Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Betsy Hoza


This study examines the unique and interactive effects of preschoolers’ receptive language ability and ADHD behavior levels on social-emotional, physical, language, cognitive, literacy, and mathematics school readiness, over and above the effects of socioeconomic status (SES). At the start of the preschool year, 49 predominantly low-SES preschool children completed a receptive language task and teachers rated their ADHD behavior levels. School readiness data were collected approximately three months after the start of the school year. First, hierarchical regression analyses indicated that, after controlling for covariates and the non-focal predictor (i.e., ADHD behaviors or receptive language ability), higher levels of receptive language ability were significantly associated with higher cognitive and mathematics school readiness. Higher levels of ADHD behaviors were significantly associated with lower social-emotional, physical, cognitive, and literacy school readiness. The interaction between receptive language ability and ADHD behaviors predicted social-emotional school readiness such that at higher, but not lower, levels of ADHD behaviors, lower receptive language ability was associated with lower social-emotional school readiness. Results highlight that, when considered together in the same models, children’s receptive language ability and ADHD behaviors vary in the extent to which they uniquely predict school readiness. Further, we show preliminary evidence for ADHD behaviors as a risk factor when considering the association between receptive language deficits and social-emotional school readiness. Implications for early education and clinical practice are discussed.



Number of Pages

52 p.