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Parenting skills and economic resources affect children’s cognitive development

Author Alex Bellamy
Submitted 22-07-2008

New research has found that moms and dads with greater access to economic and social resources are likely to have better parenting skills.

This in turn affects their children’s cognitive development, the New York University study revealed.

Researchers looked at 2,089 low-income families, visiting them when the children were 14, 24 and 36 months old.

They found that parents who had better economic resources tended to be display more supportive parenting, which in turn positively influenced their children’s cognitive performance.

Julieta Lugo-Gil, who conducted the research, commented: "Programs that aim solely at supplementing family earnings may not have a strong impact on children’s cognitive development; programs that offer a combination of cash assistance and services designed to improve the quality of parenting may be more effective."

She suggested that parents should be helped through schemes that look to improve family literacy and education, provide high-quality child care and reduce stress.

Cognitive development is the construction of thought processes, including remembering, problem solving and decision-making, from childhood through to adulthood. It is a crucial part of a child’s intellectual growth.