Family and Child Strengths that Promote Early Reading and Math Proficiency in Low-Income, Minority Preschoolers

Heather J. Bachman, University of Pittsburgh
Natalia Palacios, Northwestern University
P. Lindsay Chase-Lansdale, Northwestern University

The present study investigated the household resources and family and child strengths that contribute to positive developmental outcomes among low-income, minority preschoolers. Using longitudinal data from Welfare, Children, and Families: A Three-City Study, we examined the reading and mathematics proficiency of 530 children, ages 3 to 6 years. No significant gaps in cognitive achievement were detected among White, African American, and Hispanic children, even after accounting for immigration status, country of origin, and English proficiency in the Hispanic group. Moreover, 56-60% of children were performing at or above average on standardized tests of reading and mathematics skills. Economic resources, family stability, mothers’ literacy-promoting practices, and children’s socioemotional and behavioral functioning emerged as significant factors in children’s early competence in reading and math.

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Presented in Poster Session 3: Children and Youth, Adolescence, Parenting, Transition to Adulthood, Life Course