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date: 22 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Given their increasing numbers and impact on the young child population in the United States, there are comparatively few studies of very young children in immigrant families. Immigrants come to the United States from different countries, with different resources and with different experiences. All of these factors influence the early cognitive development and school readiness of their children. Here we consider how the cognitive development of young children in immigrant families may differ from that of their counterparts with U.S.-born parents by examining children's school readiness and early performance for a nationally representative cohort (Early Childhood Longitudinal Study–Birth Cohort, or ECLS-B). Early cognitive development is associated with subsequent skill acquisition and, therefore, sets the stage for the important transition to formal schooling and academic achievement. Overall, the analyses of children's cognitive and academic skill attainment point to far greater disparities associated with socioeconomic inequality than by simply comparing the nativity status of parents.

Keywords: children of immigrants, children in poverty, cognitive development, nativity, race and ethnicity

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