putnick, Esposito and Bornstein. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence:
Dr. Gianluca Esposito, Nanyang Technological University, Brain Science Institute, Singapore, Saitama, Singapore, gesposito@brain.riken.jp
Prof. Marc H. Bornstein, National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, 9000, Maryland, United States, marc.h.bornstein@gmail.com