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Latino children's academic and behavioral trajectories in early elementary school: Examining home language differences within preschool types

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Description:
The present study examined early academic, social, and behavioral trajectories from kindergarten to third grade for Latino children from English- or Spanish-speaking homes who experienced public pre-k, Head Start, private center care, or no preschool experience. Using a nationally representative sample of Latino children (N = 3650) from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten 2010-2011 cohort (ECLS-K:2011), associations of home language and preschool experience were examined for trajectories of reading and math achievement, social skills, and externalizing behavior problems. At kindergarten entry, Latino children from English-speaking households attained higher scores in reading and math than children from Spanish-speaking families across public pre-k, Head Start, and no preschool groups. However, these early home language differences greatly diminished by third grade. In contrast, for Latino children who attended private center-based care, home language comparisons were nonsignificant for early reading skills in the fall of kindergarten. By third grade, home language differences were evident among the Latino children who attended private centers, such that children from English-speaking homes scored significantly higher in reading than children from Spanish-speaking homes. Few home language differences were detected in social or behavioral skill ratings at fall of kindergarten or in trajectories within preschool types. Nonetheless, home language differences in externalizing problems grew by third grade among Latino children who had attended Head Start, such that children from English-speaking homes received higher behavior problem ratings from teachers than peers from Spanish-speaking homes. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
Country:
United States

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