Next to children’s cognition. For this the paper used the PPVT, which provides a test of the child's vocabulary. Again the analysis then examines how other parental factors shaped children’s vocabulary. One limitation here is there is no information about the school children go to. However and perhaps not surprisingly the key factors are the parents' own education, and also wealth levels. So it’s not an ‘either or’ - both are fairly consistently important across countries and ages. So to raise children's learning, this is evidence of the importance of parental education but again we expect to see a payoff here from poverty reduction measures. At its most basic level, poverty might affect how children learn, not only because children might just get a less good education but that pressures in the household might undermine learning (for example hunger, less available space, or time to study).
And finally to children's psychosocial development, here called ‘non-cognitive’ in line with language used in economics. What’s been done is to add together answers on a number of questions which give insight into children's self-esteem and self-efficacy. These types of characteristics matter for children's wellbeing but are increasingly being discussed in relation to the labour market. So what shapes these? First there is not a strong link with wealth levels (it's there, but it is not statistically significant. That’s not to say that poverty -or another factor - isn’t itself undermining mothers wellbeing, but the relationship is less direct than with health or learning). The paper does find a clear link between children’s psychosocial development and mother’s psychosocial wellbeing (reflected in self-esteem and self-efficacy) and social capital. Both are potential entry points to consider for policy and programming. The former by supporting the mother herself, and perhaps reducing the stresses she faces; the latter through supporting stronger networks and creating a sense of inclusion in the community and trust among community members.
Read more in our latest Working Paper Parental Background and Child Human Capital Development Throughout Childhood and Adolescence: Evidence From Four Low- and Middle-Income Countries.