New Brunswick, NJ
Informing and Connecting Engaged Citizens
June 19, 2014
Brookings Report on Addressing the Parenting Divide to Promote Early Childhood Development for Disadvantaged Children
"Growing income inequality over the past three decades has created a social divide with stagnated incomes for families at the bottom of the distribution and sharply increased earnings for those at the top (Atkinson, Piketty, and Saez 2011). As the economic destinies of affluent and poor American families have diverged, so too has the educational performance of the children in these families (Reardon 2011). Socioeconomic gaps in children’s cognition and behavior open up early in life and remain largely constant through the school years (Duncan and Magnuson 2011). However, rising inequality in income is not the sole cause of the divergence in children’s achievement and behavior (Duncan et al. 2013). Parents do more than spend money on children’s development—they also promote child development by spending time with their children in cognitively enriching activities and by providing emotional support and consistent discipline. The “parenting divide” between economically advantaged and disadvantaged children is large and appears to be growing over time along these dimensions (Altintas 2012; Hurst 2010; Reeves and Howard 2013)," as reported by Brookings Institution Press.
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