Study: Low-Income Children Get ‘Double Dose of Disadvantage’ in Language Home and school both may be less likely to provide rich language-building opportunities for children from low-income families and communities, compared with those environments in working-class neighborhoods, a new study in the Journal of Educational Psychology suggests. The study from New York University’s (NYU) Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and ... Research in Brief
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Research in Brief  |   July 01, 2017
Study: Low-Income Children Get ‘Double Dose of Disadvantage’ in Language
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Development / School-Based Settings / Normal Language Processing / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Research in Brief
Research in Brief   |   July 01, 2017
Study: Low-Income Children Get ‘Double Dose of Disadvantage’ in Language
The ASHA Leader, July 2017, Vol. 22, 15. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB2.22072017.15
The ASHA Leader, July 2017, Vol. 22, 15. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB2.22072017.15
Home and school both may be less likely to provide rich language-building opportunities for children from low-income families and communities, compared with those environments in working-class neighborhoods, a new study in the Journal of Educational Psychology suggests.
The study from New York University’s (NYU) Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development highlights a need for a “more expansive approach to intervention” that involves families and teachers in these neighborhoods, say study authors.
Through extensive visits to the homes and schools of 70 children who had recently entered kindergarten, the researchers assessed the quality of engagement between children and their parents and teachers. Half of the children lived in poor neighborhoods, with poverty rates above 40 percent, and the other half lived in working-class communities, with poverty rates around 20 to 40 percent.
Low-income environments provided fewer language and early-literacy supports, including complex and diverse language, in parent and teacher interactions with children when compared with working-class environments. Quantity of language was similar across the different neighborhoods.
“Children may go from a home with limited physical and psychological resources for learning and language to a school with similar constraints, resulting in a double dose of disadvantage,” says lead author Susan B. Neuman, professor of childhood and literacy education at NYU. “Our study suggests that neighborhoods matter and can have a powerful influence on nurturing success or failure.”
All of the children in the study demonstrated learning, but children from the working-class communities learned at a faster pace. The study authors call for the need to understand and account for how multiple contexts influence children’s early development.
“Too often we have focused on what happens within early childhood programs instead of the environmental supports that surround them,” Neuman says.
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July 2017
Volume 22, Issue 7