Home literacy environment and socio-economic status as predictors of executive functioning among selected 4th graders: Kitwe, Zambia

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Mutambo, Laston
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The University of Zambia
This study assessed Home Literacy Environment and Socioeconomic Status as predictors of Executive Functioning among selected 4th graders in Kitwe District, Zambia. The objectives of the study included: an assessment of executive functioning skills among fourth graders in Kitwe District, Zambia; an assessment of Home Literacy Environment and SES among fourth graders in Kitwe District,; to determine the relationship between Home Literacy, SES and Executive Functions; lastly, to determine a stronger predictor of EF between Home Literacy Environment and SES among fourth graders in government schools in Kitwe, Zambia. The study was quantitative in nature and employed quasi experimental design. The sample size was 116 fourth graders and an equivalent number of parents and /or guardians. Data was obtained using Behavioral Rating Inventory of Executive Functions (BRIEF 2). Examples of EF tasks under BRIEF are Inhibition, Self-Monitor, Shift, Emotional Control, Initiate and Working Memory. Others are Plan/Organize Task Monitor and Organization of Materials. In addition, the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D. KEFS), Digit Span Test, Pencil Tapping and Pattern Reasoning Test (Kauffman Test Battery) were used to collect data. Biographical Data Form was used to generate information on home possession index. This form was used to collect data on SES and the HLQ was used to collect data on HLE. Data was analyzed quantitatively using STATA Version 14 to perform correlations and linear regressions. Findings of the study revealed that: all fourth graders 116 (100%) performed better on subjective measures of Executive Function; 80 (69%) learners were coming from homes that were exposed to literacy, while 36 (31%) were coming from homes that were not exposed to literacy. Furthermore, 51 (44%) were coming from medium Socioeconomic Status whereas 39 (34%) were coming from low Socioeconomic Status and 26 (22%) were coming from high Socioeconomic Status. The study further established a positive relationship between Home Literacy Environment, SES and objective measures of Executive Functions (p< 0.001). The study results demonstrated that there is no statistically significant relationship between Home Literacy and subjective measures of EF.The study also revealed that SES is a stronger predictor of EF than Home Literacy Environment. Based on the research findings, the study recommended that colleges of education, schools as well as parents should come up with practices that promote the development of Executive Functions both at home and school. Schools should ensure that they procure stimulating and other enriching objects that are lacking in schools.
Executive functioning skills--Mathematics education.