An exploratory study of predictors of cognition in two low-income samples of infants across the first year of life
In this exploratory longitudinal study we assessed cognitive development in a community sample of infants born into predominantly low-income families from two different urban sites, to identify family and community factors that may associate with outcomes by 1 year of age. Infant-mother dyads (n = 109) were recruited in Boston and Los Angeles community pediatric practices. Infant cognition was measured using the Mullen Scales of Early Learning when the infant was aged 2, 6, 9, and 12 months.
... , and 12 months. Longitudinal linear mixed effects modeling and linear regression models explored potential predictors of cognitive outcomes. Cognitive scores were lower than the reference population mean at both 6 and 12 months. There were site differences in demographics and cognitive performance. Maternal education predicted expressive language in Boston, and speaking Spanish and lower rates of community poverty were associated with greater increases in overall cognition in Los Angeles. This exploratory study identified a number of drivers of child development that are both shared across cohorts and unique to specific community samples. Factors influencing heterogeneity within and across populations both may be important contributors to prevention and intervention in supporting healthy development among children.