Mother's Education Level at Time of Birth Determines Her Child's Achievement

The level of education a mother has at the time she gives birth is an accurate predictor of her child's academic success, especially in the areas of math and reading, according to a new study.

The level of education a mother has at the time she gives birth is an accurate predictor of her child's academic success, especially in the areas of math and reading, according to a new study out of the University of Michigan.


Researchers found that children of mothers nineteen years and older enter kindergarten with higher levels of achievement and that these kids continue to achieve at a higher level than children born to mothers eighteen years and younger. 

Sandra Tang, a U of M psychology research fellow and the study's lead author, said:

"Given that growth in achievement generally stays the same across time for math and reading for all children in the sample, these patterns highlight the importance of investing in early interventions that target adolescent mothers and provide them with the skills needed to promote their children's learning."

Some good news to emerge from the study is that children of teen mothers who continue their education after giving birth tend to do better academically than children of mothers who stop their education. 

Jim Barksdale, the founder of Netscape turned philanthropist, explains that children who are not functionally literate by the end of the third grade tend not to graduate from high school and are more likely to become pregnant in their early teens. This is to do with the fact that teaching children to read, despite it's seeming simplicity, is actually quite difficult to do:

Read more at Science Daily

Photo credit: Shutterstock

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