Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Study: Mexican American Children Don’t Lag in Social Skills

Mexican-American children may significantly lag behind white children in their early language and cognitive skills–but that doesn’t mean that they are struggling with social skills, according to findings by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, published this week in the Maternal Child Health Journal.

In fact, they find that there are no distinguishable differences in social skills between the two groups, despite economic disparities. They urge that educators and others to “not assume social-emotional delays, even when language or cognitive skills lag somewhat behind.”

According to a press release from UC Berkeley, the researchers included pediatricians, psychologists and a sociologist. The findings are from a sample of 4,700 children tracked for three years between the ages of two and five.

In previous findings, researchers have discovered that concluded that Mexican American children are read to less by their parents than white children and lag in their language skills as early as age two. They also found that despite the developmental gaps, Hispanic mothers have nurturing and warm interactions with their children.