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Publication Date



UM campus only

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Psychology (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Daryl B. Greenfield

Second Committee Member

Heather Henderson

Third Committee Member

Batya Elbaum


This study examined the relationship between behavior problems, learning behaviors and educational outcomes for at-risk preschool children. A sample of Head Start children (N = 196) were selected in the Southeast. Behavior problems were assessed using The Devereux Early Childhood Assessment (DECA; Le Buffe & Naglieri, 1999) and learning behaviors were assessed using the Preschool Learning Behavior Scale (PLBS, McDermott, Green, Francis & Stott, 1996). Educational outcomes included measures of literacy and math, collected using subscales from the Galileo System for the Electronic Management of Learning (Galileo; Bergan et al., 2003). Behavior problems were found to predict learning behaviors, math and literacy. Furthermore, learning behaviors were found to mediate the effect of behavior problems on literacy and math, and such mediation effects were not found to be moderated by gender nor age. The findings of the study provide a preliminary explanation regarding the mechanism through which behavior problems relate to educational outcomes for preschool children.


School Readiness; Social-emotional; Literacy; Math; Problem Behaviors; Approaches To Learning