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UCSD study finds adult skills correlate to early childhood learning hours –

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Skills that people possess later in life can be developed early in childhood and there can be significant differences in skill sets by gender, according to findings published Tuesday by the Rady School of Management. UC San Diego.

The findings may partly explain the rarity of women compared to men working and studying in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Researchers have found that women may be excluded from such fields because they receive more early childhood support in language arts, according to the UCSD study, “Parental Investments in Early Childhood and the Gender Gap in Math and Literacy”, which will be published in American Journal of Financial Inspection Documents and Minutes.

“We find that girls are better at English than boys in third to seventh grade,” said Anya Samek, an associate professor of economics at Rady School and one of the study’s co-authors. “Because girls are more likely to do well in language fields early in life, they may be more willing to choose them for specialties and careers.

“Thus, women may be under-represented in STEM in part because of their cultured talents that they have acquired earlier in life,” Samek said.

The findings were based on a study in which researchers looked at how much time parents spend with their children between the ages of 3 and 5, along with the test scores of children when they were 8 to 14 years old.

In addition, most of the time parents spent teaching children aged 3 to 5 – up to three hours or more per week – was associated with better test scores when children aged 8 to 14. For example, teaching three or more hours predicted 6% higher grades in English for fourth graders than teaching one hour or less.

However, there is a gender gap in parental investment in children, the researchers found. On average, parents spent more time with girls and several factors could contribute to this inequality. For example, compared to boys, the researchers found that girls had a stronger ability to sit still and focus, and girls’ parents were also 18% more likely to report that they liked their child when they taught it.

According to the data, the girls did significantly better in language studies than the boys, while the grades for girls and boys in mathematics were more similar. The researchers found a stronger correlation between parental investment and language scores than mathematics.

“I think it’s amazing to see that parental investment is correlated with test scores in English but not in math,” Samek said. “It could be because we are told to read to our children for at least 10 minutes a day. “We were told to show them books and I think we probably spend less time thinking about how to get kids involved in math.”

The study participants were mostly from Chicago and included 2,185 children and 953 parents who responded to surveys, 702 of whom also provided test scores.

“We show that parental investment in early life is closely linked to language skills in later life but poorly related to math skills later in life,” Samek said. “Parents might not spend as much time teaching math to their children as they do reading. If so, the next step may be to encourage parents to teach their young children math while reading. “

Copyright 2022, City News Service, Inc.



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