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Wido Geis-Thöne / Ruth Maria Schüler IW-Trends No. 2 18. June 2019 The Living Conditions and Competence Development of Primary School Children

How children develop is strongly influenced by the circumstances in which they grow up. However, it is not clear which factors play a role in this process. To tackle this question, the present paper looks at a broad range of indicators on family structure and the time parents spend with their children, on children’s socio-economic background and on their leisure activities.

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The Living Conditions and Competence Development of Primary School Children
Wido Geis-Thöne / Ruth Maria Schüler IW-Trends No. 2 18. June 2019

The Living Conditions and Competence Development of Primary School Children

IW-Trends

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How children develop is strongly influenced by the circumstances in which they grow up. However, it is not clear which factors play a role in this process. To tackle this question, the present paper looks at a broad range of indicators on family structure and the time parents spend with their children, on children’s socio-economic background and on their leisure activities.

Multivariate analyses are used to determine how these factors correlate with the results of competence tests in mathematics and German and teachers’ assessments of children’s social skills and concentration. The data stem from responses by and on fourth-graders to the National Education Panel Study (NEPS). The results show that sporting and musical activities correlate positively with the children's level of performance in German and mathematics. Similarly, moderate media use with up to two hours of media consumption per day is positively related to social skills and the ability to concentrate. Taking all these different aspects of children's living conditions together, it is clear that compared with leisure activities the influence of other factors, such as family structure, parental employment and migrant background, is secondary. The message for policymakers is that they should work on providing all children with leisure activities which promote their competence development. This means, on the one hand, further expanding the services offered by childcare facilities and all-day schools and, on the other, establishing counselling services aimed specifically at parents.

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The Living Conditions and Competence Development of Primary School Children
Wido Geis-Thöne / Ruth Maria Schüler IW-Trends No. 2 18. June 2019

Wido Geis-Thöne / Ruth Maria Schüler: Lebenslagen und Kompetenzentwicklung von Grundschulkindern

IW-Trends

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Regulations for School and Kindergarten Attendance in the Pandemic in Comparison to Other German States
Susanna Kochskämper / Christine Arentz IW-Policy Paper No. 23 21. October 2020

You little children are coming?

In addition to the goals of infection prevention and the avoidance of overloading the capacities of the health care system, the avoidance of daycare, kindergarden and school closures is another goal of the current German policy in the corona pandemic.

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Wido Geis-Thöne IW-Report No. 15 20. April 2020

Domestic Environment During the Crisis: Some of the Children Need More Support

In the Corona crisis, the domestic living environment has become increasingly important for the activity and development opportunities of children in Germany. In most cases, the situation is good, as shown by an own evaluation of the Socio-Economic Panel ...

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