The contribution of spoken language and socio-economic background to adolescents' educational achievement at age 16 years
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Spencer, S., Clegg, J., Stackhouse, J. & Rush, R. (2016) The contribution of spoken language and socio-economic background to adolescents' educational achievement at age 16 years, International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, vol. 52, , pp. 184-196,
Maternal education captured at a single time point is commonly employed as a predictor of a child's cognitive development. In this paper we ask what bearing the acquisition of additional qualifications has upon reading performance in middle childhood. This was a secondary analysis of the UK's Millennium Cohort Study, a birth cohort of 18,000 children born in 2000. Our outcome variable was Single Word Reading from the British Abilities Scales at 7 years. Predictors included maternal age and education, relative poverty and parity. Increasing maternal education over time was associated with improved child outcomes with a 2 month developmental advantage for children whose mothers had increased education over those whose mothers had not. Parity was important but conditional on this, there was no evidence of child attainment reducing for the children of older mothers. A time-varying education level model is consistent with an input quality mechanism for language development.