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Skills, capabilities and inequalities at school entry in a disadvantaged community

Orla Doyle, Louise McEntee and Kelly A. McNamara
European Journal of Psychology of Education
Vol. 27, No. 1 (March 2012), pp. 133-154
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/43551090
Page Count: 22
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Skills, capabilities and inequalities at school entry in a disadvantaged community
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Abstract

Socioeconomic inequalities in children's skills and capabilities begin early in life and can have detrimental effects on future success in school. The present study examined the relationships between school readiness and socioeconomic (SES) inequalities using teacher reports of the Short Early Development Instrument (Janus et al. 2005) in a disadvantaged urban community of Ireland. It specifically examined differences in skills within a low SES community in order to investigate the role of relative disadvantage on children's development. SES differences across multiple domains of school readiness were examined using Monte Carlo permutation tests and seemingly unrelated regression models. The false discovery rate (Benjamini and Hochberg 1995) was used to control for multiple hypothesis testing. The results indicated that being from a relatively higher SES background does not act as a protective factor for children residing in a disadvantaged community for the majority of school readiness domains. This implies that the neighbourhood may play a role in children's school readiness skills. These results suggest that school readiness interventions should target all children living in disadvantaged communities as each child may be at risk of poor school readiness.

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