Early Growth of Mexican-American Children: Lagging in Preliteracy Skills but not Social Development

Guerrero, Alma; Fuller, Bruce; Chu, Lynna; Kim, Anthony; Franke, Todd; Bridges, Margaret; Kuo, Alice
November 2013
Maternal & Child Health Journal;Nov2013, Vol. 17 Issue 9, p1701
Academic Journal
Latino toddlers fall behind White peers at 24 months of age in oral language and interactive skills with their mothers in English or Spanish. But Latino children enter kindergarten with social skills that rival White peers, despite social-class disparities. We ask whether cognitive trajectories widen during the 24-48 month period, how these patterns differ for Latinos, especially Mexican-Americans, and whether similar gaps in social-emotional growth appear. We analyzed growth patterns for a nationally representative birth sample ( n = 4,690) drawn in 2001, estimating levels of change in development from 24 to 48 months of age, focusing on Latino subgroups. The mean gap in cognitive processing for Mexican-American children, already wide at 24-months of age relative to Whites (three-fourths of a standard deviation), remained constant at 48 months. But differences in social-emotional status were statistically insignificant at both 24 and 48 months. Mexican-American mothers were observed to be equally warm and supportive relative to White peers during interaction tasks. Yet the former group engaged less frequently in cognitive facilitation, oral language, and preliteracy activities in the home. Growth in both cognitive and social domains was considerably lower in larger families, placing children raised in poor or Spanish-speaking homes within a large household at greater risk of delays. Pediatricians and practitioners must carefully gauge the social-emotional well-being of Latino children, in developmental surveillance activities. Growth in cognitive and social domains unfolds independently for children of Mexican heritage, even when raised in economically poor families.


Related Articles

  • The Role of Home Literacy Environment in Toddlerhood in Development of Vocabulary and Decoding Skills. Kim, Sojung; Im, Haesung; Kwon, Kyong-Ah // Child & Youth Care Forum;Dec2015, Vol. 44 Issue 6, p835 

    Background: Little empirical research examines the process in which home literacy environment (HLE) in toddlerhood is associated with preschoolers' vocabulary and decoding skills using a large-scale dataset. Objective: The purposes of the current study were to (a) examine the differential effect...

  • Child Temperament, Maternal Parenting Behavior, and Child Social Functioning. Baer, Julie; Schreck, Meghan; Althoff, Robert; Rettew, David; Harder, Valerie; Ayer, Lynsay; Albaugh, Matthew; Crehan, Eileen; Kuny-Slock, Ana; Hudziak, James // Journal of Child & Family Studies;Apr2015, Vol. 24 Issue 4, p1152 

    We examined child temperament, maternal parenting, and the effects of their interactions with each other on child social functioning. A total of 355 children aged 5-18 years old (54 % male; mean age = 10.8) were evaluated. Regression equations were used to test models of the main and interactive...

  • The Componential Model of Reading: Predicting First Grade Reading Performance of Culturally Diverse Students From Ecological, Psychological, and Cognitive Factors Assessed at Kindergarten Entry. Ortiz, Miriam; Folsom, Jessica S.; Al Otaiba, Stephanie; Greulich, Luana; Thomas-Tate, Shurita; Connor, Carol M. // Journal of Learning Disabilities;Sep2012, Vol. 45 Issue 5, p406 

    This study, framed by the component model of reading (CMR), examined the relative importance of kindergarten-entry predictors of first grade reading performance. Specifically, elements within the ecological domain included dialect, maternal education, amount of preschool, and home literacy;...

  • Fathers' Influence on Children's Cognitive and Behavioural Functioning: A Longitudinal Study of Canadian Families. Pougnet, Erin; Serbin, Lisa A.; Stack, Dale M.; Schwartzman, Alex E. // Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science;Jul2011, Vol. 43 Issue 3, p173 

    An emerging body of research illustrates the connections between fathers and their children's development. This topic is particularly relevant in Québec, a demographically and culturally unique province in which female lone parenthood is relatively common; this pattern is related to...

  • Feeding practices of low-income mothers: how do they compare to current recommendations? Power, Thomas G.; Hughes, Sheryl O.; Goodell, L. Suzanne; Johnson, Susan L.; Duran, J. Andrea Jaramillo; Williams, Kimberly; Beck, Ashley D.; Frankel, Leslie A. // International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition & Physical Activit;2015, Vol. 12, p1 

    Background: Despite a growing consensus on the feeding practices associated with healthy eating patterns, few observational studies of maternal feeding practices with young children have been conducted, especially in low-income populations. The aim of this study was to provide such data on a low...

  • Perceptions and Practices of Stimulating Children's Cognitive Development Among Moroccan Immigrant Mothers. el Moussaoui, Nabila; Braster, Sjaak // Journal of Child & Family Studies;Jun2011, Vol. 20 Issue 3, p370 

    We explored the perceptions of children's cognitive development among Moroccan Arabic and Berber immigrant mothers who cannot read, who are less educated, middle educated or highly educated in the Netherlands. A series of in-depth interviews was conducted with 22 mothers with young children...

  • Activity Participation Among Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder. Little, Lauren M.; Sideris, John; Ausderau, Karla; Baranek, Grace T. // American Journal of Occupational Therapy;Mar/Apr2014, Vol. 68 Issue 2, p177 

    OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this study was to empirically derive dimensions of activity participation among a sample of school-age children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD; n = 713). Additionally, we examined the associations between dimensions of activity participation and child...

  • Breastfeeding and child intelligence link refuted.  // Practice Nurse;10/13/2006, Vol. 32 Issue 6, p8 

    The article focuses on the findings of a study on the link between breastfeeding and child intelligence conducted by the Medical Research Council at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. Breastfeeding made a small difference to children's intelligence scores when considered with other factors...

  • Initial literacy and its development from childhood education. Review of the concept and applied research. Rugerio, Juan Pablo; Guevara, Yolanda // OCNOS: Revista de Estudios sobre Lectura;2015, Issue 13, p23 

    This article outlines the basic conceptual aspects of formal literacy and initial literacy, explaining its importance for the child's psychological and academic development. In the second part of this article, certain activities that can promote the development of initial literacy skills in...


Read the Article

Courtesy of

Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics