The research design for this project is longitudinal and cross-sectional, and is designed to generate evidence which is causal (quasi-experimental and statistical modeling). This project collects original data using school records, assessments of learning/achievement tests, online and paper and pencil self-completion questionnaires, and fMRI imaging.
The instruments or measures used in this study include: The Gibson Cognitive Skills Test, which measures ability in eight cognitive dimensions; Ravens Progressive Matrices, which is a measure of general cognitive ability; The Family Adaptability and Cohesion Evaluation Scales (FACES), which has eight scales that measure dimensions of family cohesion, family satisfaction and family communications; the Patterns of Adaptive Learning Scales (PALS), which assesses personal achievement goal orientations and academic-related perceptions, beliefs and strategies of students; the Fennema-Sherman Mathematics Attitudes Scale, and the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale.
Difference scores on the dependent measures will be analyzed using a 2 (grade) x 3 (condition) Multivariate Analysis of Variance. The three conditions are cognitive training, programming instruction, and control. The relationship of the social/cultural, personality, and attitudinal factors to cognitive skills and mathematical performance will be tested with structural equation modeling.