Intelligence development of socio-economically disadvantaged pre-school children
AbstractThe intellectual development of socioeconomically disadvantaged preschool children is influenced by several factors. The development of intelligence is a multidimensional concept that is determined by biological, social, and environmental factors. In this literature review, however, only the social and environmental factors are discussed. Some of the factors that have profound effect on children’s cognitive development are as follows: environmental stimulation, parental attitudes, maternal age, and education. Successful intervention and prevention programs aimed at enhancing children’s cognitive development are also exemplified. It appears that early intervention programs in the second and third year of an infant’s life have fundamental effects on the cognitive development of disadvantaged children. It is clear that learning starts with birth. Longitudinal studies revealed that the most effective period for intervention is early childhood. Those who received early day-care and preschool intervention programs have sustained these gains in adolescence and adulthood. Those benefits include higher IQ scores, better achievement test scores, better reading and math skills, more educational attainment, more college degrees, and fewer psychosocial and mental health problems. Therefore, it appears that investing in early high-quality programs provide multiple advantages for individuals and society. Social activists, psychologists, and counselors should make every effort to affect the allocation of governmental funds and policies.
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