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Child Dev. 1996 Apr;67(2):314-26.

Does schooling buffer the effects of early risk?

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Department of Psychology, University of Vermont, Burlington 05405, USA.


The data presented here come from a 20-year study conducted in a rural area of Guatemala. Data on early biological indicators, graduated parameters of social structure, and preschool cognition were combined into a risk scale and analyzed in relation to primary school grade attainment and adolescent psychoeducational test performance. Similar to empirical relations reported in industrialized countries, performance declined as the number of risk factors to which a subject was exposed increased. More important, primary education was observed to buffer the effects of early risk for a subset of subjects. Subjects at high risk who stayed in school performed significantly better than subjects with similar levels of risk who completed fewer than 4 years of primary school.

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