Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

How parents react to material hardship found to be key to how income affects children

08.02.2007
We've long known that children who live in families with adequate financial resources tend to do better than children who live in poverty. It's less clear why this is so.

A major new study sheds light on how family income affects children, finding that it is how parents experience material hardship—not income alone--that affects children's cognitive skills and their social and emotional competence. The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan, New York University, the University of Chicago, and Columbia University, is reported in the January/February 2007 issue of the journal Child Development. The research was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

Researchers looked at 21,255 American kindergartners, drawing from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study Kindergarten Class of 1998-99. In the study, parents provided information about their families' economic situation, their own parenting, and their children's behaviors. Teachers provided additional information about children's behaviors in school, and children's cognitive skills were measured by standardized tests.

The study identified two ways family income affects children. First, parents who make more money are better able to buy more cognitively stimulating materials, such as books, and provide enriching experiences, such as visits to museums, that support their children's academic achievement. Second, the material hardship experienced by many low-income families, such as not having enough to eat, can lead parents to be depressed and fight with one another. This, in turn, can cause parents to show less affection toward their children, leaving the children depressed or more likely to misbehave.

By considering material hardship and family income together, the study's results challenge the well-established finding that family income is directly associated with parents' stress. The researchers found that only when increases in income were accompanied by decreases in families' experiences of hardship did income lessen parents' stress levels; added income alone was not enough. This distinction is important because the same level of family income can mean hardship in some parts of the country, such as large, urban cities, but not in other areas, such as small, rural towns.

"Our results suggest that a goal of enhancing the cognitive abilities of children from low-income families might be effectively served by interventions that provide such enriching materials or experiences when parents are financially unable to do so," according to Elizabeth T. Gershoff, the study's lead author and a professor of social work at the University of Michigan. "If the goal is reducing behavior problems, then reducing hardship through provision of in-kind goods and services, and in turn reducing parent stress, may have the greatest impact."

Andrea Browning | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.srcd.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Real-time feedback helps save energy and water
08.02.2017 | Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg

nachricht The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

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: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA eyes Pineapple Express soaking California

24.02.2017 | Earth Sciences

New gene for atrazine resistance identified in waterhemp

24.02.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

New Mechanisms of Gene Inactivation may prevent Aging and Cancer

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>