Even among low-income families, mothers with greater social and economic resources were more supportive in parenting their children than those with fewer resources, which in turn influenced the children’s cognitive performance.
That’s the main finding of a new study that considers how economic factors and parenting quality jointly influence children’s development.
The researchers examined 2,089 low-income mothers and their children, who took part in the Early Head Start Research and Evaluation Study, visiting homes when the children were 14, 24, and 36 months old.
During the visits, researchers measured the quality of parenting (by observing interactions between mothers and their children, and by observing the home environment) and families’ economic resources (specifically, per capita income) to determine how these factors influence children’s cognitive development.
They also looked at the influence of factors such as mothers’ education, children’s birth weight, how often mothers read on their own, and where children’s fathers lived, and sought to learn whether children influence the way their parents interact with them.
Families’ economic resources and the quality of parenting each played a unique role in contributing to children’s cognitive development, the study found.
Mothers who had greater economic resources were more supportive in parenting of their children, which in turn influenced children’s cognitive performance.
Read more information at EurekAlert