Mothers' education key to kid's academic success

Mothers
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Researchers have found that the academic success of kids depends a lot on the education provided by mothers as children born to relatively older and educated mothers learn math and reading more quickly than children born to younger mothers.

Washington: Researchers have found that the academic success of kids depends a lot on the education provided by mothers as children born to relatively older and educated mothers learn math and reading more quickly than children born to younger mothers.

Trends indicate that mothers who give birth during adolescence have much lower rates of high school completion and college enrolment in comparison with their counterparts who delay their pregnancy, found the study. Children of mothers who are 19 and older usually enter kindergarten with higher levels of achievement, showed the study.

These kids continue to excel in math and reading at higher levels through eighth grade when compared with children of mothers 18 years and younger, pointed out the study. "These results provide compelling evidence that having a child during adolescence has enduring negative consequences for the achievement of the next generation," said Sandra Tang, a psychology research fellow at the University of Michigan in the US.

The negative consequences of teen mothers not only affects the child born when the mother was an adolescent, but also affect the mother's subsequent children as well.

"These children - and others born to the mother when she was not an adolescent - never catch up in achievement across time to children whose mothers had them after completing their education," said Pamela Davis-Kean, associate professor of psychology at the University of Michigan. In 14,279 cases, the children's math and reading scores were collected in third, fifth and eighth grades.

As growth in achievement normally stays the same across time for math and reading, these patterns highlight the importance of investing in early interventions that target adolescent mothers and provide them with the skills needed to promote their children's learning, concluded Tang. The findings appeared in the Journal of Research on Adolescence.

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