Parental Investment

Understanding the Effects of Adverse Early Environments

Gaps in both cognitive and non-cognitive skills between the advantaged and the disadvantaged emerge early and can be traced in part to adverse environments, in which a growing proportion of children are now raised. Studies show that the proper measure of child adversity is the quality of parenting–not the traditional measures of family income or parental education, although they are correlated with the quality of parenting. While addressing the latter would derivatively show some improvements in the observed gaps, addressing parenting quality directly would show a much larger improvement.