Poverty, Academic Risk, and the Transition to Elementary School: Targeting Processes at Home and at School
Robert Crosnoe, University of Texas at Austin
Carey Cooper, University of Texas at Austin
Jennifer A March, University of Texas at Austin
This study draws on national longitudinal data to investigate: 1) poor children’s rates of math and reading learning in elementary school, 2) family processes that mediate the link between poverty and early learning, and 3) school factors that protect against the negative impact on learning of family processes associated with poverty. Preliminary analyses have revealed that family poverty is associated with lower learning in first grade and lower gains in learning between first and third grade. This cumulative risk is mostly related to the social and economic characteristics of parents, but it is also explained by parent health, family instability, and education-focused parenting practices and, to a lesser extent, school curricula and composition.