Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

For poorer children, living in a high-cost area hurts development

21.08.2012
Young children in lower-income families who live in high-cost areas don't do as well academically as their counterparts in low-cost areas, according to a new study.

The study, by researchers at Child Trends and the University of California (UCLA), appears in the journal Child Development.

"Among families with incomes below 300 percent of the federal poverty threshold—that's below $66,339 for a family of four—living in a region with a higher cost of living was related to lower academic achievement in first grade," according to Nina Chien, a research scientist with Child Trends, who coauthored the study.

"This is the first study to show that income isn't enough," Chien added. "Cost-of-living differences also matter for children's development, particularly for children from lower-income families."

Researchers used data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Cohort, a nationally representative sample of more than 17,500 children at more than 2,000 schools who started kindergarten in 1998. They estimated the relation among such factors as cost of living, family income, material hardship, parents' investments in their children's educational activities, as well as assessments of parents' psychological well-being (such as moms' reports of depressive symptoms and conflict in the marriage), parenting practices (such as warmth and having routines), and school resources.

Researchers then looked at these factors in relation to children's academic achievement (as measured by teachers' reports and tests of how well the children read and did math), and social-emotional development (as measured by teachers' reports of children's behavior problems and social skills).

In addition to the pattern for all families with incomes below 300 percent poverty, findings specific to families below 100 percent of the federal poverty level pointed to further differences. Among children who lived in families below 100 percent of the federal poverty threshold, those who lived in a higher-cost area (compared to those in a lower-cost area) had parents who made fewer investments in educational activities and went to schools with fewer resources.

"This makes sense," Chien notes. "For poor families already struggling to meet basic needs such as housing, utilities, and food, living in a higher-cost area meant that families had little left over to afford educationally enriching materials or activities for their children."

Differences for lower-income families according to cost of living in the area of residence held even when taking into account a comprehensive set of demographic variables. The pattern was not seen in children from more affluent families, suggesting that their academic achievement wasn't as sensitive to cost-of-loving variations.

"Many government assistance programs are applied by income and don't take into account variations in cost of living," Chien notes. "Our findings suggest that poor and lower-income families living in higher-cost areas may have a greater need for public assistance to offset the higher costs of basic expenditures."

Sarah Mancoll | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.srcd.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University

nachricht New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stiffness matters

22.02.2018 | Life Sciences

Magnetic field traces gas and dust swirling around supermassive black hole

22.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

First evidence of surprising ocean warming around Galápagos corals

22.02.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>