Residential and preschool neighborhoods: Exploring patterns of socioeconomic match and its association with child skills across Massachusetts
The current study analyzed patterns of neighborhood socioeconomic match across 3- and 4-year-old children’s ( N = 2,029) residential and preschool neighborhoods in Massachusetts. Most children (80%) lived and attended early education and care in different neighborhoods. Children in households with the lowest incomes and those whose families identified as Black or African American were among the likeliest to have mismatched residential and preschool neighborhoods. Yet children’s residential and preschool neighborhoods were typically socioeconomically similar across all categories we considered. Associations between residential and preschool neighborhood socioeconomic match and children’s skills were inconsistent and depended on the socioeconomic status of children’s residential neighborhood. These findings illustrate how the concept of demographic match can be applied to a range of contexts and contribute to the field’s understanding of how the dynamic interplay of children’s multiple day-to day contexts may relate to early learning and development. (author abstract)
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