School readiness among vulnerable children: a systematic review of studies using a person-centered approach

Année :


Garon-Carrier G, Mavungu-Blouin C, Letarte MJ, Gobeil-Bourdeau J, Fitzpatrick C. (2024). School readiness among vulnerable children: a systematic review of studies using a person-centered approach. Psicologia: Reflexão e Crítica, 37, 16.


Background: Research has consistently shown that some children are more vulnerable at the time of school readiness. Better understanding the characteristics of these children is therefore important. Most studies have used a variable-based approach, which may mask the presence of small but important subgroups of children with mixed patterns of readiness strengths and weaknesses. Identifying subgroups with mixed readiness patterns using a person-centered approach matters because their developmental trajectories might differ in important ways from children with broader difficulties across all readiness domains.

Objective: This systematic review attempts to synthesize existing profiles of school readiness conducted on preschool-aged children and to describe how these various profiles are associated with children’s academic achievement and social adjustment during their school years. Specifically, we described how the school readiness profiles vary in number of profiles identified and differences in the specific domains of school readiness. We further describe the school readiness profiles and how they predict later academic and social outcomes. Furthermore, we focus on profile differences between at-risk and non-at-risk preschoolers.

Methods: Longitudinal studies published between 2005 and 2022 on profiles of school readiness before school entry and at least one subsequent academic and/or social outcomes were extracted from five databases. Eight articles were included in this systematic review out of the 117 screened peer-reviewed articles.

Results: All the studies incorporated both the cognitive and socioemotional domains of school readiness in their profiles. Fifteen profiles of school readiness at preschool age were identified based on the child level of cognitive and socioemotional skills, with 7 profiles at risk of later academic and social difficulties. Despite variation, children in these at-risk profiles of school readiness shared similar features.

Conclusion: This literature review provides an exhaustive summary on the number of profiles and domains of school readiness most frequently reported in studies using a person-centered approach. Yielding an in-depth description of at-risk profiles of school readiness can help designing early preventive intervention for these children.