Bisset, S., Fournier, M., Pagani, L., & Janosz, M. (2013). Predicting academic
and cognitive outcomes from weight status trajectories during childhood.
International Journal of Obesity, 37(1), 154-159.
OBJECTIVE: To identify childhood body mass index (BMI) trajectories and to describe their association with subsequent academic and cognitive outcomes.
STUDY DESIGN: Prospective cohort: Height and weight measured annually from 4 to 7 years. A mixture of regressions approach grouped children into BMI trajectories (n=1959 children; n=5754 BMI measures). Academic outcomes included teacher-rated progress and achievement. Cognitive outcomes measured by Kaufman's Assessment Battery for Children. Academic and cognitive outcomes were regressed according to BMI trajectories, controlling for family and individual covariates. Subjects drawn from Quebec Longitudinal Study of Child Development (Canada), a 1998 birth cohort (n=2120).
RESULTS: Four clusters of BMI trajectories emerged: two healthy weight groups, one overweight group and one low weight group. Relative to healthy weight, belonging to the overweight or low weight clusters was negatively associated with cognitive and academic outcomes. With the exception of the low weight cluster, this relationship was insignificant in the adjusted model.
CONCLUSIONS: Results suggest that during childhood being overweight does not increase risk for poor educational outcomes. Instead, being underweight may increase risk for poorer cognitive outcomes. Further group-based trajectory modeling (GBTM) for BMI development over time is needed to confirm results.
Geoffroy, M., Cote, S. M., Giguere, C., Dionne, G., Zelazo, P. D., Tremblay,
R. E., Boivin, M., & Seguin, J. R. (2010). Closing the gap in academic
readiness and achievement: The role of early childcare Marie-Claude
Geoffroy et al. Childcare, socioeconomic background, and academic
readiness and achievement. Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry,
ABSTRACT: Socially disadvantaged children with academic difficulties at school entry are at increased risk for poor health and psychosocial outcomes. Our objective is to test the possibility that participation in childcare - at the population level - could attenuate the gap in academic readiness and achievement between children with and without a social disadvantage (indexed by low levels of maternal education). A cohort of infants born in the Canadian province of Quebec in 1997/1998 was selected through birth registries and followed annually until 7 years of age ( n = 1,863). Children receiving formal childcare (i.e., center-based or non-relative out-of-home) were distinguished from those receiving informal childcare (i.e., relative or nanny). Measures from 4 standardized tests that assessed cognitive school readiness (Lollipop Test for School Readiness), receptive vocabulary (Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test Revised), mathematics (Number Knowledge Test), and reading performance (Kaufman Assessment Battery for children) were administered at 6 and 7 years. Children of mothers with low levels of education showed a consistent pattern of lower scores on academic readiness and achievement tests at 6 and 7 years than those of highly educated mothers, unless they received formal childcare. Specifically, among children of mothers with low levels of education, those who received formal childcare obtained higher school readiness ( d = 0.87), receptive vocabulary ( d = 0.36), reading( d = 0.48) and math achievement scores ( d = 0.38; although not significant at 5%) in comparison with those who were cared for by their parents. Childcare participation was not associated with cognitive outcomes among children of mothers with higher levels of education. Public investments in early childcare are increasing in many countries with the intention of reducing cognitive inequalities between disadvantaged and advantaged children. Our findings provide further evidence suggesting that formal childcare could represent a preventative means of attenuating effects of disadvantage on children's early academic trajectory.