A Strength-Based Framework for Realizing Latino Young Children’s Potential

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2021-10-01

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Abstract

Hispanic children experience poverty at rates two to three times higher than white children. Latino households with children, in general, have high parental employment coupled with low levels of parental education and stagnant parental earnings relative to non-Latino peers. While many Latino children live in neighborhoods that do not have access to high-quality early education, Latino children, on average, are raised in a home environment that offers economic stability and security, the presence of two parents, and socially supported family and community networks. Furthermore, though Hispanic children’s school achievement outcomes lag behind those of their peers, their socio-emotional developmental outcomes are on the same level or better. Latino children are raised in environments with the ingredients needed to achieve their potential. We use this foundation to propose a strength-based framework for guiding policy investment on Latino children and families.

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10.1177/23727322211033618

Publication Info

Gennetian, LA, N Cabrera, D Crosby, L Guzman, JM Smith and E Wildsmith (2021). A Strength-Based Framework for Realizing Latino Young Children’s Potential. Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 8(2). pp. 152–159. 10.1177/23727322211033618 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/23882.

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Gennetian

Lisa A. Gennetian

Pritzker Professor of Early Learning Policy Studies

Dr. Gennetian is an applied economist whose research straddles a variety of areas concerning child poverty from income security and stability to early care and education with a particular lens toward identifying causal mechanisms underlying how child poverty shapes children’s development. She is a co-PI on the first multi-site multi-year randomized control study of a monthly unconditional cash transfer to low income mothers of infants in the U.S. called Baby’s First Years. Her recent work bridges poverty scholarship with a behavioral economic framework.  “The Persistence of Poverty in the Context of Economic Instability: A Behavioral Perspective,” describes such a framework for poverty programs and policy, co-authored with Dr. Eldar Shafir and her co-authored publication “Behavioral Economics and Developmental Science,” further advances the application of behavioral economic insights to the arena of children’s development. Professor Gennetian has since launched the beELL initiative; applying insights from behavioral economics to design strategies to support parent and family engagement in, and enhance the impacts of, existing childhood interventions. Dr. Gennetian also has a body of research examining poverty among Hispanic children and families, serving as a PI on several grants and a co-PI directing work on poverty and economic self-sufficiency at the National Center for Research on Hispanic Families.


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