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Am J Orthopsychiatry. 2006 Apr;76(2):265-76.

Children enrolled in public pre-K: the relation of family life, neighborhood quality, and socioeconomic resources to early competence.

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  • 1Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 27514, USA.


This article presents data on the family and social environments of 501 children enrolled in public sponsored pre-K in 5 states and tests the relation of these resources to child competence. Structured interviews and questionnaires provide information from parents about the family's social and economic status. Direct assessments and teacher reports provide data on children's literacy, numeracy, and behavioral problems. A majority of the children served in public pre-K lived in poverty and showed decrements in language but not in other domains. A socioeconomic resource factor consisting of parental education, household income, and material need predicted all domains of children's functioning. Children from households high in socioeconomic resources entered pre-K with more well developed language and math skill but fewer behavioral problems than their disadvantaged peers. Neighborhood quality status was related to language competence and mother's marital status to math competence. Neighborhood quality and income level may have their impact on child competence through their relation to dyadic quality and the health and the psychological well-being of the parents.

Copyright 2006 APA, all rights reserved.

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