Cognitive development and the attainment of critical thinking skills in pre-licensure nursing students

Document Type

Conference Presentation

Conference Title

Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association


American Educational Research Association


San Francisco, CA

Conference Dates

April 27-May 1, 2013

Date of Presentation



The current study was designed to assess whether a relationship exists between the level of cognitive development (as measured by the Lawson Classroom Test of Scientific Reasoning [Lawson CTSR]) and critical thinking (as measured by Assessment Technology Institute Critical Thinking Assessment-Entrance test [ATI-CTA-Ent]) in first semester nursing students. A sample of 190 nursing students were administered the test of cognitive development, the test of critical thinking and the ATI-TEAS as a test of general knowledge. Cognitive development accounted for (a) 19.3% of the variance in critical thinking scores and (b) 33.6% of the variance in general knowledge, after controlling for gender, age and prior schooling. These findings suggest that measures of cognitive development and critical thinking ability are associated.

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