Poverty has two-fold impact on children’s ability, says study
Seven-year-olds who have lived in poverty since infancy perform substantially worse in a range of ability tests than those who have never been poor, even when family circumstances and parenting skills are taken into account, researchers have found.
On a scale from zero to 100, a child who has been in persistent poverty will rank 10 points below an otherwise similar child who has no early experience of poverty, according to researchers. The research,published by the Institute of Education, looked at vocabulary, reading, picture recognition and pattern construction.
Poverty has a direct effect on children’s abilities, as well as an indirect effect, because it hampers their parents’ ability to help them. The direct effect is because of a “sheer lack of resources”, researchers say. Better-off parents are able to provide more stimulating environment for their children.
Andy Dickerson, one of the authors of the research, said: “My children play on a tablet [computer], that’s a pure income effect, nothing to do with me as a parent