Variation in the Trajectories of Cognitive Development between Immigrants and Native Born Children: Comparisons of Australia, United States, and the United Kingdom

Kate H. Choi, Princeton University

Our paper uses four birth cohort studies to compare the trajectories of cognitive development in early and middle childhood of immigrant and native born children in three countries: Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. We begin by ascertaining how the cognitive skills of immigrant children of various groups compare to those of native born children in early childhood – age 3. Next, we assess whether cognitive differences between immigrant and native born children persist (or subside) at the time children into elementary school and into middle childhood. Third, we investigate whether and why immigrant and native born children have distinct trajectories of cognitive development. And finally, we examine how the cognitive trajectories of immigrant and native born children differ across the three host societies as a first step in assessing how differences in host country policies affect children’s cognitive development.

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Presented in Poster Session 1