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Title: The role of sociodemographic and psychosocial variables in early childhood development: A secondary data analysis of the 2014 and 2019 Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys in the Dominican Republic
Autores: Sánchez-Vincitore, Laura, V.
Castro, A.
Researchers (UNIBE): Sánchez-Vincitore, Laura V. 
Affiliations: Laboratorio de Neurocognición y Psicofisiología (NEUROLAB) 
Research area: Ciencias Sociales; Ciencias de la Salud
Issue Date: 2022
Source: PLOS Global Public Health, 2(7), e0000465; 2022
Journal: PLOS Global Public Health 
Volume: 2
Issue: 7
Start page: e0000465
The association between sociodemographic factors—poverty, lack of maternal schooling, being male at birth—, childhood developmental delay, and poor educational outcomes has been established in the Dominican Republic (DR). However, family moderating factors present or introduced to buffer sociodemographic factors effects on early childhood development (ECD) are still unknown. We conducted a secondary analysis of the DR’s 2014 and 2019 Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys. We had four study aims: 1) confirm the relationship between socioeconomic position (SP), parenting practices, and ECD; 2) determine if a sociodemographic model predicted ECD; 3) determine if a psychosocial model (family childrearing practices, discipline, and early childhood stimulation) predicted ECD above and beyond the sociodemographic model; 4) explore mothers’ beliefs about physical punishment and its relationship with ECD and psychosocial variables. We found that both models predicted ECD significantly, but the psychosocial model explained more variance than the sociodemographic model (6.3% in 2014 and 4.4% in 2019). The most relevant sociodemographic predictors were SP (explaining 21.6% of ECD variance in 2014 and 18.6% in 2019) and mother’s education (explaining 13.9% in 2014 and 14.1% in 2019). The most salient ECD psychosocial predictors were: negative discipline, number of children’s books at home, stimulating activities at home, and attendance to an early childhood education program. The predicting weights of the independent variables were similar for both years. These results have multiple implications for social programs that aim to improve children’s potential in contexts of poverty. Although the results show a protective effect of psychosocial factors, sustainable and large-scale interventions should not be limited to just buffering effects, but to solve the underlying problem, which is that poverty prevents children from reaching their developmental potential and exposes them to life-long greater risk for chronic disease. Addressing delays early in life can therefore contribute to achieving health equity.
ISSN: 2767-3375
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgph.0000465
Appears in Collections:Publicaciones del NEUROLAB-UNIBE

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