Latino Childhood Development Research: Policy Implications


latino kid fixing a toy

This is part of the Salud America! The State of Latino Early Childhood Development: A Research Review » Conclusions Latino children are at increased risk of poor outcomes in many areas of early childhood development. Factors such as socioeconomic status, parenting behaviors, family structure and environment, childhood experiences, and access to early education programs and health services can influence many aspects of child development. High-quality preschool programs, parent-directed support and education, and family-, school- and community-based programs have all been shown to improve developmental outcomes in Latino children. Preventing, identifying, and helping children and families overcome ACEs can impact a child’s social emotional development and chances of school success. ...

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Latino Childhood Development Research: Strategy—Support Moms


latina mom with baby food bottle

This is part of the Salud America! The State of Latino Early Childhood Development: A Research Review » The Importance of Latina Mothers Although Latino children are generally well adjusted socially and emotionally, several factors may negatively influence their overall health and wellbeing development. These include poverty and/or large households, immigration status, the country of origin, maternal depression,1,146,147 as well as other factors like breastfeeding initiation and duration.148 Read the Salud America! research review about breastfeeding among Latina mothers.148,149 Approaches are emerging on how to address these issues. For example, mental health interventions can be made available to Latina mothers who are displaying negative thought patterns, including anxiety, ...

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Latino Childhood Development Research: Strategy—Family Values


latino toddler kids painting

This is part of the Salud America! The State of Latino Early Childhood Development: A Research Review » Social and Emotional Skill-Building Starts in Families Children begin to develop their social and emotional skills through initial interactions with family. Through strong and consistent relationships, they learn the importance of social bonding, connecting to others with empathy, and self-regulating emotions. Young children begin to learn about complex social interactions by receiving responsive caregiving from parents, which often leads to positive outcomes later in life. Latino Kids' Social and Emotional Health & Family Values One study (N = 7,750; 19% Latino) found that although Latino children may demonstrate cognitive gaps compared with white children after age 1, ...

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Latino Childhood Development Research: Strategy—Reduce Trauma


sad latino boy with mom and doctor

This is part of the Salud America! The State of Latino Early Childhood Development: A Research Review » The Importance of Preventing, Mitigating Trauma Preventing adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and/or mitigating their harmful effects is critical for improving prospects for early child development, and many programs and interventions have been implemented in this regard. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends early screening for developmental and behavioral problems starting at age 9 months through 3 years.38 The Birth to 5: Watch Me Thrive! initiative is a federal effort to promote healthy child development through care collaboration and a system-wide approach, and provides screening resources for families, educators, and various healthcare providers.39 Home ...

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Latino Childhood Development Research: Strategy—School Readiness


frustrated stress anxiety latina student in class

This is part of the Salud America! The State of Latino Early Childhood Development: A Research Review » Head Start Centers as School Readiness Havens Many children attend Head Start programs, which were founded to promote school readiness for children of low-income families. In recent years, the Head Start curriculum has been challenged to enhance children’s language and preliteracy skills using interactive reading with active discussions. One of these programs, the Research-based, Developmentally Informed (REDI) classroom intervention, uses evidence-based curricula that center on preschool attainment of language, preliteracy, and social-emotional skills considered essential for later achievement. In a study of 356 children (17% Latino) enrolled in Head Start programs, ...

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Latino Childhood Development Research: Strategy—Early Care


early care preschool program with diverse kids

This is part of the Salud America! The State of Latino Early Childhood Development: A Research Review » The Benefits of ECE Programs for Kids Children who participate in high-quality early care and education (ECE) programs experience a range of immediate and long-term cognitive and health benefits, with the greatest impact seen in low-income populations.98 Although extensive literature is available on the long-term effects of Head Start and other early childhood development programs on black and white children, the effects of these programs on Latino populations have mostly been ignored.125 Additionally, nearly 40 years ago, it was recognized that cultural differences exist among the different Spanish-speaking people and that different subgroups should be analyzed separately. ...

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Latino Childhood Development Research: Early Care and Education


latino toddler boy shapes in preschool

This is part of the Salud America! The State of Latino Early Childhood Development: A Research Review » Latino Kids Start Developmentally Behind their Peers Although Latino children may be of similar weight at birth and equally able to thrive in the first 2 years of life compared with white children,96 their ability to reason and remember tasks (cognitive processing skills), verbally communicate, and identify letters, numbers, and shapes (preliteracy skills) lessens significantly by age 24 months, and these disparities appear even more prevalent in Mexican-American children than in other Latino subgroups.1 In general, a 15- to 25-percentage point gap exists for Latino children relative to their white peers.97 Children who start behind in kindergarten often stay behind. See more in ...

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Latino Childhood Development Research: Healthy Lifestyles


Latina mom eating healthy food with child

This is part of the Salud America! The State of Latino Early Childhood Development: A Research Review » Latino Kids Have Limited Access to Healthy Foods Pediatric obesity is an important public health issue. Targeted efforts to curb child obesity rates are necessary, especially among Latino children, as this sub-group is more likely to become overweight before entering elementary school than children of other ethnic groups.11 Obesity in Latino children increases health risk factors and can also impact school performance.11,54 A main contributor of overweight and obesity in Latino children may be their limited access to healthy food. See the full Salud America! research review on Latino children and healthy food access.10 Some recent study results appear mixed on this ...

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Latino Childhood Development Research: Childhood Trauma


sad latino kids in a truck

This is part of the Salud America! The State of Latino Early Childhood Development: A Research Review » Growing up feeling safe, secure, and loved is essential for the healthy development of all children.14 Yet 70% of all children are exposed to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) by age 6 that may have negative effects on many aspects of their developmental.8,9,15 ACEs may include parental domestic violence, substance abuse, mental illness, criminal justice involvement, child abuse and/or neglect, poverty/homelessness, and parental death, among others.16 Multiple studies have shown that children exposed to ACEs are more likely to develop physical, mental, behavioral, psychosocial, and/or cognitive issues than children who have not been exposed to ACEs, and these effects can ...

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