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作者 Chen, Jen-Hao
書名 Early childhood health and inequalities in children's academic and behavioral outcomes
國際標準書號 9781267246967
book jacket
說明 152 p
附註 Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 73-07, Section: A, page:
Advisers: Ariel Kalil; Linda Waite
Thesis (Ph.D.)--The University of Chicago, 2012
Skills learned in early childhood play an important role in the formation of human capabilities and social equality in adulthood. A handful of studies have linked socioeconomic status and family background to academic and behavioral skills in early childhood. However, relatively few studies have considered health a potentially influential factor in the development of early childhood skills. Even fewer studies have considered health indicators other than birth weight. My dissertation addresses this concern by providing a solid assessment of the role of early childhood health in children's developmental outcomes. I focused on two prevalent health conditions that have been overlooked in the demographic and sociological literature: prenatal drinking and childhood asthma. The two research studies relied on multiple sources of data, including the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 79 Cohort, the Children of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, and the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study---Birth Cohort, and used a variety of methods, including descriptive analyses, multivariate regressions, fixed-effects models, and multiple imputation. drinking and childhood asthma
In the first study, "Maternal Alcohol Use During Pregnancy, Birth Weight, and Early Behavioral Disadvantages," I examined the effects maternal alcohol use during pregnancy on infant behavioral outcomes and investigated the greater sensitivity of behavioral outcomes to alcohol compared to birth weight. A sibling fixed-effects model was used to examine data from children born to women taking part in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY). Estimates indicated that drinking during pregnancy, whether light to moderate, or heavy drinking was associated with an increase in infant difficultness. By contrast, children whose mothers drank more frequently during pregnancy showed no difference in positive mood and fearfulness when compared with siblings who were not exposed to alcohol in utero. In addition, while low to moderate drinking during pregnancy was sufficient to affect infant difficultness, drinking at this level did not affect birth weights. The findings suggest that behavioral outcomes appear to be more susceptible to prenatal alcohol exposure than birth weights do. I conclude that in order to ensure the successful development of children, early childhood education policies and programs should begin with their pregnant mothers. Furthermore, the concept of early childhood health should include health during the pregnancy
The second study, "Identical Disease, Diverging Outcomes: Childhood Asthma, Maternal Education and Children's Cognitive and Behavioral Skills," turned to a prevalent health condition after birth: childhood asthma. This study proposed two revised theoretical perspectives that consider how social and biological forces are intertwined to predict the skills development of asthmatic children. The double disadvantages hypothesis suggests that asthma may harm young children's neurological development as well as lead to the deterioration of the family environment. Together, these processes jointly produce negative effects on child development outcomes. The compensation model suggests that parents may act to overcome the potentially negative biological consequences of childhood asthma. Because of parental compensation behaviors, asthma does not necessarily translate to worse developmental outcomes. Using nationally representative data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort (ECLS-B), I found support for the compensation model. Fixed effects estimates showed that hospitalization due to asthma was significantly related to higher language and mathematics scores. Furthermore, the observed positive association was more pronounced for children with college-educated mothers. An analysis of children's behavioral skills displayed similar patterns. While asthma hospitalization was positively related to externalizing problem behaviors in children with low-educated mothers, the hospitalization experience was negatively associated with problem behaviors in children with college-educated mothers. The observed optimistic outcomes for asthmatic children with college-educated mothers illustrate the role of maternal education in moderating the potentially negative consequences of childhood illness
Taken together, the dissertation suggests that early childhood health plays a considerable role in shaping developmental outcomes in early life. The findings also suggest that scientists should adopt a broader conceptualization of early childhood health to include health conditions before and after birth, and pay more attention to the complex socio-biological processes through which poor health influences skills development. Finally, these findings emphasize the importance of addressing the developmental needs of ill children in policy making. Both primary and secondary prevention strategies are crucial to safeguard the healthy and successful development of children, particularly children from socially and economically disadvantaged backgrounds
School code: 0330
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 73-07A
主題 Education, Early Childhood
Health Sciences, Public Health
Sociology, Demography
Alt Author The University of Chicago. Public Policy Studies and Sociology
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