Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Child Development


The purpose of this study was to develop a comprehensive screening instrument to assess the competencies of young children as they enter kindergarten. A broad range of intellectual, social-emotional, and physical characteristics were evaluated through parental reporting, teacher rating, and direct testing of the children. Each of the three data sources proved to be valuable assets to the screening process. Parents contributed to the screening battery by significantly predicting the success of their children in kindergarten and by rating their children on various competency areas. In addition, such demographic variables as parents' education significantly predicted students' school success;The results of the present study also confirmed previous research demonstrating the effectiveness of teachers' ratings in predicting school success. In a very short period of time (one to four days), the teachers were able to assess a child's academic competency and readiness for the school experience;Direct testing using the Worthing Early Screening Test (WEST), which was developed for the study, complemented the other data sources in predicting concurrent achievement (measured by the Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children - Achievement Scale) and kindergarten success (assessed by the kindergarten teachers' ratings). As hypothesized, the ability to recognize and segment the component sounds of words was an important indicator of early academic achievement. Skills such as counting, short-term memory, and drawing a person were also significant predictors of standardized achievement measures and the teachers' ratings.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Ralph Jeffrey Worthing



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139 pages