Life: A Collaborative Study Involving Six Sites and Three Ethnic Groups in North America


Attempted to examine the generalizability of environment/development relationships among 3 eth-nic groups across the first 3 years of life. Social status did not show a consistent relationship to either quality of home environment or children's developmental status across the various groups. Results indicated a fairly consistent relationship between HOME scores and children's developmental status, although there were some ethnic and social status differences in the relationship. Measures of specific aspects of the child's home environment, such as parental responsivity and availability of stimulating play materials, were more strongly related to child developmental status than global measures of environmental quality such as SES. When the child's early developmental status and early home environment were both very low, the likelihood of poor developmental outcomes was markedly in-creased compared with cases when only one was low. Longitudinal designs are particularly useful ways of studying development because they make it possible to examine changes in human characteristics across time and to relate those changes to various biological and environmental conditions. Clearly, longitudinal studies have been valuable in helping to under-stand the nature of early environmental action, addressing such issues as the cumulating effects of impoverished or enriched en-vironments, the relative importance of earlier and later environ-mental settings, and the significance of particular types of stim-ulation and support. Nonetheless, there remains considerable uncertainty regarding the generalizability of findings from suc

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