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Aug 16, 2013 | By Alexis Aiger

Photo Credit child balancing

image by Katrina Miller from
Children begin developing at birth and continue to adulthood. The successful
completion of developmental milestones helps your child reach her full
potential. You may track your child's physical development at well-child
check-ups, but physical development covers only one domain of the five
major domains of early childhood development. Your child's social, cognitive,
communicative and adaptive development determines future success as
much as physical development.

Physical development includes mastering movement, balance and fine and
gross motor skills, according to the PBS website. During early childhood, your

child's balance improves. He can walk on a line or small balance beam and
balance on one foot. Your child also develops the skill to throw and catch a
ball, walk up and down stairs without assistance and do somersaults. At this
age your child begins mastering motor skills that allow him to build block
towers, draw circles and crosses and use safety scissors.
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Social development refers to your child's ability to make and maintain
relationships. Your child cooperates with others during early childhood and
begins to develop conflict resolution skills. She enjoys attention and may
show off, while still showing empathy for others. At this age your child enjoys
group games and begins to understand the concept of playing fairly. She can
tell the difference between fantasy and reality, but enjoys imaginative play
with friends.

Cognitive development includes skills pertaining to learning and thinking.
During early childhood your child develops the ability to sort objects and can
organize materials by size or color. His attention span increases and he seeks
information through questions, such as "how?" and "when?" By the end of
early childhood, he can count to 10, knows his colors and can read his name.
He knows the difference between fact and fiction, making him capable of
understanding the difference between the truth and a lie, according to the
Child Development Institute.

Communicative development includes your child's skills to understand the
spoken word and express herself verbally. During early childhood your child
goes from speaking in short sentences to speaking in sentences of more than
five words. Your child, once understandable only to those closest to her, now
speaks clearly enough that even strangers understand her words. She talks
about experiences, shares personal information and understands positional
concepts such as up and down. At this age, it becomes possible to carry on a
back-and-forth conversation.

Adaptive skills refer to the skills used for daily living, such as dressing,
eating, toileting and washing. During early childhood your child learns to
dress and undress himself without assistance, use utensils for eating and can
pour some liquid without assistance. Your child also becomes able to use
buttons and snaps and can take care of toileting independently.
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PBS: Physical Development

Bucks County Intermediate Unit #22: Child Development

PBS: Thinking Skills

Child Development Institute: General Developmental Sequence Toddler
through Preschool
Article reviewed by Stephanie Skernivitz Last updated on: Aug 16, 2013

Read more:

Primary Schoolers Physical Development

Between the ages of six and 12 children grow in height while their body proportions stay the
same. This is different from babyhood and adolescence where dramatic physical development
Children get their second teeth between five and seven years of age.
School children need and like lots of physical activities. This is the time they develop organised
sport skills. They also enjoy rough and tumble play and group activities such as chasey and ball
games. They are lively and loud as they play.
They are more coordinated and their finger and hand skills develop as they get older. They are
now able to learn a musical instrument, do fine hand work such as sewing or model making and
enjoy simple dressmaking and cooking.
Children of this age let off steam by being physical. Make sure there's a balance between play
and sport. Some children will need extra support and encouragement.
Feeling good about their bodies and physical skills is very important for your child's self image. If
you are concerned about your child speak to the teacher, a physiotherapist or doctor.

It's important that the primary schooler has a nutritionally balanced diet so their best physical and
motor development can be achieved.
During the seven years of primary school, children will refine and modify skills such as running,
climbing, galloping and hopping. They will learn how to skip, how to throw, catch and kick a ball
and catch a ball with more dexterity.
From middle primary onwards, particularly in girls, early signs of puberty can occur.

Development of Children Age 6 through

8: The Primary School Years

Collect It!
By M.L. Henniger Pearson Allyn Bacon Prentice Hall
Updated on Jul 20, 2010

Permanent teeth appear (6 years)

Likes rough-and-tumble play (6 years)

Works at mastery of physical skills (7 years)

Growth slows (7 years)

Body proportions more adult-like (8 years)

Healthier, less fatigued (8 years)


Interested in reading (6 years)

Enjoys collecting (6 years)

Able to sequence events (7 years)

Understands the beginning arithmetic skills (7 years)

Eager to learn about happenings around the world (8 years)

Most fears conquered (8 years)


Nightmares common (6 years)

Same-sex friendships (6 years)
Compares self with peers (7 years)
Understands beginning arithmetic skills (7 years)
Wants more time to self (7 years)

Special friendships develop (8 years)

Games with rules popular (8 years)


Learning to write (6 years)

Understands conventions of conversation (6 years)
Likes to write own stories (7 years)
Spelling lags behind reading (7 years)
Masters reading (8 years)
Written stories more complex, detailed (8 years)

Introduction to Physical Health and Development

Throughout its history, Head Start has placed major emphasis on promoting
children's health, both physical and mental, as a significant determinant of school
readiness. The Head Start Program Performance Standards (2002) include a
comprehensive set of requirements for programs regarding children's health and
physical well-being. These include, but are not limited to, sensory and
developmental screening and procedures for ongoing assessment of progress.
Head Start programs ensure that children have a medical home, a primary health
provider, and continuity of care. Head Start programs also ensure that children
receive regular dental check-ups and good nutrition. The provision of these
comprehensive services continues as a hallmark of the Head Start program and is
one of its success stories. The provision of these comprehensive services
continues as a hallmark of the Head Start program and is one of its success
The Domain of Physical Health & Development in the Child Outcomes
Framework is designed to augment the larger work of providing health services in
Head Start. The Framework describes the outcomes for children's learning and
development that are most clearly the responsibility of teachers and other
members of the educational staff. Although teachers work collaboratively with
health personnel, they also have a responsibility to infuse health knowledge and
physical development goals in the curriculum.
The Physical Health & Development Domain of the Framework includes three
Elements: gross motor skills, fine motor skills, and health status and practices.
Each of these elements supports children's overall health and physical fitness and
can enhance a child's progress in other Domains. For example, gross motor skills
lead to growing confidence and pride in accomplishments (social and emotional

development, self-concept). Children use their fine motor skills to experiment with
writing tools and materials (literacy, early writing). Good health and physical
fitness, extremely important in their own right, also contribute to learning and
development in all Domains during early childhood and beyond.
Gross motor skills involve moving the whole body and using larger muscles of
the body such as those in the arms and legs. They include skills such as gaining
control of the head, neck, and torso to achieve a standing or sitting position. They
also include locomotor skills such as walking, throwing, and stretching. Children
develop many gross motor skills as they move and explore freely in a safe,
supportive environment. When they can coordinate their movements children are
ready to learn how to pedal a tricycle; turn somersaults; and catch, throw, and
kick balls. At times children require instruction to learn these skills. To become
proficient, most children need numerous opportunities to practice using their
Fine motor skills involve use of the small muscles found in individual body
parts, especially those in the hands and feet. Children use their fine motor skills
to grasp, hold, and manipulate small objects and tools. As they gain eye-hand
coordination, they learn to direct the movements of their fingers, hands, and
wrists to perform more complex tasks. With access to appropriate materials and
activities, children can practice and refine both their fine and gross motor skills
during a variety of experiences and while performing self-help routines. For
example, children might draw and write with markers, manipulate a computer
mouse, use eating utensils, put on and take off dress-up clothes, and use a
magnifying glass to examine an insect.
In Head Start, children's health has always been a priority. The third element
of the Physical Health & Development Domain, health status and practices, refers
to children's overall physical condition growth, strength, stamina, and
flexibility. A child's physical condition is dependent on a number of factors,
including heredity, gender, and access to good nutrition and health care. Also key
is participation in fitness- enhancing activities such as playing tag, climbing a
ladder, jumping on a mattress, swinging from a rope, and chasing bubbles.
Physical fitness can enhance young children's ability to learn and protect them
from health conditions such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and other chronic
ailments. When children feel fit and healthy, they are likely to gain self-esteem,
have less stress, enjoy playing, and eagerly take on new challenges.
Health status and practices also include children's growing independence in
carrying out personal routines, their awareness of health and safety concerns, and
their ability to follow rules and take steps to keep themselves safe and healthy.
Such awareness and independence grow when children participate in group and
individual routines such as setting the table for meals and washing their hands.

Children can learn about health and safety concerns and practices in the context
of daily life at home, at Head Start, and through connections with their medical
Head Start plays an active role in supporting the three related Elements in this
Domain. Classroom teachers, family child care teachers, and home visitors need
to be familiar with the typical sequence and processes through which children
develop and refine fine and gross motor skills and with the components of
physical fitness. They must also know about sanitary practices that promote good
hygiene, the nutritional needs of young children, and safety practices that prevent
or reduce injuries. Staff should integrate opportunities for children to use fine and
gross motor skills, enhance health and physical fitness, and learn about health
and safety concepts and practices throughout the curriculum.

Physical Health and Development Strategies

To promote overall physical development and health

Create safe indoor and outdoor learning environments that invite

children to move their bodies, explore their surroundings, and practice
fine and gross motor skills.

Provide materials and equipment that allow children to practice fine and
gross motor skills and challenge them to gain new ones.

Involve families by sharing information about physical health and

development and suggested home activities.

Serve as enthusiastic role models for practices that support health and
physical fitness.

Participate with children as they engage in physical activities and daily


Allow and encourage children to do things for themselves whenever it is

feasible and safe to do so.

Talk about what we are doing and why it supports our own and the
children's fitness, nutrition, health, and safety.

Use a variety of teaching strategies, including demonstration and direct

instruction when appropriate, to help children become proficient in use of

physical skills.

Stages of Physical Growth and Development

As in other Domains, each child's physical growth and development are highly
individualized and dependent on characteristics and influences such as heredity,
environmental factors, nutrition, age, gender, disabilities, and access to health
care. Nevertheless, several general principles govern the direction and sequence
of physical development:

The direction of muscle development is from head to toe. Children learn

to lift their heads before they can raise their torsos, use their arms, and
stand with and without support.

The sequence of muscle development begins with those closest to the

center of the body and progresses to those in the extremities hands
and feet. Most children learn to crawl before they can pick up objects
using the thumb and forefinger (pincer grasp). Thus, children refine their
gross motor movements, such as those used to walk or throw, before
they can control the small motor skills used to zip a jacket or turn pages
in a book.

Young children enjoy moving, exploring, and being able to do things for
themselves. With access to appropriate materials and equipment, opportunities to
practice fine and gross motor skills, and skilled adult guidance, children can
expand their physical abilities.

Domain Element: Gross Motor Skills

From birth to about two years of age, children learn primarily through their
senses and motor actions. Infants are born with reflexive, involuntary
movements. Some reflexes, such as blinking and swallowing, serve to protect the
child. Others, for example, kicking legs alternately, are precursors of later motor
skills (in this case, walking). As infants grow and mature, the higher brain centers
of the nervous system begin to govern their movements. They learn to control
voluntary movements such as grasping and mouthing a toy and pulling up to

The fundamental movements children develop and refine during the preschool
years include:

locomotor movements, such as walking, running, leaping, jumping,

hopping, through which the body proceeds in a horizontal or vertical
direction from one place to another;

gross motor movements, such as throwing, catching, kicking, through

which the body gives or receives force from objects;

fine motor manipulative movements, such as tying shoes, coloring,

cutting with scissors, which emphasize control, precision, and accuracy;

stability movements, such as balancing, dodging, starting, stopping, in

which the body remains in place but moves around its horizontal or
vertical axis.

Maturation plays a major role in a child's physical development during the

first two years. To develop fundamental movement skills, however, children
usually require more than access to a supportive environment and adults
(Gallahue & Ozman 1995). Young children can learn to throw or kick a ball at a
beginning level. To become proficient and be able to use the skill throughout
life they need both instruction and opportunity to practice (NASPE 2002).
Young children who become proficient in fundamental movement skills are more
likely to engage in sports and other fitness activities throughout childhood and
when they are adults. Their natural interest in physical skills and activities is
enhanced so they can become adults who live long, active lives. It is important for
Head Start teachers to give children developmentally appropriate instruction and
opportunities to practice motor skills. To do this effectively, staff need to observe
and keep track of children's progress in order to know how and when to offer
encouragement and guidance, and new challenges and opportunities for additional
Perceptual-motor development is an important part of learning fundamental
movement skills. Perceptual-motor skills include large motor skills, fine motor
skills, simple auditory, visual, and tactile-kinesthetic skills, and body awareness
skills. Children develop and use simple auditory, visual, and tactile-kinesthetic
skills while using their senses to collect, monitor, interpret, and respond to
information from an environment filled with a variety of:

interesting sounds and rhythms to hear;

pictures, displays, and other things to look at; and

textures and objects to feel.

Body awareness skills grow as children learn about the parts of their bodies,
how much space their bodies take up, and how to control their bodies as they
move from one place to another (NASPE 2002).

Gross Motor Skills Indicators



Gross Motor
Health &


Shows increasing levels of proficiency,

control, and balance in walking, climbing,
running, jumping, hopping, skipping,
marching, and galloping.

Demonstrates increasing abilities to

coordinate movements in throwing, catching,
kicking, bouncing balls, and using the slide
and swing.

Gross Motor Skills Strategies

To support development of gross motor skills

Follow a daily schedule that allows children to spend ample time each
day in structured and unstructured physical activity. Such a schedule
allows children to alternate using their gross motor skills in physical
activities with opportunities to rest and recover energy. Engaging in
physical activity for one or more hours a day can also help children

maintain healthy weight levels (NASPE 2002).

Plan structured physical activities that introduce a variety of movement

skills individually, with a partner, and then in a small group (NASPE
2002). Offer balls of different sizes and materials, such as rubber, foam,
inflatable plastic to roll, kick, throw, or catch; plan balancing activities;
and introduce tumbling.

Provide sufficient space, toys, and equipment for child-initiated physical

activities outdoors. Wheeled toys, slides, climbers, and other playground
equipment sized for preschoolers can encourage children to pedal, climb,
push, pull, balance, swing, hang, and slide. Cardboard boxes, tunnels,
balance beams, jump ropes, plus a variety of balls and bats provide
additional movement options (NASPE 2002).

Offer sufficient indoor space for gross motor activities so children can
move without getting in each other's way. Some examples follow (Koralek

Hallways are ideal for riding tricycles, rolling balls, tossing

bean bags into baskets, playing relay games, building with large
blocks, marching to music, and bowling (use plastic containers
as pins).

A classroom loft lets children climb up stairs or a rope ladder,

slide down a pole, swing (hang the swing on hooks when not in
use), or jump off a low platform.

Provide room for music and movement activities; put mats on

the floor for tumbling; play cooperative games using hula hoops,
streamers, parachutes, and beach balls.

Participate in physical activities with children. This simple

strategy allows adults to model movement skills, offer
individualized assistance, learn how children approach and
respond to physical challenges, and encourage children to
practice and refine their skills. It also helps staff reduce stress
and stay fit.

Plan activities that promote perceptual-motor development (Poest et al.


Time awareness/coordination: Use nursery rhymes, chants,

songs, and marches to help children learn to move to a steady


Body and visual awareness: Ask children to imitate body

movements. Move as slowly as needed for children to achieve
success. At first, model the movement and use verbal
instructions. Later, just model or just give verbal directions.
Gradually make the task more challenging by changing the
speed, tempo, rhythm, or directions.

Provide opportunities for children to experience obstacle

courses in order to understand their bodies in space and
direction. Give guidance on how to move through each part of
the course so children can build understanding of directions in
space such as over, under, around, and through.

Domain Element: Fine Motor Skills

Strength, control, and coordination of hand, finger, and wrist movements are part
of fine motor development. Strength is needed to cut with scissors; control allows
for buttoning and zipping; coordination is used to put together puzzles and thread
beads on laces. Development of fine motor skills also relies on sensory
awareness. Children use their senses to collect information about objects in the
environment and use this information to coordinate movements. Fine motor skills
allow children to explore how things work, get dressed, use writing tools, put
puzzles together, arrange blocks in sequence, prepare snacks and meals, and
engage in many more activities that require hand, finger, and wrist movements.
Eye-hand coordination is needed for many fine motor tasks.
Children use their fine motor skills in relation to several other Domains. For
example, they:

build their understanding of math concepts by sorting and manipulating

objects, including geometric shapes; by making patterns with stringing
beads; and by using measuring tools;

experiment and make scientific discoveries by handling collections,

filling and emptying containers at the sand or water table, exploring a
new software program, and holding and looking through a magnifying

explore language and literacy by handling books and using writing tools;

express creativity while using rhythm instruments, cutting and gluing

paper scraps, doing fingerplays, and using dramatic play props and
dress-up clothes.

Head Start settings include children with a wide range of fine motor abilities.
This is due, in part, to children's individual timing for development and, in part, to
the range of experiences children have before coming to Head Start. Some
children can hold and scribble with crayons, while others can copy a few letters.
Some tear paper while others use scissors with ease. Some might roll and poke
holes in playdough. More experienced children use props such as rolling pins and
plastic knives. Some have never used a computer mouse. Others use a mouse
with ease. To promote each child's fine motor development, Head Start offers
materials and activities that support and challenge a range of skills.

Fine Motor Skills Indicators




Develops growing strength, dexterity, and

control needed to use tools such as scissors,
paper punch, stapler, and hammer.

Grows in hand-eye coordination in building

with blocks, putting together puzzles,
reproducing shapes and patterns, stringing
beads, and using scissors.

Progresses in abilities to use writing,

drawing, and art tools, including pencils,
markers, chalk, paint brushes, and various
types of technology.

Fine Motor
Health &

Fine Motor Skills Strategies

To support development of fine motor skills

Provide materials for a range of fine motor ability levels, including table
blocks in several sizes, puzzles of varying complexity, computer software

with several levels of complexity, small and large beads with thick and
thin laces, and hand puppets and finger puppets.

Offer and adapt activities to allow children to participate with success.

When making bread, children can shape the dough into round loaves or
braided ones; while making a group collage, children can tear or cut
pieces of paper to add to the creation; while making puppets to re-enact
a story, children can choose which materials to use and what to do with

Plan an approach that allows children to be actively involved in routines.

Make sure the schedule provides enough time for children's participation.
Children can fold napkins; put on and take off coats, hats, and boots; mix
paint and wash paintbrushes; and pour from small pitchers.

Focus on the use of multiple senses in planning learning experiences for

children. During meals and food preparation activities, talk about the way
foods look, smell, and taste; on a walk, point out sights, sounds, and
textures; listen to the sounds of different rhythm instruments with eyes

Observe children using fine motor skills and intervene, when needed,
with an appropriate teaching behavior such as modeling how to hold a
crayon or giving instruction on how to use scissors safely.

Continue to assess children's progress in fine motor abilities and offer

materials, equipment, and opportunities that allow the child to practice.
When the child seems ready to move on, offer challenges that will help
the child progress without getting frustrated.

Domain Element: Health Status & Practices

As noted earlier, children's physical growth, strength, stamina, and flexibility
depend in part on individual characteristics and influences. Children who receive
good nutrition and medical and dental checkups and who exercise are more likely
to be physically fit and in good health than those who lack these essential
resources. Head Start plays a role in enhancing children's overall health status
and allowing them to be successful now and in the future.
Physical fitness is defined as "a condition where the body is in a state of wellbeing and readily able to meet the physical challenges of everyday life" (NASPE

2002). Four separate components contribute to physical fitness:

The cardio-respiratory (aerobic) system includes the heart, lungs, and

blood. When working well, this system provides the stamina needed to
actively participate for a long period of time.

Muscular strength and endurance allow for effective use of muscles.

Strength allows a young child to use force to perform a task such as
kicking a ball or hammering a nail. Endurance is the ability to keep
moving without stopping due to fatigue.

Flexibility is the ability to bend and stretch easily. It helps to prevent

muscle and tendon injuries.

Body composition refers to weight and body fat. Excess fat puts stress
on the ligaments, tendons, bones, and tissues that support the body's

Head Start offers an environment and experiences that contribute to children's

physical fitness. In addition, staff encourage healthy eating, exercising, and
movement habits that support lifelong fitness. They plan family events that
incorporate active, cooperative games children and adults can play together.
Effective practices for supporting development of gross motor skills can also
promote physical fitness. Here are some additional guidelines (Werner et al.

Allow children to choose what to do and when to move on to something

else. One way to do this is by creating several play stations: Roll a ball at
a target, toss a ball into a hoop on the floor, throw a ball at a target,
jump through hoops placed on the floor, jump over boxes on the floor.

Create simple, open-ended fitness activities that allow every child,

regardless of skill level, to be successful. For example, jog around the
playground every day when the class first goes outdoors.

Provide demonstrations that support visual learners. Give step-by-step

directions while modeling how to throw or kick a ball or jump with two

Keep directions simple; use key words along with modeling. For
example, say "Up" and raise arms; say "Down" and touch the ground;
say "Around" while turning completely around.

Offer variety and change activities often. Young children tend to have

short attention spans so they may lose interest if they have to do the
same thing for too long.

Allow maximum practice opportunity. Provide enough equipment for

everyone and play games in which everyone is actively involved at all
times rather than having to wait for a turn to participate.

Encourage frequent active play. Motivate children to engage in vigorous

activities by showing enthusiasm, making it fun, and volunteering to do
something active with them.

Most preschool children are eager to perform personal care routines

such as dressing and brushing teeth on their own. Head Start teachers
can support childrens growing independence as they plan the
environment, provide materials, develop a schedule, and respond to

Preschool children rely on adults to keep them safe and healthy;

however, most are ready to begin learning how to follow basic health and
safety rules and practices that promote physical and emotional well-being
and prevent or reduce accidents. Health and safety education is effective
when delivered through informal, "teachable moments," and through
planned activities. Learning opportunities arise as children learn to buckle
their seat belts in the van that takes them to and from the program; look
both ways to cross the street while walking to a nearby playground; help
wipe the tables after lunch; and sneeze into their elbows to avoid the
spread of germs. Planned activities related to health and safety can
support progress in other Domains including science, mathematics,
literacy, creative arts, and social-emotional development.

Health Status & Practices Indicators



Health &
Status and
Development Practices


Progresses in physical growth, strength,

stamina, and flexibility.

Participates actively in games, outdoor play,

and other forms of exercise that enhance

physical fitness.

Shows growing independence in hygiene,

nutrition, and personal care when eating,
dressing, washing hands, brushing teeth, and

Builds awareness and ability to follow basic

health and safety rules such as fire safety,
traffic and pedestrian safety, and responding
appropriately to potentially harmful objects,
substances, and activities.

Strategies to Promote Physical Health and Well-Being

To promote physical health and well-being

Provide individual storage areas, such as cubbies and low hooks, so

children can store their clothing and personal items.

Place tissues, soap, paper towels, and other personal hygiene items
within children's reach so they can care for their own needs without adult

Include sufficient time in the daily schedule for children to do things for
themselves without feeling rushed.

Provide a child with just enough help, rather than stepping in and taking
over. For example, hold the bowl while a child uses a large spoon to serve
himself; untie a child's laces so she can remove her shoes on her own.

Strategies to Teach Children Health and Safety Practices

To teach children health and safety practices

Provide play materials related to health and safety. For example, include
safety road signs for block play; books about healthy foods, and walking
safely in traffic; props for doctor and dentist offices; empty containers of
healthy foods such as oatmeal, fruits, and vegetables; items for washing
dolls and doll clothes such as soap, sponges, a clothesline and
clothespins, and a small basin; and doll highchairs with safety belts.

Involve children in setting basic health and safety rules. Talk about why
a rule is needed, what might happen if children forget to follow the rule,
and how the rule will keep them safe and healthy. Use visual and verbal
reminders to help children remember the rule.

Model health and safety practices and give step-by-step explanations of

what and why the practices are necessary and effective.

Review and discuss safety rules and practices, when necessary,

especially before experiences such as a cooking activity or a
neighborhood walk. Discuss the use of safe practices in context, such as
when stopping at the corner to watch for traffic before crossing the

Conduct regular fire and emergency drills. After the drill, discuss what
happened and why it would keep children safe in an actual fire or

Head Start ensures that children have opportunities to build fine and gross motor
skills and are encouraged to stay healthy and fit. Physical skills allow children to
learn in other Domains and to enjoy moving their bodies and playing games, now
and in the future. Children with well-developed motor skills feel proud of their
accomplishments. Their sense of competence serves as a strong foundation for
additional learning. Furthermore, English language learners may show
competence in physical skills which can help them feel more confident about their
other activities and skills.

"Domain 8: Physical Health & Development." The Head Start Leaders Guide to
Positive Child Outcomes. HHS/ACF/ACYF/HSB. 2003. English.
Last Reviewed: October 2009

Domain 2: Physical Well-Being, Health, and Motor Development, consists of five sub-domains:

Motor Development
Physical Development
Health and Personal Care
Nutrition and Feeding

Motor development has three distinct components: gross motor skills, fine motor skills, and sensorimotor
Gross motor skills are characterized by movements of the large muscles of the body and include such
movements as rolling over, walking, jumping, and climbing.
Fine motor skills involve the ability to coordinate smaller muscles including the muscles of the hands,
fingers, and face that allow for movements such as grasping, cutting, picking up food, or intentionally
Sensorimotor skills involve the ability to use and integrate the senses (sight, hearing, smell, taste, and
touch) to support activity.
These skills provide a foundation for behavior, learning, and overall development for young children.
Children need access to free time, play opportunities, adequate space, and challenging materials to
pursue their physical development needs. Physical competence allows children to participate in group
activities and maintain attention to, and interest in tasks necessary to the learning process. Elements of
physical competency and development include:




Prenatal care, personal hygiene, and basic personal care are essential to a childs physical
health. Childrens physical health is impacted by access to medical and dental care, nutrition, healthy
sleep patterns, and opportunity for physical activity and active play. Recognizing and addressing acute
and chronic illness is essential to sustain healthy physical development.

Goal 24, Children eat a variety of nutritious foods encompasses far more than food groups and nutrients
fed to children. Attitudes, self regulation, culture, and general areas of development are entwined with
food and feeding.
Safety includes protecting children from exposure to harmful substances and situations and helping
children learn to avoid harmful objects, environments, and circumstances. Though young children can
learn safety rules and regulations, know when and how to ask for help, and recognize the boundary
between safety and danger, they cannot be expected to keep themselves safe. Young childrens physical
well-being is dependent on adult-provided safety.


Physical and motor development includes biological maturation that reflects genetics, nutrition, health,
and the environment. Development of physical skills and abilities follows a predictable progression,
though the rate of physical and motor development varies widely among individuals, cultures, and
Childrens physical well-being, health, and motor development are sometimes impacted by visual,
hearing, motor, neurological, or other disabilities. Young children who experience delays, disabilities, or
who are at risk for developmental delays may benefit from assistive technology or adaptive equipment,
specialized activities, space, play settings, and other resources to support daily activities.

Francis Bacon. (15611626). Essays, Civil and Moral.

The Harvard Classics. 190914.

Of Parents and Children

THE JOYS of parents are secret; and so are their griefs and fears. They cannot
utter the one; nor they will not utter the other. Children sweeten labors; but
they make misfortunes more bitter. They increase the cares of life; but they
mitigate the remembrance of death. The perpetuity by generation is common
to beasts; but memory; merit, and noble works are proper to men. And surely
a man shall see the noblest works and foundations have proceeded from
childless men; which have sought to express the images of their minds, where

those of their bodies have failed. So the care of posterity is most in them that
have no posterity. They that are the first raisers of their houses are most
indulgent towards their children; beholding them as the continuance not only
of their kind but of their work; and so both children and creatures.
The difference in affection of parents towards their several children is many
times unequal; and sometimes unworthy; especially in the mother; as
Solomon saith, A wise son rejoiceth the father, but an ungracious son shames
the mother. A man shall see, where there is a house full of children, one or
two of the eldest respected, and the youngest made wantons; 1 but in the
midst some that are as it were forgotten, who many times nevertheless prove
the best. The illiberality of parents in allowance towards their children is an
harmful error; makes them base; acquaints them with shifts; makes them
sort 2 with mean company; and makes them surfeit more when they come to
plenty. And therefore the proof is best, when men keep their authority towards
their children, but not their purse. Men have a foolish manner (both parents
and schoolmasters and servants) in creating and breeding an emulation
between brothers during childhood, which many times sorteth 3 to discord
when they are men, and disturbeth families. The Italians make little difference
between children and nephews or near kinsfolks; but so they be of the lump,
they care not though they pass not through their own body. And, to say truth,
in nature it is much a like matter; insomuch that we see a nephew sometimes
resembleth an uncle or a kinsman more than his own parent; as the blood
happens. Let parents choose betimes the vocations and courses they mean
their children should take; for then they are most flexible; and let them not
too much apply themselves to the disposition of their children, as thinking
they will take best to that which they have most mind to. It is true, that if the
affection or aptness of the children be extraordinary, then it is good not to
cross it; but generally the precept is good,optimum elige, suave et facile illud
faciet consuetudo [choose the bestcustom will make it pleasant and easy].
Younger brothers are commonly fortunate, but seldom or never where the
elder are disinherited.

Both school and parents teach children how to be

good members of society

nguyen hong

Aug 23, 2012, 04:33am #1

Some people think that children become good members of society depend on
how teach of parents. However, others claim that it belongs to responsibility of
school. Both sides of this issue will be discussed in my essay.
It is, first, stated that parents have positive effects on children's education. By
dint of teaching of parents, the children can understand life's basic rule such
as respecting to the elders and others. Moreover, when children have difficult
problem, parents usually analyze and then guide them how to solve the
problem correctly. However, it is palpable that no sooner were children gone to
school than their knowledge significantly extend. Besides, children far from
family, they get more mature due to they have to decide and take the
responsibility for their actions. Besides, with many subjects such as
philosophy and society, they can understand more about external world.
Secondly, familiar circumstance plays important role in creativity children's
personality. Only when children see parents' hard work to earn money do they
realize parents' care then trying to learn well and doing work hard to help
family. In addition, parent's attitude to neighbor gradually affect to children. It
can believed that parents are mirrors who children follows. Nevertheless, in
schools, the children can participate discussion, talk about their opinion and
present a topic, which makes them more confident. Equally important, once
living with the friends, children know how to take care each other and doing a
teamwork, they know how to co-operate to complete the work.
In conclusions, both parents and schools are main factors contribute to growth
of children to be good members of society.

ELTS ESSAY Parents should teach children how to be

good members of society


2 Jan 14, 2013, 10:41am #1

Some people think that parents should teach children how to be good
members of society. Others, however, believe that school is the place to learn
Discuss both these views and give your opinion
Nowadays parents and schools educate children and take them to the main
role of formulating our society
Home is the first school and parents are first teachers of ours. Because during
the childhood they teach us how to speak and behave to someone in society.
Other way parents own behavior is also affect to their children and they get
these easily while they are child. Then they are going to be formed how they
see and hear. Subsequently children will show their experience to the others
what they learn from their parents. That`s why parents must be careful while
they are teaching their children because they are seriously responsible from
their children.
Although school is the best place for the children to learn and to be o good
person. At school they meet with many people and do their activities together
with their classmates. Children can learn how to act and have a good attitude.
Teachers, except teaching many subjects they also teach to the children how
to have o good behavior with their friends, parents or neighborhoods. That`s
why, parents always have a big hope from school to help them for creating
their children to be o good person.
In my view I think that good parents are good teachers and both of them have
their own role in our society.

Long-term Effects of Parents Education on Childrens Educational

and Occupational Success: Mediation by Family Interactions,
Child Aggression, and Teenage Aspirations
Eric F. Dubow, Paul Boxer, and L. Rowell Huesmann
Author information Copyright and License information

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We examine the prediction of individuals educational and occupational
success at age 48 from contextual and personal variables assessed during their
middle childhood and late adolescence. We focus particularly on the predictive
role of the parents educational level during middle childhood, controlling for
other indices of socioeconomic status and childrens IQ, and the mediating
roles of negative family interactions, childhood behavior, and late adolescent
aspirations. Data come from the Columbia County Longitudinal Study, which
began in 1960 when all 856 third graders in a semi-rural county in New York
State were interviewed along with their parents; participants were
reinterviewed at ages 19, 30, and 48 (Eron et al, 1971; Huesmann et al., 2002).
Parents educational level when the child was 8 years old significantly
predicted educational and occupational success for the child 40 years later.
Structural models showed that parental educational level had no direct effects
on child educational level or occupational prestige at age 48 but had
significant indirect effects that were independent of the other predictor
variables effects. These indirect effects were mediated through age 19
educational aspirations and age 19 educational level. These results provide
strong support for the unique predictive role of parental education on adult
outcomes 40 years later and underscore the developmental importance of
mediators of parent education effects such as late adolescent achievement and
achievement-related aspirations.
Parental educational level is an important predictor of childrens educational
and behavioral outcomes (Davis-Kean, 2005; Dearing, McCartney, & Taylor,
2002;Duncan, Brooks-Gunn, & Klebanov, 1994; Haveman & Wolfe,
1995; Nagin & Tremblay, 2001; Smith, Brooks-Gunn, & Klebanov, 1997). The
majority of research on the ways in which parental education shapes child
outcomes has been conducted through cross-sectional correlational analyses
or short-term longitudinal designs in which parents and children are tracked

through the childs adolescent years. Our main goals in the current study were
to examine long-term effects on childrens educational and occupational
success of their parents educational level while controlling for other indices of
family socioeconomic status and the childrens own intelligence, and to
examine possible mediators of the effects of parents education on childrens
educational and occupational outcomes. Following theory and research on
family process models (e.g., Conger et al., 2002; McLoyd, 1989), we expected
that indices of family socioeconomic status, including parent education, would
predict the quality of family interactions and child behavior. Next, based on
social-cognitive-ecological models (e.g., Guerra & Huesmann,
2004; Huesmann, 1998; Huesmann, Eron, & Yarmel, 1987), we expected
parental education, the quality of family interactions, and child behavior
would shape, by late adolescence, educational achievement and aspirations for
future educational and occupational success. Finally, following Eccles
expectancy-value model (Eccles, 1993; Frome & Eccles, 1998), we predicted
that late adolescent aspirations for future success would affect actual
educational and occupational success in adulthood. We use data from the
Columbia County Longitudinal Study, a 40-year developmental study initiated
in 1960 with data collected most recently in 2000 (Eron, Walder, & Lefkowitz,
1971; Lefkowitz, Eron, Walder, & Huesmann, 1977;Huesmann, Dubow, Eron,
Boxer, Slegers, & Miller, 2002; Huesmann, Eron, Lefkowitz, & Walder, 1984).
Go to:

Family Contextual Influences during Middle Childhood

In terms of socioeconomic status (SES) factors, the positive link between SES
and childrens achievement is well-established (Sirin, 2005; White,
1982). McLoyds (1989; 1998) seminal literature reviews also have
documented well the relation of poverty and low socioeconomic status to a
range of negative child outcomes, including low IQ, educational attainment
and achievement, and social-emotional problems. Parental education is an
important index of socioeconomic status, and as noted, it predicts childrens
educational and behavioral outcomes. However, McLoyd has pointed out the
value of distinguishing among various indices of family socioeconomic status,

including parental education, persistent versus transitory poverty, income,

and parental occupational status, because studies have found that income
level and poverty might be stronger predictors of childrens cognitive
outcomes compared to other SES indices (e.g., Duncan et al., 1994;Stipek,
1998). Thus, in the present study, we control for other indices of
socioeconomic status when considering the effects of parental education.
In fact, research suggests that parental education is indeed an important and
significant unique predictor of child achievement. For example, in an analysis
of data from several large-scale developmental studies, Duncan and BrooksGunn (1997) concluded that maternal education was linked significantly to
childrens intellectual outcomes even after controlling for a variety of other
SES indicators such as household income. Davis-Kean (2005) found direct
effects of parental education, but not income, on European American
childrens standardized achievement scores; both parental education and
income exerted indirect effects on parents achievement-fostering behaviors,
and subsequently childrens achievement, through their effects on parents
educational expectations.
Thus far, we have focused on the literature on family SES correlates of
childrens academic and behavioral adjustment. However, along with those
contemporaneous links between SES and childrens outcomes, longitudinal
research dating back to groundbreaking status attainment models (e.g, Blau &
Duncan, 1967; Duncan, Featherman, & Duncan, 1972) indicates clearly that
family of origin SES accounts meaningfully for educational and occupational
attainment during late adolescence and into adulthood (e.g., Caspi, Wright,
Moffitt, & Silva, 1998; Johnson et al., 1983;Sobolewski & Amato, 2005; for a
review, see Whitson & Keller, 2004). For example, Caspi et al. reported that
lower parental occupational status of children ages 35 and 79 predicted a
higher risk of the child having periods of unemployment when making the
transition from adolescence to adulthood.Johnson et al. (1983) found that
mothers and fathers educational level and fathers occupational status were
related positively to their childrens adulthood occupational status. Few
studies, however, are prospective in nature spanning such a long period of

time (i.e., a 40-year period from childhood to middle adulthood). Also, few
studies include a wide range of contextual and personal predictor variables
from childhood and potential mediators of the effects of those variables from
Go to:

Potential Mediators of the Effects of Family Contextual Influences

during Childhood on Adolescent and Adult Outcomes
Family process models (e.g., Conger et al., 2002; McLoyd, 1989; Mistry,
Vanderwater, Huston, & McLoyd, 2002) have proposed that the effects of
socioeconomic stress (e.g., financial strain, unstable employment) on child
outcomes are mediated through parenting stress and family interaction
patterns (e.g., parental depressed mood; lower levels of warmth, nurturance,
and monitoring of children). That is, family structural variables such as
parental education and income affect the level of actual interactions within the
family, and concomitantly, the childs behavior. It is well established within
broader social learning models (e.g., Huesmann, 1998) that parents exert
substantial influence on their childrens behavior. For example, children
exposed to more rejecting and aggressive parenting contexts, as well as
interparental conflict, display greater aggression (Cummings & Davies,
1994; Eron et al., 1971; Huesmann et al., 1984;Lefkowitz et al., 1977) and the
effects between negative parenting and child aggression are bi-directional
(Patterson, 1982). Presumably, children learn aggressive problem-solving
styles as a result of repeated exposure to such models, and in turn parents use
more power assertive techniques to manage the childs behavior.
Researchers also have shown that behavioral problems such as early
aggression impair childrens academic and intellectual development over time
(e.g., Hinshaw, 1992; Huesmann, Eron, & Yarmel, 1987). Stipek (1998) has
argued that behavioral problems affect young childrens opportunities to learn
because these youth often are punished for their behavior and might develop
conflictual relationships with teachers, thus leading to negative attitudes
about school and lowered academic success. Thus, it is possible that low
socioeconomic status (including low parental educational levels) could affect

negative family interaction patterns, which can influence child behavior

problems (measured in our study by aggression), and in turn affect lowered
academic and achievement-oriented attitudes over time.
Parent education and family interaction patterns during childhood also might
be linked more directly to the childs developing academic success and
achievement-oriented attitudes. In the general social learning and socialcognitive framework (Bandura, 1986), behavior is shaped in part through
observational and direct learning experiences. Those experiences lead to the
formation of internalized cognitive scripts, values, and beliefs that guide and
maintain behavior over time (Anderson & Huesmann, 2003; Huesmann,
1998). According to Eccles (e.g.,Eccles, 1993; Eccles, Vida, & Barber,
2004; Eccles, Wigfield, & Schiefele, 1998), this cognitive process accounts for
the emergence and persistence of achievement-related behaviors and
ultimately to successful achievement. Eccles framework emphasizes in
particular the importance of childrens expectations for success, with parents
assuming the role of expectancy socializers (Frome & Eccles, 1998, p. 437).
Thus, for example, a child exposed to parents who model achievementoriented behavior (e.g., obtaining advanced degrees; reading frequently;
encouraging a strong work ethic) and provide achievement-oriented
opportunities (e.g., library and museum trips; after-school enrichment
programs; educational books and videos) should develop the guiding belief
that achievement is to be valued, pursued, and anticipated. This belief should
then in turn promote successful outcomes across development, including high
school graduation, the pursuit of higher learning, and the acquisition of highprestige occupations. Not surprisingly, there are positive relations between
parents levels of education and parents expectations for their childrens
success (Davis-Kean, 2005), suggesting that more highly educated parents
actively encourage their children to develop high expectations of their own.
Importantly, on the other hand, McLoyds (1989) review found that parents
who experience difficult economic times have children who are more
pessimistic about their educational and vocational futures.

In the current study, we assume a broad social-cognitive-ecological (Guerra &

Huesmann, 2004; Metropolitan Area Child Study Research Group, 2002; also
developmental-ecological, Dodge & Pettit, 2003) perspective on behavior
development. This view proposes that it is the cumulative influence both of
childhood environmental-contextual factors (e.g., parental education, family
interactions, school climate, neighborhood efficacy) and individual-personal
factors (e.g., IQ and aggression) that shapes enduring cognitive styles (e.g.,
achievement orientation, hostile worldview) in adolescence. Once formed,
those styles allow for the prediction of functioning into adulthood above and
beyond the effects of the earlier influences. In this view, then, cognitive factors
such as beliefs and expectations present during adolescence serve as internal
links between early contextual and personal factors and later outcomes.
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The Present Study

Based on data from the Columbia County Longitudinal Study, we first
examine how well we can predict two adult outcomes at age 48 (educational
and occupational attainment) from parental educational levels during middle
childhood (age 8). Because our cognitive-ecological model emphasizes the
family as the more important unit than the individual parent, we focus on the
overall family climate. For example, we assess the educational climate of the
family environment by using the average of the two parents levels of
education (r = .53, p <.01). Next, we examine mediators of the long-term
effects of parents educational levels. Our mediational model posits that lower
parental educational levels predict more negative family interactions and
associated child behavior problems (i.e., aggression), even after accounting for
the effects of other indices of family socioeconomic status and child IQ. In
turn, we expected that these childhood contextual and personal variables
predict the childs educational achievement and aspirations during late
adolescence (age 19), which in turn predict adult educational and occupational
outcomes. Based on variations by gender in the relations among these types of
variables observed by Eccles and others (e.g., Eccles, 1993), we consider the
moderating role of gender in our structural models.

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Design of the Columbia County Longitudinal Study

The Columbia County Longitudinal Study (CCLS; Eron, et al., 1971; Lefkowitz
et al., 1977; Huesmann et al., 1984) began in 1960 and has so far culminated in
the collection of four waves of data over a 40-year span on children who were
living in Columbia County, NY, in 1960. The dominant issues in selecting the
sample were cost, geographic proximity, availability, representativeness, and
low mobility. The entire population of third graders (Generation 2 or
G2; N = 856; 436 boys, 420 girls) in the county participated in the first phase
of this project in 1960 (Eron et al., 1971). At that time, 85% of the participants
mothers and 71% of their fathers also were interviewed (Generation 1 or G1).
Follow-up assessments were conducted in both 1970 (n = 427) and 1981 (n =
409). We do not present findings from the 1981 assessment in this article; the
interested reader is directed to Huesmann et al. (1984) for more information.
In our most recent wave of data collection (Huesmann et al., 2002), between
1999 and 2002, we re-interviewed 284 of the G2 participants in person and
another 239 by mail/telephone, for a total of 523 (268 males, 255 females).
Analyses for this article are based on data collected about the participants
during Waves 1 (age 8), 2 (age 19), and 4 (age 48). We also draw on data
provided about the original participants by their parents in 1960.
Description of Sample in Waves 1, 2, and 4

Columbia County, NY, is semi-rural with a few heavy industries. Of its

approximately 63,000 current residents, about 11,000 live in the largest city
and county seat, Hudson. The county has had a depressed economy for the
last 50 years, although it has begun to benefit from the encroachment of the
New York City metropolitan area. At the time the study was started, there were
38 public and private third-grade classrooms in the county, all of which were
included in the sample. Over 90% of the original sample of 856 participants
was Caucasian; 51% were male and 49% were female. The number of ethnic
minorities (i.e., 3% African American, <1% Asian or Pacific Islanders, < 1%

Hispanic) was too small to allow separate analyses. The participants came
from a broad range of socioeconomic backgrounds (mean of 4.3 on Warners
scale of fathers occupational status, i.e., middle class; Warner, Meeker, &
Eells, 1960) and displayed a wide range of intelligence (mean IQ of
104, SD=14). The 427 participants (211 boys, 216 girls) who were reinterviewed in 1970 had a modal age of 19 years and had completed 12.6 years
of education on average. Their fathers occupational status was again
predominantly middle class. For 25% of the 1970 sample, current IQ scores
were available (mean=109, SD=12).
For the 523 participants re-interviewed during 19992002, the mean age was
48.85 years old (SD=.81); the average education level was between some
college and a college degree; the average occupational attainment reflected
middle-class status (the average occupational prestige code using Stevens &
Hoisingtons [1987]prestige scores reflected jobs such as sales, bookkeepers,
secretaries); and 69% of the original participants were living with their
Differences between the original sample and the 19992002 re-sample

In the 40-year follow-up, we collected some data on 80% (683) of our original
participants, and interviewed 61% (523) of them extensively. The number of
relocated participants who refused to be interviewed (despite substantial
financial incentives) was higher than expected (n = 144), but the completed reinterview rate of 61% over 40 years still provides us with a substantial sample
for analysis. However, we must ask whether attrition introduced bias into the
sample. In most longitudinal studies, more aggressive and antisocial
participants are somewhat less likely to be re-sampled. In fact, participants reinterviewed at age 19 were less aggressive than those not interviewed at age 19
(Lefkowitz et al., 1977), but there was no significant difference in age 8
aggression between the re-interviewed Wave 4 (age 48) participants and those
who were not re-interviewed. Furthermore, the plots of the distributions
revealed that many of the high aggressive participants were re-sampled and
there was no substantial restriction of range that might have made it hard to
detect relations between aggression and other variables. We also compared

New York State criminal justice records of those subjects who participated in
interviews in 19992002 with those who did not: the mean number of arrests
was not significantly higher for those in the non-interviewed group. There
were no significant differences in 1960 fathers education or value of family
housing between re-sampled participants and drop-outs, but re-sampled
participants scored slightly but significantly higher than non-interviewed
participants on age 8 IQ. The average difference was 2.5 (range for drop-outs
= 55133, SD = 14.7; range for re-sampled = 52142, SD = 14.4), but the
ranges of the distributions of the re-sampled participants were not noticeably
Procedures in Waves 1, 2, and 4

The methods of data collection across the first three waves of the Columbia
County Longitudinal Study have been reported elsewhere (e.g., Eron et al.,
1971; Lefkowitz et al., 1977; Huesmann et al., 1984, 2002). In Wave 1 in 1960,
two main sources of data were utilized: classroom-based peer-nominations
and extensive individual parent interviews. In Wave 2 in 1970, participants
were administered a variety of self-report measures, as well as peer
nominations, in individual interviews at a field office. During Wave 1, written
parental consent was obtained along with the childrens assent. In Wave 2, the
children themselves, at age 19, provided their own written consent.
For the 40-year follow-up, interviews were conducted by computer in a field
office and by mail/telephone for those participants who could not come to the
office.1Interviews in the field office were up to four hours in duration for
original participants, three hours for their second-persons/spouses, and two
hours for their children. Original participants were paid $100, secondpersons/spouses were paid $75, and children were paid $50 for their
participation. The participants again provided their written consent to

Socioeconomic family-contextual factors during middle childhood

For these measures, if two parents were interviewed in 1960, their scores were
averaged. a) Parents educational level (Eron et al., 1971) reflects the parents
levels of educational attainment, ranging from 1 = under 7 years to 7 =
graduate/professional training; b) Fathers occupation (Warner et al., 1960)
ranges from 1 = laborer to 7 = professional; and c) Value of housing (Eron et
al., 1971) ranges from 1 = inexpensive rental to 4 = expensive owned.
Negative family interaction during middle childhood (see Eron et al., 1971)

This index is an average of the standardized scores on three measures:

a) Parental rejection is the sum of scores on 10 items about how dissatisfied
the parent is with the child, e.g., Are you satisfied with your childs
manners? Does your child read as well as he/she should? (yes/no) ( = .75);
b) Parents endorsement of hitting the child as a form of punishment. The
parent was asked whether he or she would use each of several specific forms of
punishment in response to vignettes depicting child transgressions, e.g., If
you saw [your son] grab things from another child, would you. Two physical
punishments were included: spank your child until he/she cries? and slap
your child in the face? (yes/no); and c) Parental disharmonymeasures the
amount and seriousness of disputes between the parents. It is the sum of 10
items of the form, Do you or your spouse ever leave the house during an
argument? and Do arguments between you and your spouse ever settle
anything? (yes/no) ( = .77).
Childs individual/personal variables during middle childhood

We included in our analyses two individual/personal variables that were

assessed when the child was 8 years of age. a) Childs IQ. The childs IQ was
assessed with the California Short-Form Test of Mental Maturity (Sullivan,
Clark, & Tiegs, 1957). Kuder-Richardson reliability coefficients range from .
87.89 across grades; the total score correlates approximately .75 with other
IQ measures. b) Childs aggression. Eron et al. (1971)defined aggression as an
act whose goal response is injury to another object (p. 30). Their 10 peernominated aggression items cover physical (e.g., Who pushes and shoves
other children?), verbal (e.g., Who says mean things?), acquisitive (e.g.,

Who takes other childrens things without asking?), and indirect (e.g., Who
makes up stories and lies to get other children into trouble?) aggressive acts.
The score represents the proportion of times the child was nominated by
classmates on any of ten items. This measure is described in detail elsewhere
(Eron et al., 1971;Huesmann et al., 1984), has been widely used, and has an
= .90 in cross-national samples (Huesmann & Eron, 1986).
Late adolescent (age 19) educational achievement and aspirations

a) Educational level. Participants level of education was coded as 1 = less than

high school, 2 = completed high school, or 3 = at least 1 year post-high school.
b) Educational aspirations. G2 participants responded to the item, What is
the greatest amount of education you expect to have during your life? along a
6-point scale (1 = less than high school to 6 = graduate education) (Lefkowitz
et al., 1977). c) Occupational aspirations. Participants responded to the item,
What kind of work do you expect to be doing 10 years from now? This was
scored on a 7-point scale ranging from 1 = laborer to 7 = professional in line
with Warners classification scheme (Warner et al., 1960).
Adult (age 48) outcomes

a) Educational level. Participants reported their educational attainment along

a 7-point scale (0 = did not finish high school, 1 = some high school, 2 = HS
graduate, 3 = some college or tech school, 4 = bachelors or RN degree, 5 =
some graduate school, 6 = masters degree, 7 = doctorate or law degree).
b) Occupational prestige. Occupational prestige was rated using prestige
codes following Stevens and Hoisington (1987). Prestige codes are provided
for 889 specific occupations within 13 occupational categories (e.g., executive,
administrative, and managerial; professional specialty; technicians; sales;
protective service; mechanics/repairers; machine operators and inspectors).
Higher codes indicate greater prestige. The codes range from 153 (ushers) to
810 (physicians). Two raters coded the participants occupations. On a
subsample of 162 occupations coded by each rater, the correlation between
their assigned codes was r= .81.
Go to:

Gender Differences in the Study Variables

T tests were computed to examine gender differences in the age 8 family

contextual (parental educational level, fathers occupation, value of housing,
negative family interaction) and personal variables (child IQ and aggression),
the age 19 adolescent mediators (educational and occupational aspirations,
educational attainment), and the age 48 outcomes (educational level and
occupational prestige). There were no gender differences in age 8 parental
educational level, fathers occupation, and value of housing, but there were
gender differences in two of the middle childhood negative family interaction
measures: a) parents reported higher levels of rejection (dissatisfaction)
toward boys than toward girls, t(705) = 4.32, p <.01; and b) parents reported
higher levels of endorsement of hitting as a form of punishment toward their
boys than toward their girls, t(697) = 1.98, p < .05. In terms of the age 8
personal variables, boys were rated as more aggressive by their classroom
peers compared to girls, t(854) = 7.74, p < .01, but there were no gender
differences in IQ. Regarding the age 19 hypothesized mediators, there were no
gender differences in educational attainment or occupational aspirations, but
boys had higher educational aspirations than did girls, t(416) = 2.76, p < .01.
At age 48, there were no gender differences in educational attainment or
occupational prestige. Given the number of variables for which there were
significant gender differences, the remaining analyses were computed
separately by gender.
Relations of the Middle Childhood Parental Educational Level to the Adult

Table 1 shows the correlation matrix of the middle childhood and adolescent
predictor variables with the adult outcome variables. For both genders, nearly
all of the age 8 family contextual and child personal variables were related
significantly modestly to moderately to the two adult outcomes. For example,
parents educational level during middle childhood was positively related to
educational attainment and occupational prestige 40 years later. The childs

IQ was also positively related to educational attainment and to occupational

prestige 40 years later. Finally, aggressiveness during middle childhood was
significantly negatively related to educational attainment and to occupational
prestige 40 years later. Table 1 also shows that parental educational level,
child aggression, and child intelligence during middle childhood were
correlated with other contextual variables (e.g., the other socioeconomic
indices, negative family interaction) that in turn were correlated with the age
48 outcomes. Thus, it is unclear from the correlations alone what the unique
contribution is to long-term educational and occupational success of parental
education. In the next section, we present results of structural models in
which we tested unique direct and indirect effects (through hypothesized age 8
and age 19 mediators) of parental education when the child was 8 years old.

Table 1
Correlations among the Middle Childhood Variables, Late Adolescent
Educational Achievement and Aspirations, and the Adult Outcomes
Direct and Indirect Long-term Effects of Parents Education on Childrens
Educational and Occupational Success

For each of the two adult outcome variables (educational level and
occupational prestige), a two-group (males, females) structural equation
model was constructed in which the age 48 outcome variable was directly
predicted from the three hypothesized age 19 mediator variables (educational
and occupational aspirations, educational level); next, both the age 48
outcome variable and the three mediators were directly predicted from the
two hypothesized age 8 mediator variables (negative family interaction, child
aggression); and finally, the dependent variable and the three age 19 and two
age 8 mediators were directly predicted from the four exogenous age 8

variables (parental educational level, fathers occupation, value of housing,

child IQ). The four exogenous age 8 variables were allowed to covary with each
other. The two residuals associated with the two age 8 hypothesized mediators
(negative family interaction, child aggression) were allowed to covary with
each other but not with any of the other residuals, and similarly, the three
residuals associated with the three age 19 hypothesized mediators
(educational and occupational aspirations, educational level) also were
allowed to covary with each other but not with any of the other residuals. The
path coefficients and covariances then were estimated with AMOS 4.01
(Arbuckle & Wothke, 1999) using full information maximum likelihood
estimation. First, we estimated the model with all the parameters allowed to
be different for each gender. We then constrained the models to have the same
parameters for each gender and compared the fit statistics. The unconstrained
model did not fit significantly better in either case, and for both outcome
variables the chi-square (2) goodness-of-fit test statistics indicated that these
constrained models were a good fit to these data (Educational level:
2=48.916, df=37, p=.091; RMSEA=.019; CFI = .991; Occupational prestige:
2 = 41.466, df=37, p=.282; RMSEA=.012; CFI=.996). 2 In other words, there
are no significant differences between males and females in how occupational
and educational success at age 48 are predicted from the age 8 and age 19
variables in the models. As these constrained models with identical
parameters for males and females are more parsimonious than the
unconstrained models and are no worse in predicting our outcomes, we
present them below.
The calculated model for predicting Adult Educational Level is shown
in Figure 1and the model for predicting Adult Occupational Prestige is shown
in Figure 2. In the figures we include significant paths among all variables, but
for ease of presentation, we present only the significant path coefficients (at
the .05 level). In addition, because these models indicated no gender
differences, we present the average of the standardized path coefficients for
males and females in the figures. However, for the interested reader, in the
accompanying Tables 2 and and3,3, we present standardized mediated, direct,
and total effects for the age 8 predictor variables in the model.

Figure 1
Predicting Childs Age 48 Education Level from Parents Education, Other
Indices of Socioeconomic Status, and Child IQ: Mediation by Family
Interactions, Child Aggression, and Teenage Aspirations. The model did not fit
significantly better ...

Figure 2
Predicting Childs Age 48 Occupational Prestige from Parents Education,
Other Indices of Socioeconomic Status, and Child IQ: Mediation by Family
Interactions, Child Aggression, and Teenage Aspirations. The model did not fit
significantly ...

Table 2
Predicting Adult Educational Level: Standardized Direct, Mediated, and Total
Effects of Age 8 Predictor Variables on Age 48 Educational Attainment for the
Model in Figure 1

Table 3
Predicting Adult Occupational Prestige: Standardized Direct, Mediated, and
Total Effects of Age 8 Predictor Variables on Age 48 Occupational Status for
the Model in Figure 2
Predicting adult educational level

As Figure 1 and Table 2 show, parental educational level during childhood had
no direct effects on educational level at age 48 but had significant indirect
effects mediated through age 19 educational aspirations and age 19
educational level. Thus, children with more highly educated parents developed
higher aspirations for their own education and attained more education by age
19, which in turn related to higher levels of adult educational attainment. The
effects of parents educational level on the childs age 48 educational
attainment were not mediated through negative family interaction or through
child aggression as predicted. At the same time, childrens intelligence and
aggressiveness had both significant direct and indirect effects on their
educational attainment 40 years later. The indirect effects were again
mediated through educational aspirations (for IQ and aggression) and
attainment (for IQ) in late adolescence. Additionally, IQ also had an effect on
educational level at age 48 that was mediated through age 8 aggression.
Finally, one can see that both negative family interactions and value of the
family housing when the child was 8 also had independent indirect effects on
eventual educational attainment in the directions one would expect. Table
2 shows the exact standardized mediated, direct, and total effects for the age 8
predictor variables. One can see that the largest total effects of middle
childhood variables on adult educational attainment are +.22 for parent

education and +.28 for IQ. The total effect for aggression was the next largest
at .12 and negative family interactions also was significant at .12.
Predicting adult occupational prestige

As Figure 2 shows, parental educational level during childhood had a

significant indirect effect on adult occupational prestige, mediated through its
effect on age 19 educational attainment. Thus, children with more highly
educated parents attained more education by age 19, which in turn related to
higher levels of adult occupational prestige. The effects of parents educational
level on the childs age 48 occupational prestige were not mediated through
negative family interactions or through child aggression as predicted. Age 8
intelligence and aggressiveness had indirect effects on age 48 occupational
success mediated though late adolescent educational attainment. However,
these two personal variables also had significant direct effects on age 48
occupational success as they did on age 48 educational attainment.
Furthermore, age 8 IQ also had a mediated effect through age 8 aggression
onto age 48 occupational prestige. Finally, both negative family interactions
and value of the family housing when the child was 8 had independent
indirect effects on age 48 occupational prestige mediated through late
adolescent educational attainment. Surprisingly, the direct path coefficient for
value of family housing on occupational prestige is negative even though the
correlation between them is positive and the indirect effect of value of housing
on occupational prestige (through educational level) is positive. This suggests
that the path is acting as a suppressor path to reduce the effect suggested by
the indirect path. Table 3 shows the exact standardized mediated, direct, and
total effects for the age 8 predictor variables. From this table one can see that
the largest total effects on age 48 occupational prestige from age 8 are for age
8 IQ (.29) and age 8 aggression (.13). However, there are also significant
total effects for the parents education level (.11) and for negative family
interactions when the child was 8 (.11).
Go to:


This investigation considered the role of parents education levels in shaping

their childrens future educational and occupational success. We examined the
prediction of educational and occupational attainment in middle adulthood
from parental education along with a variety of other contextual and personal
variables assessed in middle childhood. We also examined the extent to which
the effects of the parents education and other middle childhood factors on
adulthood outcomes were mediated by the childs educational attainment and
future aspirations during late adolescence. Independently of other middle
childhood family contextual factors and child IQ and aggressiveness, parental
education measured in middle childhood accounted for educational and
occupational success at age 48. Importantly, the effects of parental education
were entirely indirect: higher levels of parental education led to higher levels
of optimistic educational aspirations or educational attainment in
adolescence, and subsequently to higher educational attainment or more
prestigious occupational status in adulthood.
Mediation of Parent Education Effects

Following the family stress perspective (e.g., Conger et al., 2002), we

predicted that parent education (and other family SES indices) effects would
be mediated by negative family interactions and child aggression. This
prediction was not supported because parent education was not related to
either of these concurrently measured variables when other middle childhood
variables (other indices of parent SES and child IQ) were included in the
model. However, as expected, we did find that negative family interactions
and child aggression were related, and that these two variables had indirect
(through educational attainment and aspirations at age 19) and direct effects
on adult educational attainment and occupational prestige. Our reasoning was
that the bi-directional interplay between child behavioral problems and
negative family interactions would impair childrens academic and intellectual
development over time because aggressive youths in conflictual relationships
with parents and possibly teachers might develop negative attitudes toward
school, encounter reduced learning opportunities, and in turn, have lower
academic success (e.g., Huesmann et al., 1987; Stipek, 1998).

We also expected that parent education would be linked to the childs

developing academic success and achievement-oriented attitudes, which in
turn would be linked to higher levels of adult educational and occupational
attainment. Indeed our structural models supported this prediction even when
controlling for other indices of family SES (i.e., value of family housing,
fathers occupation) and child personal variables (i.e., IQ and aggressiveness).
That is, the total (mediated plus direct) effects of the other family SES indices
were small compared to the total effects of parent education. Our findings
with respect to the effects of parent education on adolescent aspirations and
educational attainment are in line with extant research and theory in this area
(e.g., Duncan et al., 1994; Mistry et al., 2002) and expand this literature base
by providing evidence of substantially longer term relations than typically
have been reported. Parental education and value of family housing each
exerted effects on late adolescent educational and occupational aspirations
and educational attainment for both males and females. In the relative short
term, (i.e., childhood to late adolescence), then, indicators of family
socioeconomic stress can be important predictors of youths achievementrelated functioning. Over the longer term, however, parental education level is
the more robust predictor of adult educational and occupational attainment.
Parents as Expectancy Socializers

The finding that parental education was the strongest of the family SES
predictors of educational and vocational achievement in adulthood is in
accordance with Eccles expectancy-value theory of achievement (e.g., Eccles,
1993; Frome & Eccles, 1998). Eccles model proposes that parents socialize
their children towards higher levels of educational achievement and
occupational success by modeling achievement-related behaviors and
fostering positive expectations for academic performance. Our results support
this view by casting parental education as a marker for those achievementrelated factors during childhood. Parental education predicted both
educational and occupational aspirations as well as educational attainment
during late adolescence. Although aspirations in our study were not assessed
until late adolescence, our findings are consistent with recent analyses of data

from the Michigan Study of Adolescent Life Transitions (MSALT; n = 681)

presented by Eccles et al. (2004) showing that maternal education was
significantly linked to sixth grade childrens plans for attending college. Those
aspirations indirectly predicted college status (whether the individual was
attending college full-time) through twelfth-grade grade-point averages. Thus,
it appears that achievement-related aspirations play a significant role, and
their influence emerges at least by middle school and continues into late
Our findings extend those of Eccles et al. (2004) by demonstrating that
achievement-related aspirations and actual achievement behavior have
important implications well beyond the late adolescent years. Our findings
also support the broader cognitive-ecological view (Guerra & Huesmann,
2004) which emphasizes the developmental impact of childhood
environments on shaping enduring cognitive styles and subsequent
educational and behavioral outcomes.
Achievement Aspirations and Developmental Turning Points

Although our analyses are limited by the ages (and thus developmental levels)
of our participants due to the sampling design of the Columbia County
Longitudinal Study, the 1970 sampling period yielded information relevant to
current theorizing about the developmental importance of emerging
adulthood or the transition to young adulthood (spanning approximately
ages 18 to 25) (Arnett, 2000; Eccles, Templeton, & Barber,
2003; Schulenberg, Wadsworth, OMalley, Bachman, & Johnston, 1996).
Those authors highlighted this period of development due to its uniqueness
from adolescence and adulthood in terms of demographics, subjective
perceptions, and identity development issues (Arnett, 2000). At age 19, our
participants were on the cusp of the transition between adolescence and
In the context of the present paper, it is important to note that the transition
to adulthood is a time period during which critical and potentially
longstanding career decisions are made. Thus, even though cognitive-

ecological models typically propose that childrens beliefs and values are
shaped in early to middle childhood and begin to predict behavior reliably
thereafter (Huesmann, 1998; Huesmann & Guerra, 1997), certain cognitions
(i.e., expectations or aspirations for achievement) might not produce longterm and direct effects until such time as the behaviors to which they are
linked become salient. In this view, and in consideration of theory advanced
by Schulenberg and others (Schulenberg et al., 1996; Schulenberg, Maggs, &
OMalley, 2003), the transition to adulthood can represent a developmental
turning point (Rutter, 1996; Rnk, Oravala, & Pulkkinen, 2002) during
which aspirations related to educational and vocational achievement might be
expected to exert their greatest influence. For example, if an individual who
has been achieving at an average level or has been locked into a constraining
academic track maintains high aspirations for educational success, this
transitional period might present the opportunity to pursue those aspirations
through new and better-suited learning experiences. Following Figure 1, the
single strongest predictor of age 48 educational attainment is age 19
educational aspirations. Thus, it is tenable to propose that high aspirations
coupled with the variation in life choices and opportunities afforded by the
transition to adulthood potentially can improve a low-achieving trajectory
established in childhood and earlier adolescence. Research needs to examine
alternative learning opportunities and choices during middle to late
adolescence that might lead some youth to maintain high educational
aspirations (e.g., aspirations to seek a college or graduate degree) despite
average or lower levels of achievement performance trajectories.
Summary and Conclusions

The results of this study suggest that the beneficial effects of parental
educational level when the child is young are not limited to academic
achievement throughout the school years, but have long-term implications for
positive outcomes into middle adulthood (i.e., higher educational level, more
prestigious occupations). The positive effects of parental education are
independent of other indices of parental SES (i.e., fathers occupation, value of
housing) and family process variables (i.e., negative family interactions), the

positive effects of higher IQ, and the negative effects of child aggressiveness.
The long-term positive effects of parent education appear to be indirect
mediated through adolescent aspirations and educational attainment in
contrast to the direct long-term effects of the child personal variables (IQ and
In line with longitudinal studies spanning a shorter time frame (e.g., into
adolescence), we found that parental education affects childrens aspirations
for their own education as well as their actual educational achievement
through adolescence. Because of the long interval between our child and
adolescent assessments (age 8 and age 19), we were unable to examine the
proximal processes that might account for the effects of parental education on
the childs developing aspirations and achievement. Other research
(e.g., Alexander, Entwisle, & Bedinger, 1994; Davis-Kean, 2005; Klebanov,
Brooks-Gunn, & Duncan, 1994;Smith et al., 1997) has shown that parental
education is linked to the parents providing a more stimulating physical,
cognitive, and emotional environment in the home, and more accurate beliefs
about their childrens actual achievement. These proximal processes likely
affect the developing childs achievement-related aspirations and actual
achievement behavior.
Because we did not assess shorter-term and more proximal influences on
individual development over time, our ability to evaluate directly the processoriented family stress models proposed by Conger, McLoyd, and others
(e.g., Conger et al., 2002;McLoyd, 1998) was limited. As noted, we did not find
SES effects on child outcomes mediated by negative family interactions.
However, our childhood measures of family of origin socioeconomic status
were not direct assessments of socioeconomic stress (e.g., financial strain on
the family, lack of material resources), but rather value of housing and
parents educational levels. Also, those variables were assessed
contemporaneously and thus we could not examine the causal processes
implied by the family stress view. Further, it is worth noting that because we
essentially were examining intergenerational socialization processes, the role

of genetic heritability in accounting for relations over time cannot be ruled

The unique effects of parent education when the child is young have important
implications for social policy. As Davis-Kean (2005) suggested, increasing
parental education would have more permanent effects than supplemental
income programs, and Magnuson and McGroder (2001) have demonstrated
short-term benefits on childrens achievement through an intervention which
led to relatively small increases in parental education. The results of ongoing
public policy intervention studies aimed at enhancing the economic well-being
of families will no doubt continue to inform this debate (e.g., Magnuson,
2004; Morris, Huston, Duncan, Crosby, & Bos, 2001; Morris & Michalopoulos,
Go to:

This research has been supported by funding from the Columbia County
Tuberculosis and Health Association and the Hudson (NY) Lions Club (1960
wave); the National Institute of Mental Health (1960, 1970 and 1981 waves);
and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (2000
Go to:


There were mean differences by interview type for both adult outcome measures.
Compared to participants interviewed in person, those interviewed by mail/phone had
higher levels of education and occupational status. However, a series of hierarchical
regressions showed no evidence that interview type moderated the relations of the middle
childhood personal or contextual factors with the adult outcomes. The obtained differences
are not surprising given that geographic mobility is highly related to SES. Personal
interviews were obtained almost exclusively from participants who still lived in or near
Columbia County, New York.

In the captions to the figures depicting the results of our structural models computed with
AMOS, we present, in addition to the chi-square, the root mean square error of
approximation (RMSEA), confirmatory fit index (CFI) statistics, and the squared multiple
correlation (SMC) values (SMC for males and females separately). Recent research and
theory (McDonald & Ho, 2002) indicate that these indicators are sufficient for describing the

fit of structural models. Non-significant chi-square values along with CFI values > .90 and
RMSEA values < .05 indicate good model fit. However, we recognize that other fit indices
can be of interest; interested readers may contact the first author to obtain information on
other fit statistics.

Go to:

Contributor Information
Eric F. Dubow, Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan and
Department of Psychology, Bowling Green State University.
Paul Boxer, Department of Psychology, Rutgers University.
L. Rowell Huesmann, Institute for Social Research, The University of
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Davis-Kean, Pamela E.
Journal of Family Psychology, Vol 19(2), Jun 2005, 294-304. doi: 10.1037/0893-3200.19.2.294


This study examined the process of how socioeconomic status, specifically parents' education and income, indirectly
relates to children's academic achievement through parents' beliefs and behaviors. Data from a national, cross-sectional study of
children were used for this study. The subjects were 868 8-12-year-olds, divided approximately equally across gender (436 females,
433 males). This sample was 49% non-Hispanic European American and 47% African American. Using structural equation modeling
techniques, the author found that the socioeconomic factors were related indirectly to children's academic achievement through
parents' beliefs and behaviors but that the process of these relations was different by racial group. Parents' years of schooling also
was found to be an important socioeconomic factor to take into consideration in both policy and research when looking at schoolage children. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

Parental School Involvement and Children's

Academic Achievement
Pragmatics and Issues

Nancy E. Hill1 and

Lorraine C. Taylor2

1. 1Duke University
2. 2University of North Carolina


Nancy E. Hill, Department of Psychology, Duke University, Box 90085, Durham, NC

27708-0085; e-mail:

Developing collaborations between families and schools to promote academic success
has a long-standing basis in research and is the focus of numerous programs and
policies. We outline some of the mechanisms through which parental school
involvement affects achievement and identify how patterns and amounts of involvement
vary across cultural, economic, and community contexts and across developmental
levels. We propose next steps for research, focusing on the importance of considering
students' developmental stages, the context in which involvement takes place, and the
multiple perspectives through which involvement may be assessed. Finally, we discuss
enhancing involvement in diverse situations.
Educational Psychology Review
June 2005, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 99-123

Examining the Relationship Between

Parental Involvement and Student

Alyssa R. Gonzalez-DeHass,
Patricia P. Willems,

Marie F. Doan Holbein

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Parent involvement has a sound research base attesting to the many
potential benefits it can offer in education. However, student motivation as
an academic outcome of parental involvement has only recently been
investigated. The purpose of this article is to show how parent involvement is
related to students motivation. Studies of students from the elementary
school to high school show a beneficial relationship between parental
involvement and the following motivational constructs: school engagement,
intrinsic/extrinsic motivation, perceived competence, perceived control, selfregulation, mastery goal orientation, and motivation to read. From the
synthesis of the parent involvement and motivation literature, we offer
potential explanations for their relationship. Directions for areas of continued
research are also presented.
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As a child grows and develops, he learns different skills, such as taking a first step,
smiling for the first time, or waving goodbye. These skills are known as developmental
milestones. There is normal variation around what age children will achieve a specific
developmental milestone. Developmental delay refers to a child who is not achieving
milestones within the age range of that normal variability. Most often, at least initially, it
is difficult or impossible to determine whether the delay is a marker of a long-term issue
with development or learning (i.e. known as a disability) or whether the child will catchup and be typical in their development and learning. There are five main groups of
skills that make up the developmental milestones. A child may have a developmental
delay in one or more of these areas:

Gross motor: using large groups of muscles to sit, stand, walk, run, etc., keeping
balance and changing positions.

Fine motor: using hands and fingers to be able to eat, draw, dress, play, write and do
many other things.

Language: speaking, using body language and gestures, communicating and

understanding what others say.

Cognitive: Thinking skills including learning, understanding, problem-solving, reasoning

and remembering.

Social: Interacting with others, having relationships with family, friends, and teachers,
cooperating and responding to the feelings of others.

Usually, there is an age range of several months where a child is expected to learn
these new skills. If the normal age range for walking is 9 to 15 months, and a child still
isnt walking by 20 months, this would be considered a developmental delay (2 standard
deviations below the mean). A delay in one area of development may be accompanied
by a delay in another area. For example, if there is a difficulty in speech and language,
a delay in other areas such as social or cognitive development may coexist.
It is important to identify developmental delays early so that treatment can minimize the
effects of the problem. Parents who have concerns about their childs development
should consult the childs physician, who, in turn, might make a referral to a
developmental pediatrician, developmental psychologist or pediatric neurologist. The
consultant can evaluate the child and recommend treatments and therapies that might
benefit the child.