Portions of these data were presented at the April 2011 meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development. We thank Laura Niman, Melissa Munz, Katherine Barich and Sarah Stanger for help with data collection and coding.
The Effects of Socio-Economic Status on Infant Attention
Article first published online: 10 AUG 2012
Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Infant and Child Development
Volume 22, Issue 1, pages 53–67, January/February 2013
How to Cite
Clearfield, M. W. and Jedd, K. E. (2013), The Effects of Socio-Economic Status on Infant Attention. Inf. Child Develop., 22: 53–67. doi: 10.1002/icd.1770
- Issue published online: 18 FEB 2013
- Article first published online: 10 AUG 2012
The development of visual attention is a key component of cognitive functioning in infancy and childhood. By the time children in poverty reach school, deficits in attention are readily apparent; however, when these attention delays manifest is unknown. The current study tested attention longitudinally at 6, 9 and 12 months in infants from high-socio-economic status (SES) and low-SES families. Infants were tested in a free play attention task in both simple and complex conditions, and two measures each of attention and inattention were scored. High-SES infants showed greater attention overall and greater increases in attention when the stimuli were more complex. Low-SES infants showed higher inattention than their high-SES peers at all ages and were less likely to modulate their attention on the basis of stimulus complexity. Thus, by 6 months of age, low-income infants already show deficits in attention. Results are discussed in terms of adaptability, implications for social development and attention interventions. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.