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Fine Motor Skills and Executive Function Both Contribute to Kindergarten Achievement


  • We gratefully thank the children and their families, teachers, and research staff who made this study possible. This work was funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (R01 HD27176) and the National Science Foundation (0111754 and 0815787).

concerning this article should be addressed to Claire E. Cameron, 2200 Old Ivy Road, Charlottesville, VA 22903. Electronic mail may be sent to


This study examined the contribution of executive function (EF) and multiple aspects of fine motor skills to achievement on 6 standardized assessments in a sample of middle-socioeconomic status kindergarteners. Three- and 4-year-olds’ (= 213) fine and gross motor skills were assessed in a home visit before kindergarten, EF was measured at fall of kindergarten, and Woodcock–Johnson III Tests of Academic Achievement were administered at fall and spring. Correlations indicated that EF and fine motor skills appeared distinct. Further, controlling for background variables, higher levels of both EF and fine motor skills, specifically design copy, predicted higher achievement on multiple subtests at kindergarten entry, as well as improvement from fall to spring. Implications for research on school readiness are discussed.