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Seminar Series: Panel Discussion - Hofferth, Cabrera

Presenters: Sandra L. Hofferth, Director, Maryland Population Research Center and Professor, Department of Family Science; Natasha Cabrera, Director, Family Involvement Laboratory and Associate Professor, Department of Human Development, University of Maryland
When Nov 21, 2011
from 12:00 PM to 01:30 PM
Where 0124B Cole Student Activities Building
Contact Name
Contact Phone 301-405-6403
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Discussion 1 - Tiger Mothers and Child Achievement: Do Activity Patterns Explain the Achievement of Children Immigrants?

This research compares the achievement of school-aged children of immigrant parents with that of children of native parents using data from the 1997 and 2003 Panel Study of Income Dynamics Child Development Supplement. Generational differences in achievement are primarily socioeconomic differences; controlling for socioeconomic status eliminates the differences across generations in problem-solving and reading. In spite of their greater socioeconomic disadvantage, children of immigrant parents (first or second generation) achieve at levels at least equal to those of children of native parents. In the case of vocabulary, they surpass the achievement of their third generation peers. Children of immigrants spend more time studying and watching television and less time playing video games and sports; these activities mediate some of the effect of generation. Immigrant values and beliefs remain important sources of generational achievement differences even after socioeconomic status is controlled.

About the Speaker

Sandra Hofferth, Ph.D.

Sandra L. Hofferth is Director of the Maryland Population Research Center and Professor of Family Science in the School of Public Health. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of North Carolina. Her research focuses on American children's use of time, work and family, research methods, fathers and fathering, and family policy.

Visit Dr. Hofferth's website


Discussion 2 - The Home Learning Environment of Latino Toddlers: Mothers' and Fathers' Immigration Status, Human Capital, and Parenting Behaviors

Using a national sample of Latino infants and their parents from the ECLS-B and structural equation models, this research examines the association between parents’ SES, maternal supportiveness and parental reading, and parents’ nativity when children are 9 months and three school readiness outcomes at 48 months: language, math, and social behavior. Latino toddlers whose mothers and fathers were more sensitive during infancy, had higher levels of education, and were native-born had higher cognitive and social skills initially because of increased maternal responsiveness. However, at preschool entry, mothers’ nativity no longer matters; parents’ SES, maternal reading and father nativity, and child language at 24 months are linked to school readiness. The strongest predictors of children’s school readiness are father nativity and education. These associations are explained by child language and maternal sensitivity at 24 months. Overall, foreign-born mothers and fathers have lower levels of education and read less frequently to their children than native-born mothers. Lower maternal reading (but not paternal reading) over the first two years of life is significantly linked to poorer language skills at school entry. Moreover, early reading is linked to later school readiness indicators because it strengthens toddlers’ language skills at 24 months. Children’s school readiness is linked to having a mother and father with higher levels of education, a father who is native born, a mother who is supportive during infancy and reads to them often during the first two years of life. Such children are more ready for school than their counterparts because at 24 months their language skills are strong.

About the Speaker

Natasha Cabrera, Ph.D.

Natasha Cabrera is Director of the Family Involvement Laboratory and Associate Professor of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology. She received her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Denver. Her research focuses on intergenerational effects of father involvement and its relation to family and child outcomes. 

Visit Dr. Cabrera's website

 

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