The Asian American Advantage in Math among Young Children: The Complex Role of Parenting
achievement gap, Asian Americans, parenting
Asian American children exhibit stronger math and reading skills than white children at school entry, a pattern that has motivated scholars to examine early childhood to determine when and why these gaps form. Yet, to date, it has been unclear what parenting practices might explain this “Asian Advantage.” Analyzing more than 4,100 children from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study–Birth Cohort, we find that the role of parenting is complex. Asian American parents have high educational expectations compared with whites but are less engaged in traditional measures of parenting (e.g., reading to the child, maternal warmth, parent-child relationship), and these differences matter for understanding the Asian American/white math advantage in early childhood. Thus, even by age four, Asian American parents (across ethnic subgroups) play an important but complex role in the development of a child’s cognitive skills in the first few years of life.
Original Publication Citation
Gibbs, Benjamin G., Priyank Shah, Douglas B. Downey, and Jonathan A. Jarvis. “The Asian-American Cognitive Skill Advantage in Early Childhood: The Complex Role of Parenting” Sociological Perspectives 60: 315-337.
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Gibbs, Benjamin G.; Shah, Priyank G.; Downey, Douglas B,; and Jarvis, Jonathan A., "The Asian American Advantage in Math among Young Children: The Complex Role of Parenting" (2016). All Faculty Publications. 2957.
Family, Home, and Social Sciences
© The Author(s) 2016