Determinants of psychomotor development with special attention to maternal employment and enrollment in preschool during the first three years : evidence from the early childhood longitudinal survey in ChileReport as inadecuate




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Contreras Guajardo, Dante; - Resumen

Latin America has seen a decade of strong economic growth and is regarded as an economic success story. Its most notable achievements include a sharp decline in the poverty rate and the rise of the middle class, which grew 50% in the last ten years and now constitutes 30% of the population World Bank, 2013. Much of this success is due in part to greater access to education and job creation. However, 28.8% of the population still lives below the poverty line ECLAC, 2012 and according to the World Bank and the United Nations Development Program, Latin America is still one of the most economically unequal regions in the world. The most recent available statistics for 18 countries indicate that, on average, the richest 10% of the Latin American population receives 32% of total income, while the poorest 40% receive just 15% of income ECLAC, 2012.To change the inequality of outcomes one must equalize opportunities amongst children. Past circumstances impact current socioeconomic outcomes, so most people can agree that providing an equal footing in life is a goal toward which a country should strive. This mentality is evident in the recent development of the Human Opportunity Index HOI by the World Bank. The HOI measures the level of coverage of basic opportunities necessary for human development. Specifically, it measures how personal circumstances birthplace, wealth, race or gender impact a child’s opportunity to succeed in life timely education, running water or connection to electricity. A 2008 World Bank report shows that the most disadvantaged groups, from the perspective of inequality of opportunity, in seven Latin American countries Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, and Peru tend to be members of ethnic minorities or those who hail from agricultural families with low levels of education. According to the report between 25% and 50% of inequality of economic opportunity amongst adults is due to their circumstances during childhood and accounts for between one-fifth and one-third of overall earnings inequality. Additionally, the report indicates that Chile does well in providing basic educational opportunities, but it does not do well in more advanced indicators such as quality learning, completion of secondary on time, access to some tertiary education and bundles of services for early childhood development and youth development World Bank, 2012.The principles behind investment in early childhood development are based on neuroscientific research. This research indicates that infants are not born with all their cognitive abilities and that their brains continue to develop after birth, which make nutrition and educational development critical during the first years of life. As the Ministerial Council for Education, Early Childhood Development and Youth Affairs points out, there is consistent agreement in the neuroscience literature that brains are much the same at birth but can be dramatically different by the age of two. This change can be explained by Jean Piaget’s famed theory of cognitive development, which states that the first two years of a child’s life can be characterized as the -Sensorimotor Stage.- In this stage of cognitive development infants -construct an understanding of the world by coordinating experiences with physical, motoric actions,- Santrock, 2008. In the report, From Neurons to Neighborhoods, a committee on the science of early childhood development concludes, from hundreds of research studies, that non-genetic influences are the main reason for differences among adults and that interventions to help shape a child’s brain development function are critical Shonkoff and Phillips, 2000. This body of research leads to the conclusion that policies should be aimed at optimizing children’s benefits in the sensorimotor stage. One way to do this is by passing policies that provide adequate nutrition and stimulation to all children in the first two years of life.This paper provides evidence on the determinants of children’s psychomotor development1 in Chile. The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of mother, child, and demographic characteristics on a child’s psychomotor development during the first three years of life paying particular attention to a the influence of maternal employment during these early years; b the influence of participation in day care or preschool on a child’s psychomotor development; and c the influence of maternal employment combined with enrollment in a day care or preschool during this stage in a child’s life. We measure these effects using the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test PPVT2 and the Battelle Developmental Inventory3. The Battelle is a measure of the child’s psychomotor development and is applied to children between the ages of 2 and 4 in this study. The PPVT is also a measure of the child’s psychomotor development, but is applied to children between the ages of 4 and 6 in this study. Therefore, it is important to keep in mind that results presented in this paper reflect two samples of children: one sample for which development is measured using the Battelle amongst 2 to 4 year olds and another sample for which development is measured using the PPVT amongst children ages 3 to 6. We use two rounds of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey Encuesta Longitudinal Primera Infancia, ELPI which was created in order to increase the amount of information available and advance the creation of longitudinal data regarding children in the first few years of life.In line with previous research on early childhood development, we find that mother and child characteristics play a significant role in the child’s psychomotor development. We pay special attention to maternal employment and enrollment in day care or preschool during the first three years of the child’s life and find that maternal employment during the first year was linked to lower Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test scores and Battelle Developmental Inventory scores. This effect is statistically significant for the oldest children in our study, suggesting that the effects are long-term. Enrollment in a day care or preschool during the first year was linked to lower Battelle scores. However, the negative impact of enrollment during the first year of life is not significant when analyzing by age, suggesting that the effects are not long-term. Finally, we find that the combination of enrollment in day care and preschool with maternal employment during the first year of the child’s life is linked to lower Battelle scores. This effect is also statistically significant for our oldest children, again suggesting that the impact has lasting effects. All of these effects are more pronounced for male children.The rest of this paper is organized as follows. The next section provides a broad overview of the case of Chile. Section 3 reviews the Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey Encuesta Longitudinal de Primera Infancia, ELPI which we use to measure mother, child, and other characteristics and their effects on the child’s test results. In section 4 we describe the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test and Battelle Development Inventory in detail. Section 5 explains the methodology applied. Section 6 explains the theoretical model and offers a review of the literature that explores key factors in early child development. Section 6 provides results and for the final section, 7, we offer a discussion.Nota general

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Author: Thiveos, Eva; -

Source: http://repositorio.uchile.cl/



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