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Effects of socioeconomic factors on children's cognitive and linguistic development

Grant number: 10/11626-0
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: October 01, 2010 - September 30, 2012
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Speech Therapy
Principal Investigator:Débora Maria Befi-Lopes
Grantee:Débora Maria Befi-Lopes
Host Institution: Faculdade de Medicina (FM). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


This project has the aim to explore the effects of socioeconomic factors on children's cognitive and linguistic development. This research line is important as it may contribute to the development of specific prevention and intervention programs for children at risk to school failure. The literature on child brain plasticity indicates that environmental characteristics (enriched or deprived from the early childhood) may influence cognitive development. From this perspective, growing up in underprivileged socioeconomic conditions might constitute a serious risk factor for children's cognitive development as the degree of cognitive stimulations has been found to be considerably affected by lack of income.Debate exists over the degree to which socioeconomic status (SES) affects areas of cognition and language. The present project will explore the impact of SES on two specific cognitive domains - language and executive functioning - that have been shown to have close links with children's educational progress and later success in life. A battery of task tapping four different areas of executive functions and two domains of language will be administered to 6- to 8-year-old children. The main hypothesis of the study is that low-SES children will perform poorly than their high-SES peers in all neurocognitive systems listed, regardless of their ages. (AU)

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