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Passive parenting and its Association with Early Child Development

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Abstract

This study aims to investigate the developmental status of rural Chinese children, the extent of interactive parenting they receive, and the relation between the two. A sample of 448 six to eighteen-month-old children and their caregivers were randomly selected from two rural counties in Hebei and Yunnan provinces. According the third edition of the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development, 48.7% of sample children exhibited cognitive delays, 40.6% language delays, and 35% social-emotional delays. According to responses from caregivers, parenting in rural China is largely passive, lacking in interactive practices like storytelling, singing, and playing. Children-with-siblings, left-behind children, and children with less-educated mothers were even less likely to receive interactive practices. Children of caregivers who did engage in best parenting practices showed better cognitive, language, and social-emotional development; however, the public health system provides no platform for learning about optimal parenting.

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... In terms of time investments, only 12.6% of caregivers in rural households read with their child, and less than 40% play and sing songs with their children [13]. Similarly, only 13.8% of rural caregivers tell stories to their child [14]. Additionally, rural children play alone for over 2.5 hours per day on average, which indicates an absence of interactive parenting activities between these children and their caregivers [15]. ...
... In a healthy children population, the mean scores (standard deviation) are expected to be 105 (9.6), 109 (12.3), 107 (14), and 100 (15) for the cognitive scale [33], the language scale [34], the motor scale [35], and the social-emotional scale [22], respectively. That is, the mean of children's cognitive, language, social-emotional scores in our sample are about one deviation lower than the reference means of the healthy population. ...
... On the other hand, previous studies have documented that caregivers' time investments in stimulating activities are productive inputs for the cognitive skill development of children, both in developed countries such as Australia [39] and the United Kingdom [40], as well as in rural areas of China [13][14][15]. Our findings further suggest that, besides children's cognitive development, caregivers' parental investments are also positively and significantly associated with children's language, motor, and social-emotional development in rural households. ...
Article
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This paper investigates the relationships between caregivers’ parenting knowledge and early childhood development, based on a survey conducted in 1715 rural households in 100 villages located in an undeveloped rural area of western China. The results find that, first, caregivers’ parenting knowledge is positively and significantly associated with children’s development outcomes, including cognitive, language, motor, and social–emotional development; second, caregivers’ parental investments significantly mediate the link between parenting knowledge and early childhood development; third, in contrast with other parental investments, play materials (in terms of variety and quantity) and play activities in the households are the strongest mediators. Our findings might be informative for policy makers to design policies targeted to foster human capital formation in rural China.
... Poor early child development. China's rural babies and toddlers are experiencing alarming rates of developmental delay Luo, Jia, Yue, Zhang, Lyu, Shi et al., 2017;Luo, Yue, Zhou, Shi, Zhang, Martorell, Medina, Rozelle and Sylvia, 2017;Yue, Shi, Luo, Chen, Garth, Zhang… and Rozelle, 2017;Yue, Wang, Yang, Shi, Luo, Zhang, Kenny and Rozell, 2017). Nearly half (48 percent) of young children living in poor communities are cognitively delayed. ...
... Assuming this to be true, large shares of children from China's poor rural areas will be at a life-long developmental disadvantage. These results are consistent across multiple regions of China (Wei et al., 2015;Luo, Jia, Yue, Zhang, Lyu, Shi et al., 2017;Luo, Yue, Zhou, Shi, Zhang, Martorell, Medina, Rozelle and Sylvia, 2017). ...
... Despite this strong correlation between parental involvement and development, we find that the fraction of caregivers who engage their children using cognitively stimulating practices is low (Yue, Shi, Luo, Chen, Garth, Zhang… and Rozelle, 2017;Yue, Wang, Yang, Shi, Luo, Zhang, Kenny and Rozell, 2017;Luo, Jia, Yue, Zhang, Lyu, Shi et al., 2017;Luo, Yue, Zhou, Shi, Zhang, Martorell, Medina, Rozelle and Sylvia, 2017). Less than 40 percent of rural caregivers play with their child on a typical day. ...
Article
Purpose In the paper we describe the policy and trends in rural education in China over the past 40 years. We also discuss a number of challenges that face China’s rural school system. Design/methodology/approach W use secondary data on policies and trends over the past 40 years for preschool, primary/junior high school and high school. Findings The trends over the past 40 years in all areas of rural schooling have been continually upward and strong. While only a low share of rural children attended preschool in the 1980s, by 2014 more than 90 percent of rural children were attending. The biggest achievement in compulsory education is that the rise in the number of primary students that finish grade 6 and matriculate to junior high school. There also was a steep rise of those going to and completing high school. While the successes in upscaling rural education are absolutely unprecedented, there are still challenges. Research limitations/implications This is descriptive analysis and there is not causal linkestablished between policies and rural schooling outcomes. Practical implications We illustrate one of the most rapid rises of rural education in history and match the achievements up with the policy efforts of the government. We also explore policy priorities that will be needed in the coming years to raise the quality of schooling. Originality/value This is the first paper that documents both the policies and the empirical trends of the success that China has created in building rural education from preschool to high school during the first 40 years of reform (1978 to 2018). The paper also documents-drawing on the literature and our own research-the achievements and challenges that still face China in the coming years, including issues of gender, urbanization, early childhood education and health and nutrition of students.
... Only 12.6% of rural caregivers had read with their child in the previous day, and less than 40% had played (39.2%) and sang songs (37.5%) with their child [14]. Similar results are found in the caregiver's story-telling behavior-only 13.8% of caregivers had told stories to their child [15]. On average, rural children played alone for more than 2.5 hours per day, which indicates a lack of interactive parenting with these children, too [16]. ...
... In addition to parenting activities, rural households also owned less play materials, in both quantity and variety [17,18]. Poor parenting practices have been found to be highly correlated with childhood developmental delays [14][15][16][17][18]. However, to the best of our knowledge, few studies have investigated the relationships between parenting skills and ECD outcomes in rural China. ...
... 92.41, 97.21, and 85.94, respectively. The mean scores (standard deviation) among a healthy population are expected to be 105 (9.6), 109 (12.3), 107 (15), and 100 (16) for the cognitive scale [26], the language scale [27], the motor scale [28], and the social-emotional scale [23], respectively. That is, the mean scores of cognitive, language, social-emotional scales in our sample are about one deviation lower than the reference mean scores of healthy children. ...
Article
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This paper empirically investigates the relationships between caregivers’ parenting skills and early cognitive, language, motor, and social-emotional development of children aged 6–24 months. The study is based on data from a survey conducted in 100 villages in a typical poor rural area in western China. A total of 1715 households were enrolled in the study. In the study, Parent and Family Adjustment Scales (PAFAS), Bayley Scales of Infant Development version III (BSID-III), and a socioeconomic questionnaire were used to measure caregiver’s parenting skills, child’s development outcomes, and socioeconomic characteristics in sample households, respectively. Multivariate regression was used to estimate the relationship between a caregiver’s parenting skills and the child’s development outcomes. The results show that, first, parenting skills are positively and significantly associated with children’s cognitive, language, motor, and social-emotional development, and the link between parenting skills and social-emotional development is the strongest; second, the correlation between parenting skills and development outcomes varies across socioeconomic characteristics and parenting skill dimensions. The results provide evidence for the relationship between parenting skills and early childhood development in rural households in western China. Our findings also suggest that interventions aimed at improving caregivers’ parenting skills during the early stages are necessary for human capital development in rural China.
... Further research suggests that maternal absence due to migration during early childhood may create an even greater negative impact on a child's cognitive development, however, the literature on the effect of maternal migration on cognitive development of preschool aged children is rare. Research shows that interactive parenting and adequate nutritional practices during early childhood are crucial for the healthy cognitive development of a child (Aboud, Singla, Nahil, & Borisova, 2013;Bai et al., 2021;Luby et al., 2012;Luby, Belden, Harms, Tillman, & Barch, 2016;Luo et al., 2015Luo et al., , 2019Sylvia et al., 2018). As mothers are often the primary caregiver and typically the second parent to migrate, the primary caregiver responsibility is commonly assumed by grandparents. ...
... However, research has documented poor developmental outcomes and delayed human capital development independent of parental migration in both China and globally (Black et al., 2017). In rural China, studies have found that rates of developmental delays among children aged zero to three years have risen to 50 per cent (Luo et al., 2019;Wang et al., 2019;Yue et al., 2020) while fewer studies have found similarly high rates of cognitive delays among children aged three to six years (Xue et al., 2015;Zhou & Tao, 2009). ...
... First, to the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to estimate the effects of maternal migration on cognitive development during the first six years of life in rural China. Previous studies have isolated samples to specific age groups, such as zero to three years (Luo et al., 2019;Yue et al., 2020) and three to six years (Xue et al., 2015;Zhou & Tao, 2009), observing only short-term impacts of parental migration. Some studies survey a broader range of children, but they largely address the impact of parental migration on nutritional outcomes (de Brauw & Mu, 2011;Mu & de Brauw, 2015) or health status (Li, Liu, & Zhang, 2015) of children left behind, with empirical research on their cognitive development scarce. ...
Article
Preschool-aged children account for over 38 per cent of those left behind. Previous research suggests that maternal migration during early childhood may create a greater negative impact, however, the literature on the effect of maternal migration on cognitive development of preschool aged children is rare. This study uses a unique panel dataset following children from infancy to 63 months and their caregivers to estimate the causal effects of maternal migration on the critical cognitive development of children left behind. We find that maternal migration increases the probability of cognitive delay by six percentage points. Possible mechanisms include a generational shift in parenting and feeding practices leading to reduced engagement in stimulating activities and dietary diversity. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to examine the causal effects of maternal migration on cognition during the first six years of life in rural China.
... Approximately 30% of infants/toddlers in less developed regions of rural China are raised by their grandparents (Yue et al., 2018). In the case of most types of positive parenting investments (e.g., playing with toys, reading picture books), grandparent caregivers have been found to invest less time and fewer resources than do parent caregivers (Luo, Jia et al., 2019;Yue et al., 2017). Low caregiver engagement in interactive caregiver-child activities has been identified as one of the main causes of poor ECD outcomes (Luo, Jia et al., 2019;Yue et al., 2017). ...
... In the case of most types of positive parenting investments (e.g., playing with toys, reading picture books), grandparent caregivers have been found to invest less time and fewer resources than do parent caregivers (Luo, Jia et al., 2019;Yue et al., 2017). Low caregiver engagement in interactive caregiver-child activities has been identified as one of the main causes of poor ECD outcomes (Luo, Jia et al., 2019;Yue et al., 2017). A systematic review reported that approximately 45%, 46%, and 36% of the children under age 5 in disadvantaged areas of rural China are delayed in their cognitive, language, and social-emotional development, respectively (Emmers et al., 2021). ...
... Moreover, rural children raised by grandparent caregivers score, on average, lower on non-cognitive and physical development tests (Panel A of Figure 2 and Appendix Table B.2). These findings are in line with evidence from an earlier large-scale field study conducted in an economically disadvantaged region in rural China, where lower rates of interactive parenting were reported by grandmothers than by mothers (Luo, Jia et al., 2019). More externality among grandmothers also may be linked to higher rates of depression among grandparent caregivers as compared to parent caregivers. ...
Article
This study investigates the relationship between caregivers' internal or external parental locus of control (PLOC) orientation and child development outcomes. We surveyed 995 children under age 3 and their primary caregivers in a rural study site in Western China. The empirical results show that a more internal PLOC orientation is reflected in higher levels of intergenerational investment in a stimulating home environment and improved child development outcomes. Grandparent caregivers have, on average, a more external PLOC orientation than do parent caregivers, which is associated with reduced engagement in interactive caregiver-child activities. This study provides evidence that PLOC orientation plays an important role in intergenerational human capital investment and early child development in non-Western, low-to-middle income settings.
... Previous studies have shown that during this critical period (the first three years), it is important that caregivers provide their babies with stimulating activities to support healthy brain development [1]. In particular, scholars have demonstrated that interactive reading during this critical period supports early childhood cognitive development and can lower levels of cognitive delay in children [5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13]. Compared to more standard reading practices, whereby parents simply read the text aloud or describe pictures or objects for their children, an interactive reading method is collaborative in nature. ...
... Empirical research has shown that there is a huge gap in China between urban and rural children in terms of levels of cognitive development. Studies have shown that nearly half of rural toddlers have cognitive delays, and more than half of rural toddlers exhibit language delays, due to an absence of interactive parenting practices such as interactive reading [9,13,20,21]. These early developmental delays have significant implications for the future labor force and productivity, as these delays mean that rural residents might not have equal access to increasing economic and educational opportunities, which can widen the existing gaps between rural and urban residents [13,22,23]. ...
... Cognitive delays are unfortunately common in rural China, with nearly half of rural infants experiencing such delays [9,13,20,21]. Although many studies have suggested that these delays are due to an absence of interactive parenting (such as reading) during the first three-year critical period [13,22,23], few have specifically examined EECRP, its connections to cognition, and the factors that cause such low rates of EECRP during such a crucial period for children in rural China. ...
Article
Full-text available
Studies have shown that nearly half of rural toddlers in China have cognitive delays due to an absence of stimulating parenting practices, such as early childhood reading, during the critical first three years of life. However, few studies have examined the reasons behind these low levels of stimulating parenting, and no studies have sought to identify the factors that limit caregivers from providing effective early childhood reading practices (EECRP). This mixed-methods study investigates the perceptions, prevalence, and correlates of EECRP in rural China, as well as associations with child cognitive development. We use quantitative survey results from 1748 caregiver–child dyads across 100 rural villages/townships in northwestern China and field observation and interview data with 60 caregivers from these same sites. The quantitative results show significantly low rates of EECRP despite positive perceptions of early reading and positive associations between EECRP and cognitive development. The qualitative results suggest that low rates of EECRP in rural China are not due to the inability to access books, financial or time constraints, or the absence of aspirations. Rather, the low rate of book ownership and absence of reading to young children is driven by the insufficient and inaccurate knowledge of EECRP among caregivers, which leads to their delayed, misinformed reading decisions with their young children, ultimately contributing to developmental delays.
... For one thing, rural caregivers provide very few play materials for the children in the family [11,12]. Rural caregivers also seldom engage in interactive parenting activities [13][14][15]. In rural China, only 12.6% of caregivers read with their children [13] and only 13.8% tell stories to their children [14]. ...
... Rural caregivers also seldom engage in interactive parenting activities [13][14][15]. In rural China, only 12.6% of caregivers read with their children [13] and only 13.8% tell stories to their children [14]. On average, rural children play alone for about 2.5 h per day, implying the absence of caregiver-child interaction in the family [15]. ...
... On average, rural children play alone for about 2.5 h per day, implying the absence of caregiver-child interaction in the family [15]. For another thing, family care is significantly and positively associated with ECD outcomes [14][15][16][17][18]. In rural China, the children's cognitive and language development measured by the Mental Development Index in the Bayley Scales of Infant Development version I (BSID-I) was significantly higher by 0.48 standard deviation (SD), 0.51 SD, and 0.34 SD on average when their caregivers told stories to them, sang songs to them, and used the play materials to play with them, respectively; the children's psychomotor development measured by the Psychomotor Development Index in the BSID-I was also significantly higher by 0.20 SD, 0.27 SD, and 0.18 SD on average when their caregivers told stories to them, sang songs to them, and used the play materials to play with them, respectively [15]. ...
Article
Full-text available
This paper studied the interrelationships between parenting information, family care, and early childhood development (ECD) outcomes. A total of 1787 sample households in rural China were enrolled in a cross-sectional study. A demographic questionnaire, a parenting information questionnaire, the Family Care Indicators (FCIs), and the Bayley Scales of Infant Development version III (BSID-III) were used to measure demographic characteristics, parenting information that the caregiver received, family care, and early development outcomes of the child, respectively. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was then used to estimate the interrelationships. The results showed that family care significantly mediated between parenting information and ECD outcomes. Through family care, one standard deviation (SD) increase in the parenting information was associated with the increase in the child’s four development outcomes (cognition, language, motor, and social–emotion) by 3%, 4%, 4%, and 5% of one SD, respectively. Different measurements of parenting information and different components of family care played different roles in the interrelationships. The key findings of this study are informative for providing early child development services in rural China.
... One study linked the cognitive development delays among rural children to the absence of modern parenting among rural families [34]. Another study found child development delays were connected to passive parenting, expressed by a lack of interaction and play [35]. However, a comprehensive analysis of the nexus of child development and the home environment in China is lacking so far. ...
... We found the lowest average score for social-emotional development (M = 85. 35 To assess the overall performance across dimensions, Figure 1 displays the density distributions of BSID-III composite scores. The 2nd and 98th percentiles mark the thresholds for 'extremely low' and 'very superior' scores, respectively, in any of the four composite BSID-III scales [38]. ...
... , SD = 11.91) and the highest for motoric development (M = 95.35, SD = 15.78). ...
Article
Full-text available
Delays in early child development are among the aspects underlying the persistent developmental gaps between regions and social strata. This study seeks to examine the relationship between the home environment and early child development in less-developed rural areas by drawing on data from 445 children from villages in Guizhou province in southwest China. A demographic questionnaire, the Home Observation Measurement of the Environment (HOME), and the Bayley Scales of Infant Development, version III (BSID-III), were used to measure the child’s demographic characteristics, home environment, and early development outcomes, respectively. Our data show that the sample children suffer a delay in various dimensions of child development and a deficit in the HOME scale. The results from a hierarchical regression model suggest that the availability of learning material at home, caregivers’ responsiveness and organization sub-scales are significantly positively correlated with the early development of sample children, after controlling for general socioeconomic status, health, and nutrition, and this correlation differs by gender. These results imply that the provision of learning material to households, promoting caregivers’ responsiveness and organization in less-developed rural areas could improve early child development among deprived children.
... Past studies have utilized evidence from non-Western, developing settings to understand family care for children and parenting practices, finding overall low levels of interactive parenting (such as singing, reading, and playing) at home [22]. However, these studies have typically relied on selfreport measurements, such as the Family Care Indicators [23][24][25]. While such measures are useful, they may be subject to self-report bias. ...
... Considering this gap in the literature, rural China provides a unique opportunity to examine empirically the home language environment and factors driving its variation in a non-Western, developing setting. The literature has found that rural China, like other LMICs, faces high rates of early developmental delays [23][24][25]. In a study of 3353 children under three years across rural China, 85% were found to have at least one developmental delay, and 52% were found to have delayed language skills specifically [25]. ...
... In a study of 3353 children under three years across rural China, 85% were found to have at least one developmental delay, and 52% were found to have delayed language skills specifically [25]. The literature also has found that the observed high rates of developmental delays, especially language delays, are strongly linked to low levels of interactive parenting (playing, singing, and telling stories/reading) by caregivers at home [23][24][25]. These low rates of interactive parenting practices found in rural China are similar to the rates found in a study of 28 other LMICs [27]. ...
Article
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The home language environment is critical to early language development and subsequent skills. However, few studies have quantitatively measured the home language environment in low-income, developing settings. This study explores variations in the home language environment and child language skills among households in poor rural villages in northwestern China. Audio recordings were collected for 38 children aged 20–28 months and analyzed using Language Environment Analysis (LENA) software; language skills were measured using the MacArthur–Bates Mandarin Communicative Developmental Inventories expressive vocabulary scale. The results revealed large variability in both child language skills and home language environment measures (adult words, conversational turns, and child vocalizations) with 5- to 6-fold differences between the highest and lowest scores. Despite variation, however, the average number of adult words and conversational turns were lower than found among urban Chinese children. Correlation analyses did not identify significant correlations between demographic characteristics and the home language environment. However, the results do indicate significant correlations between the home language environment and child language skills, with conversational turns showing the strongest correlation. The results point to a need for further research on language engagement and ways to increase parent–child interactions to improve early language development among young children in rural China.
... 14 Moreover, the same study finds a significant link between these specific parenting behaviors and children's cognitive development. 14 Beyond these findings, however, little is known about the underlying factors that may be contributing to the problem of limited caregiver-child engagement in rural China. Owing to rapid economic growth over the last several decades and major government investment in rural infrastructure, 15 China has undergone a major social transformation in the course of a single generation. ...
... Second, do caregivers engage with their children through stimulating interactive practices, such as storytelling or engaging in learning activities? Building on the work of Luo et al., 14 we consider generational differences in caregiver engagement as well. Third, we examine the sources of parenting information used by caregivers in rural Shaanxi to understand the nature of these sources (i.e., are they professional sources such as doctors or nonprofessional such as family, friends, books, the Internet?) and whether this choice is associated with the way caregivers engage with their children. ...
... Finally, are the levels of caregiver-child engagement that we observe related to early child development outcomes? Again, we build on the work of Luo et al. 14 to consider a wider range of engagement indicators and both cognitive and motor development. Although our study is descriptive and exploratory in nature, it provides the first stepping stone toward understanding the parenting challenges faced by a society in transition. ...
Article
Objective: To provide an empirical overview of the parenting landscape in rural China, focusing on 18- to 30-month-old children and their caregivers in rural Shaanxi province. Methods: We collected unique data on 1442 caregiver-toddler dyads in rural areas of Shaanxi province and examined caregiver attitudes toward parenting, sources of information about parenting, and interactive parenting practices, and how each of these differed across generations. We measured how parenting attitudes and sources of information informed parenting practices. Finally, we measured levels of child development in our sample and the association between parenting practices and children's developmental outcomes. Results: Most of the caregivers did not engage with children in a way that encouraged early development. Caregivers rarely told stories, sang, or used toys to play with their children. Grandmothers were more stressed by the children in their care and engaged significantly less than mothers did in the 3 stimulating interactions. Professional sources of information about parenting were underutilized by all caregivers. We found high rates of developmental delay in our sample and showed that these delays were associated with the lack of caregiver engagement. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that the major economic and social shifts occurring in rural China have not led to a widespread prevalence of stimulative parenting practices. Although caregivers report positive attitudes toward child-rearing, reliable sources of scientific information are lacking. Our results show a troubling generational disconnect between the information-seeking behaviors and parenting practices of rural caregivers.
... Studying fetal development and its link to the prenatal behavior of the mother is particularly important in rural China, where studies have found that large shares of infants and children are at risk for poor health and development [15][16][17][18][19]. In 2017, neonatal mortality (deaths during the first 28 days of life) in China accounted for half (49.5%) of all under-five deaths, with the neonatal mortality rate of rural areas double that of urban areas [15]. ...
... Developmental delays and micronutrient deficiencies also are prevalent in rural China. Multiple studies have found that nearly half of infants and toddlers across rural China are at risk for cognitive delay [16][17][18]. Additionally, a recent study found that roughly half of infants aged 6-12 months in rural areas of northwestern China are anemic [19]. ...
Article
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Background Maternal health during pregnancy is a key input in fetal health and child development. This study aims to systematically describe the health behaviors of pregnant women in rural China and identify which subgroups of women are more likely to engage in unhealthy behaviors during pregnancy. Methods We surveyed 1088 pregnant women in rural northwestern China on exposure to unhealthy substances, nutritional behaviors, the timing and frequency of antenatal care, and demographic characteristics. Results Pregnant women were active in seeking antenatal care and had low rates of alcohol consumption (5.1%), exposure to toxins (4.8%), and exposure to radiation (2.9%). However, tobacco exposure was widespread (40.3%), as was low dietary diversity (61.8%), unhealthy weight gain (59.7%), unhealthy pre-pregnancy BMI (29.7%), and no folic acid intake (17.1%). Maternal education is closely linked to better health behaviors, whereas experience with a previous pregnancy is not. Conclusions Tobacco exposure and unhealthy nutritional behaviors are common among pregnant women in rural northwestern China. The findings indicate that in the absence of professional health information, relying on experience of previous pregnancies alone may not help rural women avoid unhealthy maternal behaviors. Maternal health education campaigns targeting nutrition and tobacco exposure during pregnancy may improve maternal, fetal, and child health in rural China.
... In low-and middle-income countries, about 249 million children under the age of five are at risk of poor development, of whom 17.43 million (about 8%) are in China, ranking second in the world [21]. Studies show that concern for ECD in poverty-stricken areas of China is particularly acute [23,45,46,50]. About half of children in poor rural China are at risk for cognitive delays; 52% of children are at risk for language delays, and the risk of delay increases over time [48]. ...
... The scaled score with a mean of 10 and a standard deviation of 3 to composite score with a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 15 equivalent is a linear conversion [4]. The Chinese version we used in the current study has been widely used in many researches on the early childhood development in China [23,[48][49][50]. The Chinese version is properly translated and back-translated by professional team. ...
Article
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Background: There is a great need in low- and middle- income countries for sound qualitative and monitoring tools assessing early childhood development outcomes. Although there are many instruments to measure the developmental status of infants and toddlers, their use in large scale studies is still limited because of high costs in both time and money. The Caregiver Reported Early Development Instruments (CREDI), however, were designed to serve as a population-level measure of early childhood development for children from birth to age three, and have been used in 17 low- and middle-income countries. This study aimed to examine the reliability and validity of the CREDI in China, which is still unknown. Methods: The CREDI and the ASQ-3 was administered to a sample of 946 children aged 5-36 months from urban and rural communities, in which 248 children was administered with Bayley-III. Results: The internal consistency of the CREDI was high, which indicates that the scale internal consistency reliability is quite good. The results also indicated that the concurrent validity of the CREDI with the Bayley-III scale was high in general. Ordinary least squares regression showed that the CREDI is highly consistent with previous widely used instruments in some key predictors (such as the home stimulation) of early childhood development level. Conclusions: All the results in the current study indicate that the CREDI may be considered an appropriate instrument to measure early childhood development status on a large scale in impoverished regions of China.
... In this paper, we examine this methodological question in the context of rural China, where there is a strong need for feasible assessment tools of developmental delays. Previous studies using Bayley-III in rural China have shown that in some villages and counties, a large portion of children are affected by developmental delays, reaching up to 48% [28,29]. There is concern that if such high rates are generalizable to all of rural China, then universal (or more widespread) screening of children may be needed. ...
... There are two main reasons why the validity of the ASQ may be different in rural China as compared to other areas previously studied. First, research has shown that rural Chinese families do not engage in interactive parenting practices, and that this has an impact on the development of rural children [29]. This is markedly different from other countries, particularly developed countries [30]. ...
Article
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Choosing a valid and feasible method to measure child developmental outcomes is key to addressing developmental delays, which have been shown to be associated with high levels of unemployment, participation in crime, and teen pregnancies. However, measuring early childhood development (ECD) with multi-dimensional diagnostic tests such as the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development III (Bayley-III) can be time-consuming and expensive; therefore, parental screening tools such as the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ-3) are frequently an alternative measure of early childhood development in large-scale research. The ASQ is also becoming more frequently used as the first step to identify children at risk for developmental delays before conducting a diagnostic test to confirm. However, the effectiveness of the ASQ-3 is uncertain. In this study, we evaluate the accuracy of the ASQ-3 as a screening measure for children at risk of developmental delay in rural China by age group. To do so, we administered the Bayley-III, widely considered to be the "gold standard" of ECD diagnostic tests, to a sample of 1,831 five to twenty-four month-old children and also administered the ASQ-3 to their caregivers. We then compared the outcomes of the ASQ-3 test to those of the Bayley-III. We find that the ASQ-3 was significantly though weakly correlated with the Bayley-III and that the strength of this correlation increased with child age and was stronger when the mother was the primary caregiver (as compared to the grandmother). We also find that the sensitivity and specificity of ASQ-3 ranged widely. The overall findings suggest that the ASQ-3 may not be a very accurate screening tool for identifying developmentally delayed children, especially for children under 13 months of age or children whose primary caregiver is not the mother.
... It is unclear what mediates the influence of socioeconomic status on child development whether parental education, availability of resources or parenting style. Lue et al. [45], found no link between parenting styles and poverty. On the other hand, Correia et al., [31] reported a positive association between poverty and DDs. ...
... Higher parental education was a strong protective factor in our results; it decreases the odds to have DDs by 40% compared to being with less degree of education. Again, higher parental education enhances the quality of caregiver-child interaction [45]. On looking up for DDs predictors, prenatal, natal, and postnatal risk factors showed a significant impact. ...
Article
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Objective This study aimed at providing a national prevalence of single and multiple developmental delays (DDs) among 41,640 Egyptian children aged 1 to 12 years and exploring DDs’ associated risk and protective factors. Methods A national household survey from eight governorates of Egypt representing the four major subdivisions of Egypt was conducted through systematic probability proportionate to size. All enrolled children were assessed according to Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales, (VABS) as a reliable screening questionnaire for identifying categories of DDs that were verified by pediatrics’ specialists. Results The overall prevalence of children with DDs was 6.7%. The prevalence of a single DD was 3.9% versus 2.8% multiple DDs. Communication deficit was the most prevalent type (5.3%). Lower prevalence was identified for fine motor delay (1.0%), gross motor delay, and socialization deficit (1.5% each). Whereas deficits in daily life skills (self-help and adaptive behavior delay) amounted to 2.3%. Living without mothers and/or fathers in homes was associated with increased odds of having DDs by one and a half times (OR = 1.72 and OR = 1.34 respectively). Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed the most predictors for DDs including children who suffer from convulsions after birth (OR = 3.10), low birth weight babies (OR = 1.94), male sex (OR = 1.75), mothers having health problems during pregnancy (OR = 1.70) and belonging to middle socioeconomic status (OR = 1.41). Children who suffered from cyanosis after birth was found to be at risk for any or multiple DDs. Difficult labor was significantly associated with increased odds for multiple DDs (OR = 1.55). Higher paternal and maternal education was associated with decreased odds to have any DDs by 40% (OR = 0.60 and OR = 0.58 respectively). Conclusions The detected prevalence of DDs is within the estimated range of prevalence of DDs for the pediatric population. The majority of the detected risk factors are preventable. Developmental screening is recommended to be implemented in all primary care settings as a routine practice.
... To assess caregiver parenting practices-both positive and negative-we asked the primary caregivers whether or not they had engaged in a number of interactive practices the previous day: told stories to the baby, read books to the baby, sang song to the baby, used toys to play with the baby, and the number of times the caregiver expressed affection to the baby. We also asked them whether or not the household has two or more children's books [52][53][54]. In addition, we asked the primary caregivers how often they engaged in the following negative parenting practices: raise voice or yell at baby, spank the baby, take away toys from the baby, or do not explain to the baby why his or her behavior is inappropriate [55,56]. ...
... The one exception was rural-urban migrant communities, which had significantly lower rates of delay relative to the other subpopulations (although they were still much higher than those in a healthy population). Our results regarding developmental outcomes are consistent with the results of a previous study by Luo et al., who also found that around 50% of the sample suffered from cognitive and language delays, and 35% of the sample suffered from social-emotional delays [53]. ...
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Previous research has found that there are high rates of developmental delays among infants and toddlers in rural areas of China. Caregiver mental health problems might be one significant predictor of developmental delays among infants and toddlers, as has been found in other areas of the world. One way that the mental health of caregivers could affect early childhood development is through its effect on parenting practices. In this study, we used data from four major subpopulations of rural China to measure the correlation of caregiver mental health problems with the developmental outcomes of infants and toddlers. To do so, the study used the Bayley Scales of Infant Development III (BSID III) to examine the rates of developmental delays among 2514 rural infants/toddlers aged 6–30 months old. The results of the testing demonstrate that 48% of the sample’s infants/toddlers have cognitive delays; 52% have language delays; 53% have social-emotional delays; and 30% have motor delays. The data collection team also assessed caregiver mental health by using the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS-21) questionnaire. According to the findings, 39% of caregivers in the sample have symptoms of at least one kind of mental health problem (depression, anxiety, or stress). We also found that most caregivers do not engage in positive parenting practices, while a significant share of caregivers engage in negative parenting practices. The statistical analysis found that showing signs of mental health problems is significantly and negatively associated with infant/toddler developmental outcomes. The study also found that caregivers who show signs of mental health problems are significantly less likely to engage in interactive parenting practices. The study confirms that society needs to pay more attention to caregiver mental health problems in order to improve infant/toddler developmental outcomes in rural China and increase human capital accumulation in China as a whole.
... It should be emphasized that despite differences across children with various parental migrations, socialemotional delays are a widespread problem in rural China and affect not only left behind children but also all children [33,49,50]. Additionally, a high prevalence of SE delays was also found to exist across wide regions of rural China and has been reported by different research groups when using different scales for the measurement of SE skills [28,[32][33][34][49][50][51][52][53][54]. A multidimensional intervention framework is needed to support all rural children as well as their families, especially those with both migrant parents. ...
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Background Parent-child separation is a considerable adversity for left-behind children (LBC), but there is little evidence on the association between detailed characteristics of parent-child separation and social-emotional development among LBC. This study examined the characteristics of parent-child separation and its impacts on developmental delay among under-3 LBC in poor rural China. Methods We used data from 811 LBC surveyed in five poor counties in rural China in 2018. Detailed characteristics of their parental migration were recalled by their primary caregivers in face-to-face interviews. The children’s social-emotional development was measured by using the Ages and Stages Questionnaire: Social-Emotional. Logistic regression was employed to examine the association of detailed characteristics of parent-child separation with early social-emotional problems after adjusting for the children’s and primary caregivers’ sociodemographic characteristics. Results 287 (35.4%) children were left behind by fathers and cared for by mothers (FM-MC), while 524 (64.6%) were left behind by both parents and cared for by grandparents (PM-GC). The rate of social-emotional problems among LBC was 36.8% (PM-GC vs FM-MC: 40.6% vs 29.5%; aOR 1.51, 95% CI: 1.06 to 2.16). For paternal migration, the medians of the child’s age at the first migration and average duration per migration were 3 months (IQR: 1 to 9 months) and 4.48 months (IQR: 2.38 to 7.54 months), respectively. For maternal migration, the corresponding values were 9 months (IQR: 6 to 13 months) and 4.65 months (IQR: 2.71 to 7.62 months), respectively. On average, LBC had been separated from fathers for 72% of their life due to paternal migration and from mothers for 52% of their life due to maternal migration. No significant association was found between the detailed characteristics of paternal migration and social-emotional development among LBC, while social-emotional problems among LBC were significantly associated with the proportion of cumulative duration of maternal migration in the child’s lifetime (aOR 2.83; 95% CI: 1.13 to 7.10). Conclusions LBC under 3 years had a high risk of social-emotional problems in poor rural China. Cumulative exposure to maternal migration may be detrimental to LBC’s early social-emotional development. Programs are necessary to support these children as well as their families.
... The decrease in material investments is a strong channel linked to inferior development outcomes including cognition, language, motor, and social-emotion skills. On the other hand, in terms of time investments, stimulating caregiver-child interactions are productive inputs for child outcomes, as documented by previous studies in developed countries [38,39] and in rural areas of China [17,40,41]. Households with parental migration perform worse in the organization of the stimulating activities, which is also negatively correlated with the child's language and motor development. ...
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A growing body of literature is providing evidence of a negative association between parental migration and child development. Meanwhile, the chain of relationships between parental migration, home environment, and early child development has not yet been well documented in China. This paper investigates the interrelationships between parental migration, home environment, and early child development in an undeveloped area of western rural China. In total, 444 households were included in the study. Bayley Scales of Infant Development version III (BSID-III), Home Observation Measurement of the Environment (HOME), and a socioeconomic questionnaire, were used to measure children’s development outcomes, home environment, and socioeconomic characteristics in sample households. A mediation effect model was used to estimate the interrelationships between parental migration, home environment, and child development. The results demonstrate that home environment works as a significant mediator, through which parental migration is associated with a 0.07 standard deviation (SD), 0.13 SD, 0.12 SD, and 0.10 SD decline in the child’s cognitive, language, motor, and social-emotional scores, respectively. For future studies, the key findings suggest that interventions aimed at improving the home environments of left-behind children might be necessary in rural China.
... Those families living in the most disadvantaged circumstances were the ones for whom high PSE related most strongly to children's efficacy beliefs and social-emotional adjustment ( Ardelt & Eccles, 2001;Shumow & Lomax, 2002). Third, studies examining PSE and child academic performance found that PSE was associated with helping children to learn and achieve ( Luo, Jia, Yue, & Rozelle, 2017). Parents with a higher PSE reported higher school grades of their children ( Bogenschneider, Small, & Tsay, 1997) and more academic success ( Ardelt & Eccles, 2001). ...
Article
China's fast-developing urbanization has promoted a great number of rural families migrating to urban areas. The objective of this study is to address the existing situation of urban migrant parents' parenting for infant and toddlers and the association between co-parental self-efficacy and child developmental outcomes. A sample of 387 parents of rural–urban migrant families in urban China was invited to complete the online questionnaires. Results showed that mothers have higher parenting self-efficacy (PSE) levels than fathers in all measured dimensions, and found an interdependence of their co-PSE predicting child development outcomes. This study revealed that rural–urban migrant families were still following Chinese traditional parenting and attributed mothers to the responsibility for early childcare, although the ensuing modernization and ingress of Western values have greatly influenced urban parents' understandings about parenting. Based on these results, this paper provides implications for intervention approaches to promote PSE among migrant parents with young children.
... Both delivery models are viable in rural China, where there is a need for scalable parental training interventions. Like other LMICs, China is facing widespread early developmental delays, with nearly half (49%) of rural children aged 0-3 years as exhibiting cognitive delay (Bai et al., 2019;Luo et al., 2017;Wang, Liang, Zhang, Jonsson, Li, Yu, & Luo, 2019;Yue et al., 2017). At the same time, China has a large public infrastructure and abundant human resources, which can be leveraged to implement parenting interventions at scale should the government decide that this is a priority. ...
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We present the results of a cluster-randomized controlled trial that evaluates the effects of a free, center-based parenting intervention on early cognitive development and parenting practices in 100 rural villages in China. We then compare these effects to a previous trial of a home-based intervention conducted in the same region, using the same parenting curriculum and public service system, accounting for potential differences between the studies. We find that the center-based intervention did not have a significant impact on child development outcomes, but did lead to increases in the material investments, time investments, and parenting skills of caregivers. The average impact of the center-based intervention on child skills and investments in children was significantly smaller than the home-visiting intervention. Analysis of the possible mechanisms suggests that the difference in effects was driven primarily by different patterns of selection into program participation.
... Positive parenting practices, characterized by warmth, praise, and involvement (Darling & Steinberg, 1993), have been shown to improve cognitive outcomes (Bono et al., 2016;Leyendeckera et al., 2011;X. Li & Xie, 2017;Luo et al., 2019;Nievar et al., 2014;Shah et al., 2015). Randomized intervention trials improving caregiver-child interaction have shown positive effects on children's cognitive abilities, communication skills, and social emotions (Sylvia et al., 2021). ...
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The overall goal of this study was to examine the relationship between parenting practices and cognitive development among preschool-aged children in poor rural China. We drew on data from a large-scale panel dataset of 1,802 children and their caregivers in rural China. The cognitive development of children was measured at 22–30 months and then again at 49–65 months by the Bayley Scales of Infant Development-First Edition (BSID-I) and the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence-Fourth Edition (WPPSI-IV), respectively. The results showed that the prevalence of cognitive delay was 38% when children were older. Our findings also revealed that only a small proportion of caregivers engaged in different types of positive stimulating activities (7–24%), while the prevalence of different types of negative parenting practices ranged from 19% to 32%, when the children were 49–65 months old. We found that positive parenting practices were significantly positively associated with the Full-Scale Intelligence Quotient and Primary Indexes, whereas negative parenting practices were significantly negatively associated with these indicators (p < 0.01). When examining child characteristics, the data showed that gender and whether the child attended preschool were significantly associated with positive parenting practices. There is an urgent need to develop initiatives that can improve the children’s cognitive developments from rural China. It is necessary to address the economic and knowledge constraints that prevent rural caregivers from engaging in positive parenting practices by providing financial support to caregivers and developing a public platform that provides parenting information.
... Importantly, these results do not vary substantially from the results of previous analyses without considering sampling weights. Although the results in this paper are not causal, our findings are consistent with literature that suggests that better nutrition and engagement of children with more stimulating activities lead to better developmental outcomes (Luo et al., 2017a). ...
Article
Using the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development-III (BSID-III), we examine the rates of developmental delays among children aged 0–3 years in four major subpopulations of rural China, which, altogether, account for 69% of China's rural children and 49% of children nationwide. The results indicate that 85% of the 3,353 rural children in our sample suffer from at least one kind of developmental delay. Specifically, 49% of the children have cognitive delays, 52% have language delays, 53% have social-emotional delays, and 30% have motor delays. The results suggest that these high rates are due to two main factors in the parenting environment. The first is micronutrient deficiencies, which are reflected in a high prevalence of anemia (42%). The second is an absence of interactive parenting inputs, such as storytelling, reading, singing, and playing. Although we find these inputs to be significantly and positively associated with better developmental outcomes, only a small share of caregivers engage in them. With this large and broad sample, we show that, if China hopes to build up enough human capital to transition to a high-income economy, early childhood development in rural areas urgently requires more attention.
... In rural China, cognitive and social-emotional development delays are distressingly common among children under 5 (47)(48)(49)(50)(51)(52)(53). In a recent meta-analysis that included 18 empirical studies conducted in rural China, the results indicated that, on average, the rates of cognitive and social-emotional delays among children under 5 were 45 and 36%, respectively (48). ...
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Using a three-wave longitudinal survey conducted in 815 households in rural Western China, this study aims to examine the association between parental self-perception and early childhood development and the mediation effect of parental investment on the association between parental self-perception and child development when the sample children are at different ages in the early childhood (18–30, 22–36, and 49–65 months). The results demonstrate that parental self-perception are positively and significantly associated with child social-emotional development in all three ages of childhood (from 18 to 65 months). Positive and significant association between parental self-perception and child cognitive development is found in the ages from 22 to 65 months. In addition, findings of this study show that parental investment plays a mediating role in the association between parental self-perception and child cognitive development. The study calls on policymakers to help to strengthen parental self-perception and parental investment related to early childhood development, which should result in better child development in rural China.
... With regard to parenting courses, this study found that nearly one fifths of parents reported attending the parenting courses, which is lower than that in an American's survey (one-third, p110) [28]. A few pilot studies on parenting programs have been carried out or evaluated in China [42,44], but no evidence-based parenting support program has yet been promoted on a large-scale nationwide. Most of parenting courses reported by parents may be loose, casual, and lacked any evidentiary support. ...
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Background: The quality of the family environment-in particular, the kind of parenting children receive in their early years-plays a critical role in influencing children's growth and development. To facilitate the development and delivery of appropriate parenting and family interventions for Chinese parents, this study explores the prevalence of the difficulties that may arise in the course of child-rearing, the associated sociodemographic factors and parents' help-seeking behavior. Methods: A cross-sectional self-reporting survey was conducted with a sample of 2229 parents of children between 6 and 35 months of age. Using a stratified random-digit design, parents from 15 Chinese cities were surveyed to determine their child-rearing difficulties, support-seeking behavior and their preferences for service delivery. The sociodemographic factors that influenced major child-rearing difficulties were analyzed using bivariate and logistic analyses. Results: The majority (87.5%) of Chinese parents of children aged 6-35 months reported experiencing child-rearing difficulties. Nearly one third (31.5%) of parents reported experiencing major difficulties. Feeding and sleep problems were most often reported. Regression analysis revealed that major child-rearing difficulties most often involved male children (OR = 1.35, 95% CI 1.11-1.64), single-child households (OR = 1.38, 95% CI 1.07-1.77), and households with financial problems (OR = 1.40, 95% CI 1.06-1.85). Just over one third of parents (33.44%) sought professional support, while 21.37% had attended a parenting course in the past year. Prefer ways of sourcing parental support included professional online platform (69.24%), self-help books (43.70%), face-to-face consultation (24.99%), and attending lectures (36.57%). Conclusions: Child-rearing difficulties are common among parents of children between 6 and 35 months of age in Chinese cities. The family with boys, single-child, financial problems, and father not joining in child-rearing may face the high risk to major child-rearing difficulties. The national initiative to provide more guidance and support for child-rearing difficulties is worthwhile, as is the development of online parenting programs.
Article
Nearly one-quarter of all children under age 2 in China are left behind in the countryside as parents migrate to urban areas for work. We use a four-wave longitudinal survey following young children from 6 to 30 months of age to provide first evidence on the effects of parental migration on development, health, and nutritional outcomes in the critical first stages of life. We find that maternal migration has a negative effect on cognitive development: migration before children reach 12 months of age reduces cognitive development by 0.3 standard deviations at age 2. Possible mechanisms include reduced dietary diversity and engagement in stimulating activities, both known to be causally associated with skill development in early life. We find no effects on other dimensions of physical and social-emotional health.
Article
In this study, we investigate the association between family environment and early childhood development among children aged 6–24 months in rural counties in China. To do this, we used cross-sectional data from a large scale survey, including 1809 child-caregiver dyads across 22 nationally designated poverty counties. We found that 53.95% of children were at the risk of cognitive development delay, 60.26%, 36.27%, 40.69% of children were at the risk of language, motor, and social-emotional development delay respectively. Moreover, the good quality of family environment was significantly associated with the child’s development. Rural family environments are providing insufficient stimulation for children, especially a low variety of developmental enriching materials and lacking play activities. Our study confirms the need for programmatic interventions that provide reliable ways to learn how to play with their children and build a stimulating environment to improve early childhood development in the region.
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We examine the role of teachers in explaining the urban-rural gap in educational outcomes. Using a large panel data set of students and teachers collected from China and explicitly controlling for the endogeneity of prior student academic achievement, we find that the urban-rural difference in teacher effects contributes in large part to the observed urban-rural gap in student academic achievement. In other words, if rural teachers were of the same quality as urban teachers, the urban-rural gap in student academic achievement would be reduced substantially.
Article
Background International interest in adverse childhood experiences (ACE) is on the rise. In China, recent research has explored the effects of ACEs on health-related outcomes, but little is known about how ACEs impact the psychological functioning of rural Chinese youth as they make transition to adulthood. Objective This study is aimed to assess the prevalence and psychological consequences of ACEs among a group of rural Chinese young adults. Participants and settings 1019 rural high school graduates from three different provinces of China participated in this study. Methods A web-based survey was used to assess ten conventional ACEs and seven other novel ACEs using the Childhood Experiences Survey. Using validated brief measures, six indicators of psychological functioning were assessed: anxiety, depression, perceived stress, posttraumatic stress, loneliness, and suicidality. Descriptive and correlational analyses of all ACEs were performed, and multivariate regressions were conducted to test associations between ACEs and study outcomes. Results Three-fourths of Chinese youth endorsed at least one of ten conventional ACEs. The most prevalent ACEs were physical abuse (52.3 %) and domestic violence (43.2 %). Among seven new adversities, prolonged parental absence (37.4 %) and parental gambling problems (19.7 %) were most prevalent. Higher conventional ACEs scores were significantly associated with poorer psychological functioning, and each type of new adversity was associated with one or more psychological problems. Conclusion ACEs were prevalent among rural Chinese young adults and had deleterious effects on their psychological well-being. Further work is needed to address ACEs by developing culturally appropriate assessment practices, interventions, and policy responses.
Article
Background Parental investments are associated with early child outcomes, and some evidences outside China suggest that parental belief might affect parental investments. However, the interrelationships of parental belief, parental investments, and early child development has not been well documented in China. Aims This paper aims to study the interrelationships between the caregiver’s parental belief, the caregiver’s parental investments, and the child’s early developmental outcomes in rural China. Methods A total of 1787 sample households in an undeveloped rural area of western China are enrolled in the cross-sectional study. A parental belief questionnaire, the Family Care Indicators (FCI), the Bayley Scales of Infant Development version III (BSID-III), and a socioeconomic questionnaire were used to measure the caregiver’s parental belief on parenting practices, the caregiver’s parental investments, the child’s early developmental outcomes, and the socioeconomic characteristics of sample households, respectively. The mediation model was then applied to estimate the interrelationships. Results The results find that the caregiver’s parental investments significantly mediate in the relationships between the caregiver’s parental belief and the child’s early developmental outcomes. Through parental investments, one standard deviation (SD) increase in the caregiver’s parental belief is corresponding to 3% of one SD increase in the child’s four developmental outcomes (cognition, language, motor, and social–emotion) respectively. Conclusions For future studies aimed at designing targeted interventions on early child development in rural China, the key findings of this paper might be informative. Early interventions aimed at strengthening the caregiver’s subjective belief on parenting practices and increasing the parental investments in the household might be effective to improve the development of rural children.
Article
Background The current study examined whether children in foster care have better cognitive and social-emotional outcomes at kindergarten age when they enroll in formal center-based care and when they receive positive parenting practices at home. Objective Two primary questions were addressed: (1) Do children in foster care who attended formal center-based care (including Head Start) have higher cognitive and socio-emotional outcomes than children in foster care who did not attend formal center-based care? (2) Does positive parenting practice promote better cognitive and socio-emotional outcomes? Participants and setting Based on the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-K: 2011 data, 299 children in foster care were selected. Methods Regression analyses were conducted on children's cognitive and social-emotional scores by types of children's childcare arrangements (formal vs informal care) and positive parenting practices. Active parental involvement was measured based on how frequently parents read books with their children, and authoritarian parenting discipline was measured based on whether parents spanked their children. Results Children in foster care who enrolled in formal center-based childcare at pre-school age have higher cognitive and socio-emotional scores at kindergarten age. Positive parenting practice also promotes children's outcomes. Children in foster care who are both enrolled in formal center-based care and experience positive parenting practice had the most positive outcomes. Conclusions. Parents raising children in foster care should be informed about the positive impacts of certain parenting practices on their children. Foster parents should be connected to available community resources, including formal-center-based preschool programs and required to continuously attend parenting classes to sustain positive impact of parenting practice on foster children.
Article
We study the influence of early childhood family cognitive stimulation on child development. Using the China Family Panel Studies (CFPS) survey data, we find that early childhood family cognitive stimulation at the preschool stage plays an important role in young children’s later development. Our findings mainly demonstrate that the preschool stage family cognitive stimulation can significantly improve the school-aged children's cognitive outcome based on the cumulative value-added model with other factors controlled. However, this impact is different between urban cohorts and rural cohorts, and is substantially significant for children in rural regions. Moreover, early childhood cognitive development delays at the toddler stage also have significant adverse effects on children's later cognitive outcomes, especially language delays. Finally, we also explore behavioral factors of attention and priority of study as potential operating mechanisms of early family cognitive stimulation. The results imply that the effect channels of preschool family cognitive stimulation are complex and cannot be captured by these two measures.
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Introduction: Inadequate care during early childhood can lead to long-term deficits in skills. Parenting programs that encourage investment in young children are a promising tool for improving early development outcomes and long-term opportunities in low- and middle-income regions, such as rural China. Methods: We conducted a systematic review and a meta-analysis to investigate the prevalence of early developmental delays and stimulating parenting practices as well as the effect of parental training programs on child development outcomes in rural China. We obtained data in English from EconPapers, PubMed, PsycARTICLES, Cochrane Library, Web of Science, and Scopus (Elsevier), and in Chinese from China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), Wanfang Data, and VIP Information. We conducted frequentist meta-analyses of aggregate data and estimated random-effects meta-regressions. Certainty of evidence was rated according to the GRADE approach. This study was registered with PROSPERO (CRD42020218852). Results: We identified 19 observational studies on the prevalence of developmental delays and stimulating parenting practices for children under 5 years of age (n = 19,762) and ten studies on the impact of parental training programs on early child development (n = 13,766). Children’s risk of cognitive, language, and social-emotional delays in the rural study sites (covering 14 provinces mostly in Central and Western China) was 45%, 46%, and 36%, respectively. Parental training programs had a positive impact on child cognition, language, and social-emotional development. Conclusion: There is evidence to suggest that early developmental delay and the absence of stimulating parenting practices (i.e., reading, storytelling, and singing with children) may be prevalent across rural, low-and middle-income regions in Central and Western China. Results support the effectiveness of parental training programs to improve early development by encouraging parental engagement.
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In the digital age, the internet has become an essential source of information gathering and maintains a network of social contact. In this paper, we use microdata from the China Family Panel Studies to examine the effects of guardian's internet use on teenager's cognitive skills. Using mobile internet users and base station density as instruments, we found that guardian's internet use had a significant impact on teenager's cognitive abilities as measured by math and verbal tests. Heterogeneity analysis shows that the impact is more substantial for guardians in rural areas and less‐educated guardians. Further exploration of the mechanism shows that internet usage affects cognitive skills through monetary investment, time investment, and parental environment. The result suggests that promoting internet usage for less educated families in rural areas can potentially improve children's academic performance and decrease inequality across regions and generations.
Article
Background Social-emotional development during the first three years of life is associated with later social-emotional development and cognitive development. In rural China, research has found large shares of children under age three are developmentally delayed, yet little is known about the paths of social-emotional development before age 3 or how developmental paths predict later social-emotional skills and cognitive skills. Aims To investigate the paths of child social-emotional development during ages 0–3 and examine how different paths predict social-emotional development and cognitive development at preschool age. Methods Three waves of longitudinal panel data from 1245 children in rural Western China was collected. Child social-emotional development was measured by the Ages and Stages Questionnaire: Social-Emotional. Child cognitive development was measured by the Bayley Scales of Infant Development and by the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence-Fourth Edition. Four paths of child social-emotional development were classified: “never” social-emotionally delayed; “persistently” social-emotionally delayed; “improving,” or “deteriorating.” Results 331 (27%) were never social-emotionally delayed; 373 children (30%) were persistently social-emotionally delayed; 149 children (12%) experienced improving social-emotional development; and 392 children (31%) experienced deteriorating social-emotional development. Children who were never social-emotionally delayed or who were on an “improving” path had higher social-emotional development at preschool age (p < .01). Children who were persistently social-emotionally delayed (p < .5) and on a deteriorating path (p < .01) had lower social-emotional development at preschool age. Children on the persistently delay path also were shown to have lower levels of cognitive development at preschool age (p < .01). Conclusions Different paths of child social-emotional development before age 3 are associated with different social-emotional and cognitive development at preschool age.
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Background: The development of children at preschool age is mentioned as the "Golden Period." At this time, the development of creativity, social awareness, emotional, and intelligence goes swiftly, therefore the parenting provided by parents from an early age will affect the future child's developmentPurpose: the major aim of the study was to know the relationship between parenting style and social development among toddlers in YogyakartaMethods: The design of this research was observational analytic with a cross-sectional design. The subjects of this study were mothers who have children aged 4-6 years, the sample used was 50 respondents. Data were analyzed using the chi-square test. An instrument using VSMS (Vineland Social Maturity Scale).Results: The results of the statistical test revealed that authoritarian parenting risked the children's social development by 5.5 times compared to authoritarian parenting, while permissive parenting risked children's social development by 7,5 times compared to authoritarian parenting. There is a significant relationship between parenting and social development of children with the value of CI 95% = 1.298-41.420 (p = 0.02). While the mothers' age does not have a significant relationship with the children's social development (p-value = 0.07), as well as the mothers' employment status does not have a significant relationship with the child's social development (p-value = 0.13).Conclusion: This study shows that there is a significant relationship between parenting and the social development of children, however, there is no significant relationship between age and mothers' employment status on children's social development. Authoritarian parenting is the most effective parenting approach to children's social development compared to authoritarian and permissive parenting.
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Research in developed countries has found that paternal involvement has positive and significant effects on early childhood development (ECD). Less is known, however, about the state of paternal involvement and its influence on ECD in rural China. Using data collected in Southern China that included 1,460 children aged 6–42 months and their fathers (as well as their primary caregivers), this study examines the association between paternal involvement and ECD. Although the results demonstrate that the average level of paternal involvement is low in rural China, paternal involvement is related to a significant increase in three domains of ECD (cognition, language, and social-emotional skills). Older children benefit significantly more than do younger children from paternal involvement in all domains of ECD. The results also show that, if the mother is the primary caregiver, the mother’s higher educational level and the family’s higher socioeconomic status are positively associated with paternal involvement.
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Several researchers have found that media exposure through books or electronic media contribute to preschoolers’ development. However, research with behavioral measures and during the first years of life have not been carried out in Latin American contexts. The aim of the following research was to evaluate the relations between media exposure through electronic media and books with joint attention skills and temperament (i.e., effortful control, surgency and negative affect) during the first year of life. A free play session was carried out, where the number of mother-infant interaction behaviors were assessed. Findings state that only the amount and the frequency of the use of books at home between caregivers and infants were positively associated with the behaviors of joint attention and surgency. Conclusion denotes that books would probably be associated with more infant interactions and higher SES, mediating in the promotion of cognitive development from the first months of life.
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The Sustainable Development Goals mandate that by 2030, all children should have access to quality early child development opportunities, healthcare and pre-primary education. Yet validated measures of ECD in low and middle income countries (LMICs) are rare. To address this gap, a Systematic Review (SR) of measures available to profile the development of children between the ages of 0–5 years in LMICs was undertaken. Drawing on education, psychology and health databases, we identified reliable, valid or measures adapted for use in LMICs for either assessments of children’s development or their learning environments. The inclusion criteria were (1) peer reviewed papers published between January 2009 and May 2019; (2) assessment tools used to measure cognitive/language development or the early years or home environment in at least one LMIC; (3) report of the psychometric properties (validity and reliability) of the tool, and/or description of the cultural adaptability/translation process undertaken before applying it to a LMIC. Two hundred and forty-nine available records published in the last decade in peer-review journals and nine relevant systematic literature reviews were identified. Fifty-seven records were qualitatively synthesised based on their psychometric properties and cultural adaptation. Forty-three tools were reviewed utilising 12 criteria. Five elements of analysis present in Tables 2 and 3 (study, population tested, validity, reliability and cultural adaptability/translation) focused on the tools’ psychometric properties and previous application in LMICs. A further seven dimensions outlined in Tables 4 and 5 identified specific characteristics of the tools from target age, administration method, domains, battery, accessibility, language and country/institution. We suggest these 12 key considerations for the selection of measurement tools that are applicable to effectively assess ECD in LMICs.
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Background Parenting practices are associated with early childhood development (ECD), and some evidences suggest that mental health might affect parenting practices. However, the interrelationships of mental health, parenting practices, and ECD outcomes have not yet been well documented in developing contexts like rural China. Objective This paper aims to investigate the interrelationships between the caregiver’s mental health, parenting practices, and the child’s ECD outcomes in rural China. Methods A total of 1787 sample households in an undeveloped rural area of western China are enrolled in the study. A socioeconomic questionnaire, the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale, the Family Care Indicators, the Parent and Family Adjustment Scales, and the Bayley Scales of Infant Development version III were used to measure the socioeconomic characteristics of sample households, the caregiver’s mental health, parental investments and parenting skills, and the child’s development outcomes, respectively. Mediation model was then applied to estimate the interrelationships. Results The results showed that parental practices significantly mediated between the caregiver’s mental health and the child’s cognition, language, motor, and social–emotion development. Through parental investments, one standard deviation increases in the caregiver’s mental health test score was associated with the decline in the child’s four development scores by 0.6% standard deviation, respectively. Through parenting skills, one standard deviation increases in the caregiver’s mental health test score was associated with the decline in the child’s language and social-emotional score by 2% and 5% standard deviation, respectively. Different dimensions of caregiver mental health, parental investments and skills played heterogeneous roles in the interrelationships. Conclusions Early interventions aimed at improving the caregiver’s mental health, parental investments and skills are important and might be effective to improve early childhood development in rural China.
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Background Despite much attention paid to the mental health of left-behind children, there has not been sufficient research on whether and how left-behind experiences have long-term effects on adults among the general population. This paper aims to evaluate the long-term effects of left-behind experience on adult psychological depression. Methods By using the China Labor-force Dynamics Survey in 2018 (CLDS 2018), we assessed depression by the Center for Epidemiological Studies, Depression Scale (CES-D) and used a cut-off score of 20 for detecting depression (Yes = 1, No = 0). The Binomial logistic regression was used to compare the odds ratio across groups. We used the KHB method in the mediation analysis, to measure the indirect effect of social trust on the relationship between left-behind experience and depression. Results The rate of depression (χ2 = 17.94, p < 0.001) for the children who have left-behind experience (LBE) (10.87%) was higher than the children who have non-left-behind experience (N-LBE) (6.37%). The rate of social trust (χ2 = 27.51, p < 0.001) of LBE (65.70%) was lower than N-LBE (75.05%). Compared with the other three groups, left-behind experience occurred in preschool (OR = 2.07, p < 0.001, 95% CI = [1.45, 2.97]) was more likely to suffer from depression. The indirect effect of social trust (OR = 1.06, p < 0.01, 95% CI = [1.02, 1.10]) is significantly on the relationship between LBE and psychological depression, with the total effect (OR = 1.71, p < 0.001, 95% CI = [1.27, 2.31]) and direct effect (OR = 1.62, p < 0.01, 95% CI = [1.20, 2.18]) are both significantly. The proportion of indirect effect in the total effect is 10.69%. Conclusion The left-behind experience that occurred in childhood has a significantly negative effect on adult psychological depression, in which preschool left-behind experience played the most critical role. Social trust is the mediating factor associated with left-behind experience and psychological depression. To mitigate the long-term effects of the left-behind experience on psychological depression, parents need to be prudent about the decision-making of migration in the preschool stage of their children. and subsequent policies should strengthen social work targeting vulnerable youth groups especially those with left-behind experience at an early age in terms of their psychological depression.
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Little attention has been paid to the role that low levels of cognitive development (or IQ) play among both left-behind children (LBCs) and children living with parents (CLPs) in the context of poor educational attainment in rural China. In this paper, we examine how general cognitive abilities contribute to the academic achievement gains of both LBCs and CLPs in poor areas of rural China. We measure the general cognitive ability of the 4,780 sample students using the Raven’s Standard Progressive Matrices (Raven IQ) and assess academic achievement using a curriculum-based mathematics exam. We find that IQ and left-behind status predict achievement gains for the average student. Among low-IQ students, however, left-behind status does not correlate with a change in achievement, suggesting that the migration of parents does not immediately/automatically translate into a loss of academic achievement for students with delays in their general cognitive ability.
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This paper quantifies and aggregates the multiple lifetime benefits of an influential high-quality early childhood program with outcomes measured through midlife. Guided by economic theory, we supplement experimental data with non-experimental data to forecast the life-cycle benefits and costs of the program. Our point estimate of the internal rate of return is 13.7% with an associated benefit/cost ratio of 7.3. We account for model estimation and forecasting error and present estimates from extensive sensitivity analyses. This paper is a template for synthesizing experimental and non-experimental data using economic theory to estimate the long-run life-cycle benefits of social programs.
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In this article, the authors posit that programs promoting nurturing parent–child relationships influence outcomes of parents and young children living in poverty through two primary mechanisms: (a) strengthening parents' social support and (b) increasing positive parent–child interactions. The authors discuss evidence for these mechanisms as catalysts for change and provide examples from selected parenting programs that support the influence of nurturing relationships on child and parenting outcomes. The article focuses on prevention programs targeted at children and families living in poverty and closes with a discussion of the potential for widespread implementation and scalability for public health impact.
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Objective Bayley Scales of infant & toddler development is a well-known diagnostic developmental assessment tool for children aged 1–42 months. Our aim was investigating the validity & reliability of this scale in Persian speaking children. Materials & Methods The method was descriptive-analytic. Translation- back translation and cultural adaptation was done. Content & face validity of translated scale was determined by experts’ opinions. Overall, 403 children aged 1 to 42 months were recruited from health centers of Tehran, Iran during years of 2013- 2014 for developmental assessment in cognitive, communicative (receptive & expressive) and motor (fie & gross) domains. Reliability of scale was calculated through three methods; internal consistency using Cronbach’s alpha coeffiient, test-retest and interrater methods. Construct validity was calculated using factor analysis and comparison of the mean scores methods. Results Cultural and linguistic changes were made in items of all domains especially on communication subscale. Content and face validity of the test were approved by experts’ opinions. Cronbach’s alpha coeffiient was above 0.74 in all domains. Pearson correlation coeffiient in various domains, were ≥ 0.982 in test retest method, and ≥0.993 in inter-rater method. Construct validity of the test was approved by factor analysis. Moreover, the mean scores for the different age groups were compared and statistically signifiant differences were observed between mean scores of different age groups, that confims validity of the test. Conclusion The Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development is a valid and reliable tool for child developmental assessment in Persian language children. Keywords: Child Development; Psychometery; Bayley
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Background The gender gap remains a major impediment in the path towards equality and it is especially wide in low-income countries. Up to the early 2000s, many studies documented extensive inequalities in China: girls had poorer health, less nutrition and less education than their male counterparts. The goal of this study is to examine whether the gender gap persists, given that China is now making the transition into the ranks of upper-middle income countries. We consider educational outcomes, mental and physical health status, as well as non-cognitive outcomes. Methods We draw on a dataset containing 69,565 observations constructed by combining data from 7 different school-level surveys spanning 5 provinces. The surveys were all conducted by the authors between 2008 and 2013 using uniform survey instruments and data collection protocols in randomly selected schools across western provinces in rural China. The sample children range in age from 9 to 14 years (with 79 % of the sample being aged 10 to 12). Our analysis compares rural girls with rural boys in terms of 13 different indicators. ResultsWith the exception of anemia rates, the health outcomes of girls are equal to those of boys. Girls and boys are statistically identical in terms of weight-for-age, height-for-age, and prevalence of intestinal worm infections. Girls performed better than boys on five of six cognitive and educational performance indicators. Girls performed worse than boys on all mental health indicators. All estimates are robust to the inclusion of different age ranges, controlling for the level of household assets, ethnic minority status, as well as the addition of provincial dummies. Conclusions Our findings suggest that with the exception of non-cognitive outcomes, anemia and standardized math test scores, the gender gap in our study areas in China appears to be diminishing.
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Scales with evidence of validity and reliability are important to evaluate child development. In Brazil, there is a lack of standardized instruments to evaluate young children. This study investigated the psychometric properties of the Bayley Scales of Infant Development, Third Edition (Bayley-III). It was translated into Brazilian Portuguese, culturally adapted and tested on 207 children (12-42 months of age). Evidence of convergent validity was obtained from correlations of the Bayley-III with the: Peabody Developmental Motor Scale 2, Leiter International Performance Scale-R, Expressive Vocabulary Assessment List and Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test. Exploratory factor analyses showed a single component explaining 86% of the variance, supported by goodness-of-fit indexes in confirmatory factor analysis. The Bailey-III demonstrated good internal consistency with alpha coefficients greater than or equal to .90 and stability for fine motor scale only. These robust psychometric properties support the use of this tool in future national studies on child development.
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Although China has experienced rapid economic growth over the past few decades, significant health and nutritional problems remain. Little work has been done to track basic diseases, such as iron-deficiency anemia, so the exact prevalence of these health problems is unknown. The goals of this study were to assess the prevalence of anemia in China and identify individual, household and community-based factors associated with anemia. We used data from the 2009 China Health and Nutrition Survey (CHNS), including the measurement of hemoglobin levels among 7,261 individuals from 170 communities and 7 provinces in central and eastern China. The overall prevalence of anemia was 13.4% using the WHO’s blood hemoglobin thresholds (1968). This means in China’s more developed central and eastern regions up to 180 million people may be anemic. Some vulnerable subgroups were disproportionately affected by anemia. Seniors (aged 60 years and above) were more likely to be anemic than younger age cohorts, and females had higher anemia prevalence among all age groups except among children aged 7 to 14 years. We found a negative correlation between household wealth and the presence of anemia, suggesting anemia prevalence may decline as China’s economy grows. However, the prevalence of anemia was greater in migrant households, which should be experiencing an improved economic status. © 2015, Southeast Asian Journal of Tropical Medicine and Public Health. All rights reserved.
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This study uses a nationally representative sample of 9-month-old infants and their families from the Growing Up in Ireland (GUI) study to investigate if reading to infants is associated with higher scores on contemporaneous indicators of cognitive development independently of other languagebased interactions between parent and infant, such as showing them pictures or talking to them. Reading to infants had an independent positive effect on scores for both the problem-solving and communication subscales of the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ), while the positive effect of showing pictures was independent only for communication scores. The effects of both of these activities were, however, less substantial than the positive effect observed for the more informal activity of frequently talking to the infant while doing other things; and this was observed for both communication and problem-solving. The analyses were robust to adjustment for several other factors including maternal education, gestational age, non-parental care, breastfeeding, attachment and presence of siblings. The findings highlight the potential of reading and talking to infants, not just for language and literacy development but also for other aspects of cognitive development.
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A substantial literature shows that U.S. early childhood interventions have important long-term economic benefits. However, there is little evidence on this question for developing countries. We report substantial effects on the earnings of participants in a randomized intervention conducted in 1986–1987 that gave psychosocial stimulation to growth-stunted Jamaican toddlers. The intervention consisted of weekly visits from community health workers over a 2-year period that taught parenting skills and encouraged mothers and children to interact in ways that develop cognitive and socioemotional skills. The authors reinterviewed 105 out of 129 study participants 20 years later and found that the intervention increased earnings by 25%, enough for them to catch up to the earnings of a nonstunted comparison group identified at baseline (65 out of 84 participants).
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Significance We document a rapid increase in income inequality in China’s recent past, capitalizing on newly available survey data collected by several Chinese university survey organizations. By now, China’s income inequality not only surpasses that of the United States by a large margin but also ranks among the highest in the world, especially in comparison with countries with comparable or higher standards of living. We argue that China’s current high income inequality is significantly driven by structural factors attributable to the Chinese political system, the main structural determinants being the rural-urban divide and the regional variation in economic well-being.
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The purpose of this study is to assess reliability and validity of Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development–Third Edition (Bayley-III) in Malay version. This instrument is used to measure infant and toddler's cognitive development, is comprise of five scales: mental, receptive communication, expressive communication, fine motor and gross motor. Bayley-III was translated into Malay language by using Back to Back Translation procedure proposed by Brislin (1973). Respondents of the present study were 34 infants between the age ranges of 9-13 months. This instrument consists of 17 age groups (A-Q) and for this preliminary study, the group H and I were selected. After reliability assessment by using internal consistency method Alpha Cronbach, it was found that reliability for cognitive scale (r = .923), receptive communication scale (r = .765), expressive communication scale (r = .796), fine motor (r = .751), and gross motor (r = .920). The results indicated that Bayley-III was high level of reliability in present study. As for convergence study of Bayley-III, it was established significant and positive inter correlation between five sub scales. Findings of the present study showed that Bayley-III can be used in Malaysian context specifically for children in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia.
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The Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development - 3rd Edition (Bayley-III) was updated to enhance its usefulness for contemporary child developmental assessment. However, recent data in Western countries have implicated the overestimation of child development by the new instrument. This study aimed to investigate the psychometric features of the Bayley-III for term and preterm infants in Taiwan. Forty-seven term infants and 167 preterm infants were prospectively examined with the Bayley Scales of Infant Development - 2nd Edition (BSID-II) and the Bayley-III at 6, 12, 18, and 24 months of age (corrected for prematurity). The psychometric properties examined included reliability, construct validity, and known-group validity. The intra- and inter-rater reliabilities of the Bayley-III were good to excellent. The correlations between the BSID-II and Bayley-III raw scores were good to excellent for the cognitive and motor items and low to excellent for the language items. Term infants achieved higher composite scores than preterm infants on all of the Bayley-III scales (p<0.05). However, their rates of developmental delay were lower than the previously established prevalence estimates. The Bayley-III cut-off composite score was adjusted 10-20, 1-13, and 12-24 points higher than 70 for optimal prediction of cognitive, language, and motor delay, respectively, as defined by the BSID-II index score<70. The Bayley-III is a reliable instrument that extends its previous edition, especially in early language assessment. However, the upward adjustment of its cut-off score is recommended for the accurate identification of developmental delay in term and preterm Taiwanese infants.
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As part of efforts throughout China to improve the outcomes of individuals with disabilities, the Shanghai government has launched a campaign to screen at least 95 percent of newborns. To assist in meeting this goal, the Ages & Stages Questionnaires (ASQ), Third Edition, was translated into Chinese and the feasibility of a screening system using the ASQ-Chinese translation (ASQ-C) was investigated in Shanghai. Twenty-nine primary children’s healthcare clinics and several district-wide children’s healthcare institutes participated. Validity and reliability of the ASQ-C were studied as well as utility in pediatric clinics as part of well child visits. Using a sample of more than 8000 caregivers and children from 3 to 66 months of age, screening cutoff scores for each of the 19 ASQ-C intervals were determined, based on two standard deviations below the mean domain score. Inter-rater agreement between ASQ-C completed by 519 parents and a professional assessor was .89. Test-retest reliability for 651 caregivers who completed two ASQ-C at a 1–4 week interval was .91. Cronbach’s coefficient alpha measuring internal consistency ranged from .37 to .79. Convergent validity, measuring agreement between Bayley Scales of Infant Development, 2nd edition, and Denver II outcome categories (i.e. risk, typical) and ASQ-C outcomes (i.e. risk, typical), ranged from .57 to .94. Results from this pilot study suggest the ASQ-C is a promising screening instrument for identification of developmental problems in the Shanghai region. Implementation of a universal screening system in pediatric clinics has the potential to assist in early identification of developmental delays, referral to rehabilitative services, and improvement of developmental outcomes for young children and their families.
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We examined the effect of maternal singing on the arousal levels of healthy, non-distressed infants. Mothers sang to their 6-month-old infants for 10 minutes, after which they continued interacting for another 10 minutes. To estimate infant arousal, we gathered saliva samples from infants immediately before the mothers began singing and 20 minutes later. Laboratory analyses of the saliva samples revealed that salivary cortisol levels converged from baseline to post-test periods. Specifically, infants with lower baseline levels exhibited modest cortisol increases in response to maternal singing; those with higher baseline levels exhibited modest reductions. This convergence of arousal levels was confirmed by reduced variability in cortisol values from baseline to post-test. These findings are consistent with the view that maternal singing modulates the arousal of prelinguistic infants. Copyright
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To determine the impact of iron deficiency anemia (IDA) in pregnancy on young child development. A 2-year follow-up of 850 children born to women who participated in a double-blind cluster randomized controlled trial of prenatal micronutrient supplementation in western rural China. These women were randomly assigned to receive either daily folic acid, iron/folic acid (60 mg iron), or multiple micronutrients (with 30 mg iron) during pregnancy. Children were categorized into the prenatal-IDA and prenatal-non-IDA groups based on the mother's hemoglobin in the third trimester. Each group contained 3 subgroups based on mother's treatment: folic acid, iron/folic acid, and multiple micronutrients. Bayley scales of infant development were administered to the children to assess their development at 3, 6, 12, 18, and 24 months of age. Compared with the prenatal-non-IDA group, the prenatal-IDA group showed a significantly lower mental development index at 12, 18, and 24 months of age. The adjusted mean difference was 5.8 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.1-10.5), 5.1 (95% CI, 1.2-9.0), and 5.3 (95% CI, 0.9-9.7), respectively. Further analysis showed that the mental development indexes in the prenatal-IDA group and prenatal-non-IDA group were similar with supplementation of iron/folic acid but were significantly lower in the prenatal-IDA group with supplementation of folic acid or multiple micronutrients. Prenatal IDA in the third trimester is associated with mental development of the child. However, prenatal supplementation with sufficient iron protects child development even when the woman's IDA was not properly corrected in pregnancy.
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Viewing data were reported every 3 months beginning at 6 months of age by the parents of 51 infants and toddlers. Viewing logs were coded for program, content, and intended audience. Using hierarchical linear modeling techniques, growth curves examining relationships between television exposure and the child's vocabulary knowledge and expressive language skills were modeled. Parent's education, child's home environment, and child's cognitive performance were statistically controlled. The findings support the importance of content and program type when describing media effects. At 30 months of age, watching "Dora the Explorer," "Blue's Clues," "Arthur," "Clifford," or "Dragon Tales" resulted in greater vocabularies and higher expressive language scores; watching "Teletubbies" was related to fewer vocabulary words and smaller expressive language scores; watching "Sesame Street" was related only to smaller expressive language scores; and viewing "Barney & Friends" was related to fewer vocabulary words and more expressive language. Reasons for differences are discussed. The major developmental task facing babies and toddlers is learning to com-municate. Language development is fairly robust. Most children, given a mini-mal amount of stimulation common in everyday environments, will acquire and use basic language (Shonkoff & Phillips, 2000). Although minimal environ-ments are successful in triggering basic language development, considerable 1
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Infants who were 6 months of age were presented with extended audiovisual episodes of their mother's infant-directed speech or singing. Cumulative visual fixation and initial fixation of the mother's image were longer for maternal singing than for maternal speech. Moreover, movement reduction, which may signal intense engagement, accompanied visual fixation more frequently for maternal singing than for maternal speech. The stereotypy and repetitiveness of maternal singing may promote moderate arousal levels, which sustain infant attention, in contrast to the greater variability of speech, which may result in cycles of heightened arousal, gaze aversion, and re-engagement. The regular pulse of music may also enhance emotional coordination between mother and infant.
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Iron-deficiency anemia (IDA) is associated with alterations in infant behavior and development that may not be corrected with iron therapy. To determine if a home-based intervention to foster child development improves behavior and development of infants with IDA. Infants with IDA and nonanemic infants aged 6 and 12 months were treated with oral iron and randomly assigned to a year of surveillance or intervention. Infants in the surveillance group were visited weekly, and information on iron intake, feeding, and health were recorded. Infants in the intervention were visited weekly, and the home visits included an hour-long program to foster child development by providing support to the mother-infant relationship. The number of infants enrolled was 128 (66 who received intervention) and 149 (70 intervention) at 6 and 12 months, respectively. Psychologists who were unaware of iron status and intervention assignment assessed infants' cognitive, motor, and social-emotional development (Bayley Scales) at the beginning, midpoint, and end of the year; 116 6-month-olds and 134 12-month-olds had at least 2 assessments. Hierarchical linear modeling was used to analyze change over time. Infants with IDA, regardless of enrollment age, were rated as less positive in social-emotional behavior at baseline. There were significant interactions between iron status and intervention associated with change in cognitive performance and positive social-emotional behavior. Infants with IDA who received intervention had developmental trajectories comparable to those of nonanemic infants in the intervention and surveillance groups, but these infants did not catch up in social-emotional behavior. Infants with IDA who received surveillance showed less increase in cognitive scores and had declines in positive social-emotional ratings. Home-based intervention to foster child development improved cognitive and social-emotional scores in infants with IDA, but social-emotional differences remained between infants with IDA and those without IDA.
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To test the effect of prenatal and infancy home visits by nurses on 12-year-old, firstborn children's use of substances, behavioral adjustment, and academic achievement. Randomized controlled trial. Public system of obstetric and pediatric care in Memphis, Tennessee. We studied 12-year-old, firstborn children (n = 613) of primarily African American, economically disadvantaged women (743 randomized during pregnancy). Program of prenatal and infancy home visits by nurses. Use of cigarettes, alcohol, and marijuana; internalizing, externalizing, and total behavioral problems; and academic achievement. By the time the firstborn child was 12 years of age, those visited by nurses, compared with those in the control group, reported fewer days of having used cigarettes, alcohol, and marijuana during the 30-day period before the 12-year interview (0.03 vs 0.18, P = .02) and were less likely to report having internalizing disorders that met the borderline or clinical threshold (22.1% vs 30.9%, P = .04). Nurse-visited children born to mothers with low psychological resources, compared with their control group counterparts, scored higher on the Peabody Individual Achievement Tests in reading and math (88.78 vs 85.70, P = .009) and, during their first 6 years of education, scored higher on group-administered standardized tests of math and reading achievement (40.52 vs 34.85, P = .02). No statistically significant program effects were found on children's externalizing or total behavioral problems. Through age 12, the program reduced children's use of substances and internalizing mental health problems and improved the academic achievement of children born to mothers with low psychological resources.
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To estimate the prevalence of children in rural China without constant parental guardians (i.e., "left-behind"), to examine whether left-behind children were associated with lower health-related quality of life (HRQOL) than their counterparts ("non-left-behind"). A stratified two-stage cluster survey was conducted among 640 children aged between 8 and 14 in a county of Shandong province. HRQOL was assessed in 606 participants using the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL). The estimated prevalence of left-behind children in the area was estimated at 53.5% (324/606). The mean PedsQL total scores were lower in the left-behind children than the non-left-behind (84.1 vs. 88.4; P < 0.01), as were psychosocial summary, emotional functioning, social functioning and school performance scores, while mean physical subscale scores did not differ significantly (85.4 vs. 86.2; P = 0.31). As age, education level and economic status increased, HRQOL of the children was significantly improved. Left-behind children report poorer HRQOL than non-left-behind children due to psychosocial dysfunction. An assessment of such problems is essential to estimate the need of rural children, for the identification of those at particular risk for lower quality of life, and for planning and implementation of appropriate health interventions.
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Father-child and mother-child engagements were examined longitudinally in relation to children's language and cognitive development at 24 and 36 months. The study involved a racially/ethnically diverse sample of low-income, resident fathers (and their partners) from the National Early Head Start evaluation study (n=290). Father-child and mother-child engagements were videotaped for 10 min at home during semistructured free play, and children's language and cognitive status were assessed at both ages. Fathers' and mothers' supportive parenting independently predicted children's outcomes after covarying significant demographic factors. Moreover, fathers' education and income were uniquely associated with child measures, and fathers' education consistently predicted the quality of mother-child engagements. Findings suggest direct and indirect effects of fathering on child development.
Article
This article explores the problem of cognitive delays among toddlers in rural China and the role of their caregivers in producing low levels of cognition (i.e., low IQ). According to the results of a well-tested international scale of child development, the Bayley Scales of Infant Development (BSID), cognitive delays are alarmingly common, and nearly half the toddlers in our sample score an IQ of less than 84 on the BSID test (more than one standard deviation below the mean). In analyzing the source of this, we find that poor parenting—for example, not reading to, singing with, or engaging in stimulating play with one’s children—is closely associated with these delays. Even though mothers (as opposed to grandmother caregivers), and especially more educated mothers, are more likely to follow good parenting practices, quality parenting is rare overall. We seek to find out why so many young children appear to be neglected when it comes to modern parenting practices. We empirically rule out the hypoth...
Article
In this paper, we consider the sources and prospects for economic growth in China with a focus on human capital. First, we provide an overview of the role that labor has played in China's economic success. We then describe China's hukou policy, which divides China's labor force into two distinct segments, one composed of rural workers and the other of urban workers. For the rural labor force, we focus on the challenges of raising human capital by both increasing basic educational attainment rates as well as the quality of education. For the urban labor force, we focus on the issues of further expanding enrollment in college education as well as improving the quality of college education. We use a regression model to show the typical relationship between human capital and output in economies around the world and demonstrate how that relationship has evolved since 1980. We show that China has made substantial strides both in the education level of its population and in the way that education is being rewarded in its labor markets. However, as we look ahead, our results imply that China may find it impossible to maintain what appears to be its desired growth rate of 7 percent in the next 20 years; a growth rate of 3 percent over the next two decades seems more plausible. Finally, we present policy recommendations, which are rooted in the belief that China continues to have substantial room to improve the human capital of its labor force.
Article
This article introduces the EJ Feature on Child Development by reviewing the literature and placing the contributions of the articles in the Feature in the context of a vibrant literature.
Article
Accumulation of human capital is indispensable to spur economic growth. If students fail to acquire needed skills, not only will they have a hard time finding high-wage employment in the future but the development of the economies in which they work may also stagnate owing to a shortage of human capital. The overall goal of this study is to try to understand if China is ready in terms of the education of its labour force to progress from middle-income to high-income country status. To achieve this goal, we seek to understand the share of the labour force that has attained at least some upper secondary schooling ( upper secondary attainment ) and to benchmark these educational attainment rates against the rates of the labour forces in other countries (e.g. high-income/OECD countries; a subset of G20 middle-income/BRICS countries). Using the sixth population census data, we are able to show that China's human capital is shockingly poor. In 2010, only 24 per cent of China's entire labour force (individuals aged 25–64) had ever attended upper secondary school. This rate is less than one-third of the average upper secondary attainment rate in OECD countries. China's overall upper secondary attainment rate and the attainment rate of its youngest workers (aged 25–34) is also the lowest of all the BRICS countries (with the exception of India for which data were not available). Our analysis also demonstrates that the statistics on upper secondary education reported by the Ministry of Education (MoE) are overestimated. In the paper, we document when MoE and census-based statistics diverge, and raise three possible policy-based reasons why officials may have begun to have an incentive to misreport in the mid-2000s.
Article
In October, 2015, China's one-child policy was replaced by a universal two-child policy. The effects of the new policy are inevitably speculative, but predictions can be made based on recent trends. The population increase will be relatively small, peaking at 1·45 billion in 2029 (compared with a peak of 1·4 billion in 2023 if the one-child policy continued). The new policy will allow almost all Chinese people to have their preferred number of children. The benefits of the new policy include: a large reduction in abortions of unapproved pregnancies, virtual elimination of the problem of unregistered children, and a more normal sex ratio. All of these effects should improve health outcomes. Effects of the new policy on the shrinking workforce and rapid population ageing will not be evident for two decades. In the meantime, more sound policy actions are needed to meet the social, health, and care needs of the elderly population.
Article
Early childhood development programmes vary in coordination and quality, with inadequate and inequitable access, especially for children younger than 3 years. New estimates, based on proxy measures of stunting and poverty, indicate that 250 million children (43%) younger than 5 years in low-income and middle-income countries are at risk of not reaching their developmental potential. There is therefore an urgent need to increase multisectoral coverage of quality programming that incorporates health, nutrition, security and safety, responsive caregiving, and early learning. Equitable early childhood policies and programmes are crucial for meeting Sustainable Development Goals, and for children to develop the intellectual skills, creativity, and wellbeing required to become healthy and productive adults. In this paper, the first in a three part Series on early childhood development, we examine recent scientific progress and global commitments to early childhood development. Research, programmes, and policies have advanced substantially since 2000, with new neuroscientific evidence linking early adversity and nurturing care with brain development and function throughout the life course.
Book
This book provides clinicians with a guide to user administration, scoring and interpretation of the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development, Third Edition. The Bayley-III contains notable new features, such as growth scores and the generation of language measurement independent from cognitive ability that set it apart from its predecessor. This book shows clinicians how to interpret the results from the Bayley-III and how to integrate those results within diagnostic Assessment and intervention planning. Case studies illustrating typical and atypical cognitive, language, motor, social-emotional and adaptive behavior are presented. One of the most widely used assessments of infants and toddlers, the BAYLEY-III measures the major areas of development including cognitive, language, motor, social-emotional, and adaptive functioning. This book provides an introduction into use of the BAYLEY-III in each of these five areas. For each of these areas, individual chapters cover the relevant test content, administration, scoring, interpretation, strengths / concerns, and uses in clinical populations. Each chapter also includes a real life case study demonstrating typical performance of a child with delays one of the five areas of development. The book concludes with a special chapter on procedures for brief neurodevelopmental screening of infants in pediatric settings. Covering all major areas of development, the book is informative for a wide range of professionals who use the BAYLEY-III to evaluate development of infants and toddlers from multiple perspectives including psychology, speech and language, and occupational/physical therapy. Provides an overview of the theoretical background and structure of BAYLEY-III written by the lead Research DirectorIntroduces practitioners to the test content in each of the five major areas of child development covered by the BAYLEY-III: cognitive, language, motor, social-emotional, and adaptive functioningReaders will learn how to competently administer, score, and interpret each of the five scales in the BAYLEY-IIIExplains the strengths and limitations of the test in each of the five areas it measuresInstructs readers on uses of the test in specific clinical populationsIncludes five case studies showing typical patterns of children delayed in one of the five areas of developmentConcludes with a special chapter on neurodevelopmental screening procedures in pediatric settings
Article
Poverty and its associated factors put children at risk for developmental delay. The aim of this study was to describe the neurodevelopment of children under three years of age in poverty-stricken areas of China and explore possible associated factors. A cross-sectional survey was conducted among 2837 children aged 1-35 months in poverty-stricken areas of China. Characteristics of the child, caregiver, and family were collected through face-to-face caregiver interviews. Developmental delay was explored with the five-domain, structured, parent-completed Ages and Stages Questionnaire. The Zung Self-rating Depression Scale was used to assess depressive symptoms of the caregivers. The Chi-squared test and multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to explore associated factors. Of the children, 39.7% (95% confidence interval, 37.9-41.5) had developmental delay in at least one of the five domains. For the domains of communication, gross motor, fine motor, problem solving, and personal-social skills, the prevalence was 11.5%, 18.5%, 21.4%, 18.4%, and 17.9%, respectively. Significant predictors of increased odds of developmental delay included the child having no toys (odds ratio [OR] = 2.31), the caregiver having depression (OR = 2.24), insufficient learning activities (OR = 1.65), and more children in the family (OR = 1.16). The high prevalence of developmental delay in children younger than three years in poverty-stricken areas of China and the presence of risk factors for developmental delay such as inadequate learning resources and activities in the home, caregiver depression, and low family income highlight the need for early identification and interventions. Copyright © 2015 The Royal Society for Public Health. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.