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Does Schooling Buffer the Effects of Early Risk?

Kathleen S. Gorman and Ernesto Pollitt
Child Development
Vol. 67, No. 2 (Apr., 1996), pp. 314-326
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development
DOI: 10.2307/1131816
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1131816
Page Count: 13
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Does Schooling Buffer the Effects of Early Risk?
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Abstract

The data presented here come from a 20-year study conducted in a rural area of Guatemala. Data on early biological indicators, graduated parameters of social structure, and preschool cognition were combined into a risk scale and analyzed in relation to primary school grade attainment and adolescent psychoeducational test performance. Similar to empirical relations reported in industrialized countries, performance declined as the number of risk factors to which a subject was exposed increased. More important, primary education was observed to buffer the effects of early risk for a subset of subjects. Subjects at high risk who stayed in school performed significantly better than subjects with similar levels of risk who completed fewer than 4 years of primary school.

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