Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Determinants of personality and skill development in the Socio-emotional environment during childhood

Reuß, Karsten (2011): Determinants of personality and skill development in the Socio-emotional environment during childhood. Published in: Age-dependent Human Capital Investments and Socio-Economic Outcomes (2011): pp. 133-170.

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Abstract

This study investigates the importance of different socio-economic conditions on skill formation by using German data from a longitudinal study, the Mannheim Study of Children at Risk, starting at birth. A rich set of psychometric variables regarding the socio-emotional environment from birth until late childhood is assessed. The paper extends previous approaches by splitting up the information on the environment into several dimensions. The results could help policy makers to design educational interventions. Birth risk and the early mother-child interaction are the most important determinants in infancy. In middle childhood cognitive skills can be enhanced by parents who stimulate child play with appropriate play materials and by parental support in learning numbers, shapes or letters. Personality rather tends to be linked to a harmonious and motivational parent-child relationship, in particular a positive emotional climate and the stimulation of independence. Early investments are the most important, but should be complemented by investments in late childhood to unfold their benefits.

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