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Immigration and the interplay of parenting, preschool enrollment, and young children's academic skills

This study tested a conceptual model of the reciprocal relations among parents' support for early learning and children's academic skills and preschool enrollment. Structural equation modeling of data from 6,250 children (Ages 2 to 5) and parents in the nationally representative Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort revealed that parental support for early learning was associated with gains in children's academic skills, which, in turn, were associated with their likelihood of preschool attendance. Preschool experience then was associated with further gains in children's early academic competencies, which were then associated with increased parental support. These patterns varied by parents' nativity status. Specifically, foreign-born parents' support for early learning was directly linked with preschool enrollment, and the association between the academic skills of children and parental support was also stronger for foreign-born parents. These immigration-related patterns were primarily driven by immigrant families who originated from Latin America, rather than Asia, and did not vary by immigrants' socioeconomic circumstances. Together, these results underscore the value of considering the synergistic relations between the home and school systems, as well as "child effects" and population diversity, in developmental research. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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