“I believe a strong woman may be stronger than a man, particularly if she happens to have love in her heart. I guess a loving woman is indestructible.”—John Steinbeck, East of Eden (via flightlessbirdie)
Preschools may reduce inequalities in early academic achievement by providing children from disadvantaged families with higher-quality learning environments than they would otherwise receive. In this study, longitudinal data from a nationally representative sample of more than 600 twin pairs were used to estimate the contributions of genes, the shared environment, and the nonshared environment to cognition and achievement scores in children enrolled versus not enrolled in preschool. Attending preschool at age 4 was associated with reductions in shared environmental influences on reading and math skills at age 5, but was not associated with the magnitude of shared environmental influences on cognition at age 2. These prospective effects were mediated by reductions in achievement gaps associated with minority status, socioeconomic status, and ratings of parental stimulation of cognitive development. Lower socioeconomic status was associated with lower rates of preschool enrollment, which suggests that the very children who would benefit most from preschools are the least likely to be enrolled in them.