Adam Winsler's Web World

Language, Culture, Music, Self-Regulation, and School Readiness Lab

Sample Current Research Projects

The Effect of Subsidized Child Care and Public School Pre-K on the School Readiness of Diverse, Low-Income, Urban Preschoolers with Long-Term Follow up: The Miami School Readiness Project (MSRP)

This exciting large-scale, university-community partnership,program evaluation, and applied research project involves maintenance and development of the master database for all child-level, classroom-level, child care center-level, and family-level data involved in the Assessment-Intervention Program, sponsored by the Miami-Dade School Readiness Coalition with support from The Children's Trust. In this project, for 5 years (2012-2007), about 58,000 4-year old low-income children (approximately 60% Latino,30% African American, and 10% white/other) attending state-subsidized child care facilities (center-based, family daycares, informal care, and public school pre-k programs) were individually assessed (in English and Spanish) on their cognitive, language, and motor skills at the beginning (PRE) and end (POST) of the school year. Also, parents and teachers rate children's socio-emotional skills and behavior problems at PRE and POST. The children are still being followed longitudinally as they progress through Miami-Dade County Public Schools with a wide variety of school records outcome data available through 11th grade.

Middle School Arts Electives Among Low-Income, Ethnically Diverse Students in Miami: Who Takes Them, for How Long, and What are the Academic Benefits?

Funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, this exciting project is examining 1) child, family, and school predictors of low-income minority youth selecting arts elective courses in middle school, and 2) whether youth who take arts courses do better in school than those who do not, controlling for the selection factors identified in #1. Using data from the Miami School Readiness Project, about 32,000 children (60% Latino, 33% Black, 7% White/Other, 85% in poverty) are reaching 6th, 7th, or 8th grade and 20-25% of them are enrolling in some kind of arts elective course (i.e., band, orchestra, choir, drama, dance, art). Predictor variables include child gender, ethnicity, ELL and disability status, initial school readiness, 5th grade GPA and test scores; family size, marital status, maternal education, free lunch and immigrant status; and school size, quality, resources, and ethnic distribution. We will see if arts classes are linked with better outcomes for at-risk youth (GPA, test scores, attendance, retention, suspension, and drop out).

Does the Immigrant Advantage Remain Stable Throughout Elementary School?

Mayra's masters thesis examines whether immigrant students are still doing better than native US-born students in terms of academic outcomes in third, fourth, and fifth grade. Using data from the MSRP, we are comparing the academic outcomes of immigrant students (first- or second-generation immigrants) to non-immigrant students (third-generation+). We are also examining the outcomes of students from different immigrant generations (first-generation compared to second-generation immigrant students). Additionally, we are asking whether immigrant advantage depends on country or origin and gender.

Degree of Bilingualism, Behavior Problems, Executive Functioning, and Private Speech Use

A group of 80 5- to 7-year-old children falling into three groups (monolingual English, bilingual English-Spanish, and Spanish speaking children still learing English) completed a battery of executive function tasks (go/no-go task (GNG), the Head-Toes-Knees-Shoulders task (HTKS), the Dimensional Change Card Sort (DCCS), the Simon task, and the Tower of London (TOL). Parents completed surveys on children’s language background, EF, and behavior problems. We are currently analyzing whether children's private speech in English and Spanish relate to their executive functioning and degree of bilingualism.

The Influence of Elementary School Quality on Differential Effects of Preschool Programs in Third Grade

This master's thesis uses the Miami School Readiness Project to address how elementary school quality impacts the third grade academic outcomes of children who attended three different types of preschool programs. Prior to kindergarten, children attended either public school pre-kindergarten (pre-K), center-based care (CBC), or family childcare (FCC). Third grade elementary school quality was determined by the "grade" (A-F) assigned to each school by their school district, and is based on the school's average FCAT scores and how they improved from one year to the next. Third grade academic outcomes to be investigated include FCAT math and reading scores, third grade GPA, and whether or not the child was retained in third grade. Research questions are: 1) Are there differences in the quality of the elementary schools that children go on to attend as a function of having been in FCC, CBC, or pre-K? 2) How are children who went to FCC, CBC, or pre-K programs performing academically in third grade? 3) Do the differences between the academic performance of children who attended FCC, CBC, or pre-K change as a function of elementary school quality? 4) Is there differential "fadeout"by child gender and ethnicity?

Outcomes of Mandatory 3rd Grade Retention from High-Stakes Test Performance for Low-Income, Ethnically Diverse Children

Using the Miami School Readiness Project data, this project examines longitudinal outcomes (grades, standardized test scores, retention, drop out) of low-income ethnically diverse children who are retained in 3rd grade because of failing the high-stakes Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) in reading, as compared to children who performed similarly poor on the FCAT but were promoted anyway, presumably becasuse they completed the required summer school make up course.

Predictors and Effects of School Mobility on Low-Income, Ethnically Diverse Children's Academic Outcomes: Does School Quality and Type of Child Matter?

These master's theses focus on the potential impact of switching schools between public school pre-k and kindergarten, on ethnically diverse children's later academic outcomes. Using data from the MSRP, we are comparing students who stayed in the same school for public school pre-k and kindergarten to students who switch school between public school pre-k and kindergarten. We are examining 1) child characteristics that predict who is more likely to switch schools, 2) the outcomes of switching schools on academic achievement in kindergarten and 1st grade, and 3) how school quality can predict mobility and influence academic achievement in kindergarten and 1st grade. Another these is focusing on predictors of school mobility during Kindergarten through fifth grade. We follow students who stayed at the same school up through fifth grade and compare them to students who transitioned to another school one or more times from Kindergarten to fifth grade. We are able to examine the quality of the school just before their first move, and the level of social, cognitive, and language schools at school entry as predictors of who is likely to move and move more often.

Marijuana and Alcohol Use Among Latino Adolescents: Links with community engagement, and Parenting

This undergraduate honor's thesis examines marijuana and alcohol use among Latino adolescents using Fairfax County Youth Survey data. The goal is to see if substance use is related to parental closeness/communication, neighborhood/community engagement, and perceptions of harm


Papers in Progress (in review)

Mead, D.L., Hutchison, L.A., Levitt, J., & Winsler, A. (in review). Long-term effects of kindergarten retention on academic outcomes for ethnically diverse, low-income children.

Borre, A.M., Bernhard, J., Bleiker, C., & Winsler, A. (in review). Long-term effects of the Early Authors Program: A preschool literacy intervention for low-income, ethnically diverse children.

Conway-Turner, J., Visconti, K,C., & Winsler, A. (in review). The role of gang involvement as a protective factor in the association between peer victimization and negative emotional outcomes for youth.

Thibodeaux, J., Deutsch, A., Kitsantas, A., & Winsler, A. (in review). First-year college student time management: Relations with motivation, self-regulation, retention, and performance over time.

Carlson, A. G., Winsler, A., & Curby, T. W. (in review). Early fine motor skills predict third grade achievement among low-income, ethnically diverse children.

Picci, G., Hutchison, L., Mendoza, D., & Winsler, A. (in review). Typically developing children in reverse-mainstream preschool classrooms: Outcomes through second grade.

De Feyter, J.J., Hartman, S., Hutchison, L., Parada, M.D., & Winsler, A. (in review). The early academic resilience of children in low-income, immigrant families.

Espinosa, L.E., Burchinal, M. R., Winsler, A., Castro, D. C., Peisner-Feinberg, E., Laforett, D.R. (in review). Child care experiences among dual language learners in the US: Analyses of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey-Birth Cohort.

Hines, C., & Winsler, A. (in review). Predictors of stability from public school pre-k to kindergarten.

Chen, L., Hu, B.Y., Zhou, Y., Fan, X, & Winsler, A. (in review). Preschool expenditures and Chinese children's academic performance: The mediating effect of teacher-child interaction quality.

Conger, D., Gibbs, C.R., Uchikoshi, Y., & Winsler, A. (in review). New benefits of public school pre-kindergarten programs: Early school stability, reduced retention, and early exit from ELL programs.

Tavassolie, T., & Winsler, A. (in review). Predictors of mandatory 3rd grade retention from high-stakes test performance for low-income, ethnically diverse children.

De Feyter, J.J., Curby, T., & Winsler, A. (in review). School readiness, early achievement, and English language proficiency for children in low-income immigrant families.

Mead, D.L., & Winsler, A. (in review). Change over time in the type and functions of crib speech around the fourth birthday.