Preventing retention: First grade classroom instruction and student characteristics

Jennifer Lucas Dombek, Carol Mcdonald Connor

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Scopus citations


    Retention is a frequently used strategy to support children who are struggling academically. However, the strategy is costly, and research findings with regard to positive outcomes are mixed. This study examined whether efficacious reading instruction might reduce rates of retention in first grade. We also evaluated the reading instruction the students received compared with children with similar reading and vocabulary skills who were not retained. Additionally, we examined the impact students' self-regulation may have on grade retention. Findings reveal that it was significantly less likely for students to be retained at the end of first grade if their teacher was implementing more efficacious reading instruction. Moreover, there were substantial differences in the literacy instruction provided for children who were and were not retained. Finally, students in the efficacious reading condition who were retained exhibited significantly weaker self-regulation skills than did their matched-promoted peers.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)568-588
    Number of pages21
    JournalPsychology in the Schools
    Issue number6
    StatePublished - Jul 1 2012

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Education
    • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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