Assessment Report Roundup

Early Childhood

By Sarah D. Sparks — September 13, 2016 1 min read

Stimulating young children’s early-language skills can not only boost their readiness for kindergarten, but potentially protect them from later depression, finds a new study in Prevention Science.

Researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia, and John Hopkins University tracked nearly 600 children at high-risk of academic failure in Hawaii from age 3 to 3rd grade. They found 3-year-olds with low exposure to language—be it through preschool, adult conversations, or reading and using media with family—were significantly more likely to show language delays in 1st grade and three times as likely to show depressive symptoms in 3rd grade, than those with more language exposure.

Researchers suggested a less-enriching home environment, coupled with more academic challenges in school, could contribute to the students’ risk of depression.

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