Poor families show up for kindergarten already far behind in school readiness, and they fall further behind during the school years. Differences in poor children’s home environments, the parenting they receive, and the effectiveness of public schools in helping them overcome their disadvantages are certain to affect their economic opportunities as adults. Given these sobering facts about socioeconomic differences in home environments, as well as the modest track record of intervention programs that seek to reduce socioeconomic differences in educational attainment and economic opportunity, the time seems ripe to step back and review what we know about the mechanisms that shape these differences by influencing children’s development. (Author abstract modified)
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Introduction: Two-Generation Mechanisms of Child Development.