Discuss how social and environmental variables may affect

Discuss how social and
environmental variables may affect
cognitive development
What would you say thinking back at
the previous learning outcome?
Social Variables
Socio-economic status (family income and educational
• Poverty (one of the main factors)
• Poor families:Krugman argues that children
born to the poorest parents have an 50% risk
of remaining in that position.
• Why is that?
• Link to:
Nutrition (starts already in the belly!)
Health problems
Home environment
Parenting practices
Poor neighbourhoods
(high levels of crime, unemployment)
Research Socio-economic background
• 1/3 of children from low-income communities are
behind their peers when they enter kindergarten
• In elementary school 50% of these children don’t meet
the standard for reading proficiency (National Center
for Children in Poverty 2002)
• Wertheimer 2003 found that children from poor
families were less likely to: Be identified as gifted, to
participate in extracurricular activities and more likely
to repeat a year in school.
• Generally: they suffer in a number of ways! Worse
academic performance, less likely to enter uni, more
likely to become teen parents and unemployed.
Pisa 2009 at a Glance
Socio-economic background and reading performance
The performance gap between students from different socioeconomic backgrounds narrowed in nine countries between
2000 and 2009, most markedly in the Czech Republic and the
partner countries Albania and Latvia.
The gap widened in five countries, most markedly in
Korea, Sweden and the partner country Romania.
In the other 22 countries with comparable results in both
PISA 2000 and 2009, the relationship between socio-economic background and reading performance was
Socio economic backgrounds:
Farah et al. 2005 see study guide
Krugman 2008 book + study guide
Wahlstein 1997 (IQ, see p. 55-56)
Bhoomika et al. 2008 see study guide
• Cumulative effect of positive and negative
factors (although not cause and effect)
Environmental Variables
• Stimulating environment
• Schools (access)
• Polluted environment
• Rosenzweig and Bennet 1972
• More info from 6.3 can be used to answer this
LO as well
Farah et al. 2008
• Aim: to investigate the relationship between
environmental stimulation and parental
nurturance on cognitive development
• Procedure: longitudinal study using 110
African American children from middle school
M age: 11,8 yrs. Recruited at birth, then
evaluated at four and eight
• Used interviews, observations, cognitive tests
(memory and language)
Env. Stim: variety of experience, encouragement
Parental nurturing:warmth and affection,
emotional and verbal responsivity
• Positive correlation between env. Stim and
language development.
+ correlation between parental nurturance and
long-term memory performance