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Table 2 Characteristics of two-year old children sampled in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1986-1998 (n = 2919 unweighted)

From: Early identification of young children at risk for poor academic achievement: preliminary development of a parent-report prediction tool

Child demographics  
Female 49.2%
Number of children in household  
   1 (focal child only) 25.9%
   2-3 children 63.3%
   4 or more children 10.8%
Birth order (mean) 2.1
Physical health factors  
Gestational age  
   Very premature (< 32 weeks) 1.3%
   Premature (< 37 weeks) 12.3%
   Very low birthweight (< 1500 grams) 0.6%
   Low birthweight (between 1500 grams and 2500 grams) 6.5%
Weight at age two  
   Body Mass Index < 5th percentile 17.2%
   Body Mass Index > 95th percentile 14.3%
Developmental abilities  
Motor-Social Development score1 (mean) 103.3
   Child has named 4 colors 64.4%
   Child has counted from 1-10 47.3%
   Has gone to the toilet alone 72.0%
Brief Compliance Scale score2 (mean) 22.1
   Almost always obeys when told to turn off TV 60.7%
   Never resists going to bed 30.5%
   Brief Indicators of Insecure Attachment score3 (mean) 19.8
Mean maternal age at child's birth 27.2 years
Maternal age at child's birth  
   < 25 years 25.8%
   25-29 years 43.9%
   ≥ 30 years 30.3%
Maternal race/ethnicity  
   Non-hispanic white 63.0%
   African-American 20.3%
   Hispanic 13.3%
   Asian/Pacific Islander 0.6%
   Native American 1.7%
   Other 1.2%
Mother U.S. Born 95.1%
Maternal interview conducted in English 98.8%
Family structure at age two  
   Married 75.1%
   Cohabiting with partner 5.5%
   Other 19.5%
Maternal employment status 4  
   Full-time 35.5%
   Part-time 16.5%
   Not working 48.1%
Living at or above poverty 5 79.9%
Maternal Educational Attainment  
   Less than High School 17.7%
   High School 40.2%
   Some college 21.4%
   Bachelor's degree or beyond 20.8%
Maternal depressive symptoms (CES-D score ≥ 16) 6 22.3%
Intendedness of pregnancy 7  
   Wanted pregnancy 67.7%
   Mistimed pregnancy 23.9%
   Unwanted pregnancy 8.4%
Prenatal environment  
   No prenatal cigarette exposure 69%
   Prenatal alcohol exposure  
No alcohol 64.7%
Moderate alcohol (< 1/month to < 3-4 days/month) 30.6%
Heavy alcohol (1-2 days per week or more) 4.7%
Child care type in third year of life  
   Parent 52.4%
   Relative 14.1%
   Nonrelative 14.0%
   Center-based care 19.3%
   Other 0.2%
Parenting environment  
Mother smokes daily 29.5%
Number of books child has of his/her own  
   < 3 9.3%
   3-9 17.0%
   ≥ 10 73.7%
Frequency of reading to child  
   Less than three times per week 29.4%
   Three times per week 31.6%
   Daily 39.0%
Hours watched TV on average school day (mean) 3.0 hours
How often does mother argue with spouse/partner about child rearing?  
   No spouse/partner 16.6%
   Never/hardly ever &CHILD CARE 46.8%
   Often/sometimes 36.6%
HOME Emotional Subscale 8  
   Mother talks to child while working  
   Always 44.0%
   Often 44.2%
   Sometimes 10.5%
   Rarely 1.1%
   Never 0.3%
Number of times mother spanked child during the past week (mean) 2.3
Mother kissed/hugged child (interviewer observation) 75.9%
Mother spoke spontaneously to child (interviewer observation) 93.3%
Mother verbally responded to child (interviewer observation) 92.4%
Mother restricted child 4 or more times (interviewer observation) 19.9%
Neighborhood characteristics  
Social connectedness: People keep to themselves and don't care what goes
on in the neighborhood
   Big problem 6.3%
   Somewhat of a problem 23.3%
   Not a problem 70.3%
Joblessness: Lots of people can't find jobs  
   Big problem 13.3%
   Somewhat of a problem 16.7%
   Not a problem 70.2%
Crime: Is crime and violence a...  
   Big problem 6.2%
   Somewhat of a problem 20.2%
   Not a problem 73.7%
  1. 1Created by the National Center for Health Statistics, the Motor-Social Development Score (MSD) measures aspects of young children's motor, social, and cognitive development and was derived from items in the Bayley Scales of Infant Development, Gesell Scale, Denver Developmental Screening Test, and other child developmental scales. The measure consists of 15 age-appropriate, maternal response items. Scores were standardized (mean = 100, std dev = 15) and normed by age and gender.
  2. 2Brief Compliance Scale. This 6-item scale created for the NLSY is based on maternal reports of a child's typical behavior. Items include whether the child resists/obeys expectations for eating, going to bed, or watching television. Raw scores ranged from 5-34.
  3. 3Brief Indicators of Insecure Attachment. This 7-item subscale created for the NLSY is based on maternal reports of a child's typical behavior. Items include whether the child becomes upset when the mother leaves, is difficult to soothe, stays close while playing, is empathetic/demanding, copies other's actions, and wants to help. Raw scores ranged from 5-39.
  4. 4Mothers were asked if they worked at all during the past week. Those who reported they could not work or did not work were classified as "not working." Among those working, mothers were asked if they usually worked "full-time" (> 35 hours per week) or "part-time" (< 35 hours per week).
  5. 5Poverty status is based on annual Poverty Income Guidelines issued by the Department of Health and Human Services. This poverty definition is a similar but simplified version of the Federal Poverty Level where family size in general is considered but the number of children or elderly is not specifically taken into account.
  6. 6The Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale (CES-D) was administered to mothers at the time of the interview at age two. Mothers with a score of 16 or higher were classified as having depressive symptoms in accordance with the DSM-IV criteria for clinical depression.
  7. 7Mothers were asked if they had wanted to become pregnant before their pregnancy. "Yes" or "didn't matter" was coded as wanted, "not at the time" was coded as mistimed, and "not at all" as unwanted.
  8. 8The HOME Emotional subscale represents a subscale of a modified HOME inventory that measures the emotional support provided by the child's mother. Scores are standardized (mean = 100, standard dev. = 15) and based on a combination of maternal responses and interviewer observations. Items from the HOME emotional subscale were individually selected for use in subsequent multivariate regression models as approximations of maternal warmth, maternal responsiveness/sensitivity, and harsh discipline because the broader literature suggests these factors are predictive of early school readiness.