Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Reasons explored for making child repeat first grade

Reasons for requiring a child to repeat the first grade may go far beyond the basic "three R's," reveals a study by two Texas A&M University education psychologists. They say parents must often shoulder at least part of the blame or credit.

Victor Willson and Jan Hughes, professors in the College of Education and Human Development, studied a sample of 784 children to see how psychological and social variables contribute to grade retention. Their research was published in the Elementary School Journal.

Early school failure has long-term negative influences on a person's behavior, academic performance and eventual occupation, so it is important to understand the underlying reasons, Willson says.

At the beginning of the study, 784 children with below-average literacy performance in kindergarten or at the beginning of first grade were assessed on academic competence, school context, home environment and other variables.

"Then we studied how the 165 students retained in first grade differ from the promoted students," Willson explains. "Academic competence, not demographics, psychosocial, or behavioral problems, was found to be the primary determiner of retention.

Hughes adds that home and environmental conditions, such as economic disadvantage, are predictive of grade retention.

"This finding is reasonable, because economic stressors affect time with children, opportunities to learn, even reading to children when parents work long hours or different shifts," she explains. "However, the association between economic disadvantage and retention is most likely due to the fact that economic disadvantage predicts achievement. In other words, economic disadvantage likely affects retention indirectly, via its direct effect on achievement."

Importantly, certain parenting practices and beliefs directly affect the likelihood that a child will be retained, even after considering the child's achievement levels.

"Children whose parents are directly involved in their children's schooling and who advocate for them are more likely to be promoted. Parents who are less involved with their children's schooling but who have a generally positive view of the school are more likely to be retained," she says.

Study findings have implications for reducing children's risk of being retained in grade, including better parental information about their role in children's early schooling, improved home literacy activities prior to schooling, or careful evaluation by schools of the age of entry of children into first grade, according to Willson.

The Texas A&M psychologists suggest that parents should get "more involved with the school and their child's schooling" in order to reduce the risk of their child being retained. They say parents can help by communicating regularly with teachers and taking some responsibility to monitor children's school work and activities.

Willson and Hughes have done extensive research on retention, such as examining the effect of retention on students' later school performance, which may provide valuable information for parents, school administrators and policy makers.

About research at Texas A&M University: As one of the world's leading research institutions, Texas A&M is in the vanguard in making significant contributions to the storehouse of knowledge, including that of science and technology. Research conducted at Texas A&M represents an annual investment of more than $582 million, which ranks third nationally for universities without a medical school, and underwrites approximately 3,500 sponsored projects. That research creates new knowledge that provides basic, fundamental and applied contributions resulting in many cases in economic benefits to the state, nation and world.

Contact: Keith Randall, News & Information Services, at (979) 845-4644 or; Victor Willson, Department of Educational Psychology, at (979) 845-1394 or; Jan Hughes at (979) 862-1093 or; or Miao Jingang, News & Information Services, at

For more news about Texas A&M University, go to

Follow us on Twitter at

Keith Randall | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University

nachricht New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

TRAPPIST-1 planets provide clues to the nature of habitable worlds

21.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

The search for dark matter widens

21.03.2018 | Materials Sciences

Natural enemies reduce pesticide use

21.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>