Child Care and Early Education Research Connections

Skip to main content

The relationship between increases in low-income mothers' education and children's early outcomes: Variation by developmental stage and domain

A large body of research demonstrates a positive association between maternal education and child development. What is not yet known, however, is whether and to what extent the association between mothers' education levels and their young children's outcomes varies across developmental stage (infancy, toddlerhood, or preschool) and child outcome domain (cognitive, social-emotional, and health) prior to school entry. Using a national sample of low-income mothers (n [is approximately equal to] 3,200), the present study finds that maternal education increases during children's earliest developmental stages are more strongly associated with children's outcomes than education increases later on. The directions of those associations vary, however, across domains, such that earlier increases in maternal education level are associated with increased child language and literacy scores and healthier child BMI, but also with elevated hyperactivity and conduct problems relative to no increases at all. These diverging associations by developmental domain are observable as early as preschool and heighten in magnitude by kindergarten entry. We discuss results to inform the targeting and design of two-generation education programs aimed at jointly improving the lives of low-income children and their parents. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

Related resources include summaries, versions, measures (instruments), or other resources in which the current document plays a part. Research products funded by the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation are related to their project records.

- You May Also Like

These resources share similarities with the current selection.

The effects of an undergraduate programme of preschool teaching on preservice teachers' attitudes towards early mathematics education in Turkey: A longitudinal study

Reports & Papers

Early childhood educators working with children who have lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender parents: What does the literature tell us?

Literature Review

Developing leadership for early childhood professionals through oral inquiry: Strengthening equity through making particulars visible in dilemmas of practice

Reports & Papers

Improving QRISs through the use of existing data: A virtual pilot of the California QRIS

Reports & Papers
Release: 'v1.24.0' | Built: 2023-01-23 14:56:35 EST