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Detailing New Dangers: Linking Kindergarten Chronic Absenteeism to Long-Term Declines in Executive Functioning

Sun, April 11, 4:10 to 5:40pm EDT (4:10 to 5:40pm EDT), SIG Sessions, SIG-Early Education and Child Development Paper and Symposium Sessions


Of all elementary school years, absenteeism is at its peak during kindergarten. While much has been established about the effects of missing kindergarten school days on achievement, nothing has yet been established on absenteeism and executive function (EF) skills. Yet, developing EF skills early in school is critical, and missed in-school time might have longer-term implications. To explore this link, we asked whether absenteeism in kindergarten was linked to both short-and long-term EF skill development. Using nationally representative data, we found that kindergarten absenteeism was linked to lower working memory and cognitive flexibility outcomes.