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Economic hardship during infancy and U.S. Latino preschoolers' sociobehavioral health and academic readiness

Resource Type: Reports & Papers
Author(s): Palermo, Francisco; Ispa, Jean M.; Carlo, Gustavo; Streit, Cara;
Date Issued: May, 2018
Description: We tested a culturally integrative model examining the associations among economic hardship during infancy and Latino children's later sociobehavioral problems and academic skills prior to kindergarten entry, whether mothers' mental health problems and positive parenting behaviors mediated those associations, and whether they varied by mothers' acculturation levels. Participants were 714 low-income Latino mothers (M age at enrollment = 24 years; 82% Mexican American; 59% foreign-born) and children (M age at enrollment = 4 months; 53% boys) in the Early Head Start Research and Evaluation Project (EHSREP). Data were gathered across five time points: when the families enrolled in the EHSREP, when the children were 14, 24, and 36 months of age, and just prior to their kindergarten entry. The results revealed an inverse relation between economic hardship during infancy and academic skills prior to kindergarten entry, with the association mediated through maternal mental health problems and positive parenting behaviors. The association between economic hardship and children's sociobehavioral problems via maternal mental health problems and positive parenting behaviors, however, was not statistically significant. Instead, the positive relation between mothers' mental health problems and children's sociobehavioral problems was mediated by maternal positive parenting behaviors. The findings highlight key family processes by which economic hardship in infancy may be associated with Latino preschoolers' academic skills prior to entering school. (author abstract)
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Funder(s): Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Journal Title: Developmental Psychology
Volume Number: 54
Issue Number: 5
Page Range: 890-902
Topics: Parent, School, & Community School Readiness/Child School Success & Performance > Parent, School, & Community School Readiness

Parents & Families > Parent/Family Characteristics

Programs, Interventions & Curricula > Programs > Early Head Start/Head Start
Country: United States
ISSN: 1939-0599 Online
0012-1649 Paper
Peer Reviewed: yes
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