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ERIC Number: ED522681
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-May
Pages: 20
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
Racial Gaps in Early Childhood: Socio-Emotional Health, Developmental, and Educational Outcomes among African-American Boys. Report
Aratani, Yumiko; Wight, Vanessa R.; Cooper, Janice L.
National Center for Children in Poverty
This study uses the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort (child-B) data, collected by the National Center for Education Statistics in the U.S. Department of Education. The EC LS-B is a nationally representative longitudinal study of approximately 11,000 children who were born in 2001. The children in the EC LS-B have been followed longitudinally and there are currently five waves of data available capturing children when they are 9 months old, 24 months old, 48 months old, and entering kindergarten (2006 and 2007 waves). The data provide information on children's overall development, health, care arrangements, and education from birth through kindergarten entry. This research is based on all five waves of data. At baseline, there were 800 African-American boys and 2,200 white boys. For analysis examining the racial gap in cognitive and socio-emotional development, the sample includes both African-American and white boys. For analysis assessing early resilience, the sample is limited to African-American boys. Analysis at each wave are limited to children with complete information on all of the developmental outcomes and indicators of interest. The authors use the person-level weights constructed for the EC LS-B at each wave to produce nationally representative estimates. Based on analysis of the gaps in early child development among African-American and white boys, the authors find evidence of racial gaps in socio-emotional development as early as 9 months. The gaps continue to grow until preschool-age in socio-emotional development. Further, even after controlling for key demographic and family characteristics such as family income, mother's education, family resources, (such as having a checking and/or savings account), and child's age and low birth weight status, they find that racial gaps in socio-emotional development remain in boys up to preschool. Racial gaps in cognitive development emerge at 24 months and remain even after control for key demographic and family characteristics. Further, in reading and mathematics skills, the authors find significant differences between African-American and white preschool boys. The gap is still apparent in reading and mathematics by kindergarten and they also find evidence of differences in language skills by this age. However, the gaps in most of the school readiness outcomes disappear at pre-school and kindergarten, once they control for key demographic and family characteristics. Thus, racial differences in SES, financial resources, and child characteristics such as low birthweight may be contributing to the gap in educational outcomes. Their results also indicate that among African-American toddlers, maternal education contributes to above-average achievement, but only for cognitive development. That is, male toddlers with mothers who have at least some college are more likely to exhibit above-average cognitive development relative to male toddlers with mothers who do not have a high-school diploma. The protective factors identified here do not do much to explain above average development in pro-social behavior. However, the authors do find evidence that maternal education--specifically having at least some college--is an important factor predicting exceptional behavioral development (at the 75th percentile) among toddlers underscoring the important role of education in early resilience among African-American boys. Appended are: (1) Data and Methods; and (2) Complete Results for Analysis of Early Resilience (Above Average) Among African-American Boys. (Contains 4 tables, 8 figures and 66 endnotes.)
National Center for Children in Poverty. 215 West 125th Street Third Floor, New York, NY 10027. Tel: 646-284-9600; Fax: 646-284-9623; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Kindergarten; Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Annie E. Casey Foundation
Authoring Institution: National Center for Children in Poverty, New York, NY.