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Neighborhood poverty and school readiness

In the first decade of the 21st century, the proportion of Americans living in moderate- and high-poverty neighborhoods increased. This trend was most pronounced among families with children. Numerous studies have linked higher rates of neighborhood poverty with less favorable outcomes, including low “school readiness,” defined as children’s early academic and behavioral skills. School readiness has been shown to predict long-term achievement and well-being. This brief recounts findings from a national study exploring how neighborhood and family poverty are associated with children’s academic skills and classroom behavior at kindergarten entry between 1998 and 2010. Suggested areas for further research are also discussed.


Child Development & Well-Being, Children, Early Childhood Care & Education, Education & Training, Family & Partnering, K-12 Education, Neighborhood Effects, Place