Mother's education predicts child's academic success

Posted on November 13, 2014

Sandra Tang, Ph.D, a University of Michigan psychology research fellow and the study’s lead author, said that for this investigation, having children later in life meant after high school, or older than 18.

She discovered children of mothers 19 and older usually enter kindergarten with higher levels of achievement. These kids continue to excel in math and reading at higher levels through eighth grade when compared to children of mothers 18 and younger.

These results provide compelling evidence that having a child during adolescence has enduring negative consequences for the achievement of the next generation. The negative consequences of teen mothers not only affect the child born when the mother was an adolescent, but they affect the mother’s subsequent children as well.

Researchers reviewed data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Cohort, a nationally representative sample of children who were first assessed upon entering kindergarten in 1998 and were interviewed through spring 2007.

Data findings indicate that mothers who give birth during adolescence have much lower rates of high school completion and college enrollment in comparison to their counterparts who delay pregnancy.

Given that growth in achievement generally stays the same across time for math and reading for all children in the sample, these patterns highlight the importance of investing in early interventions that target adolescent mothers and provide them with the skills needed to promote their children’s learning.

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Source material from Psych Central


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