Early home environment and mental test performance: A structural analysis

Leanne Whiteside-Mansell, Robert Bradley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


A theoretical model of early environment action was examined on a sample of 282 infants representing two racial groups (Caucasian, African-American). Children were obtained from three different sites in the United States. The model examined included the following variables: socioeconomic status (SES), early cognitive status (Bayley MDI at 12 months), stimulation within the home environment (subscales from the HOME Inventory at 12 and 24 months), parents use of negative control (subscales from the HOME Inventory at 12 and 24 months), and later cognitive status (36-month Stanford-Binet IQ). Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) with the LISREL software was used to confirm the fit of the model for African-Americans and Caucasians and for males and females separately. The models for males and females had similar structures, but not equal coefficients for all paths in the model. The models showed significant paths from socioeconomic status and early cognitive status to stimulation with the home environment, a significant path from SES to negative parental control, and a significant path from stimulation within the home environment to later cognitive status. The models for African-Americans and Caucasians differed in structure. For African-Americans, there was no evidence that the link between SES and 36-month IQ was mediated through negative control but SES and early cognitive status were linked to later IQ via the amount of stimulation provided in the home. For Caucasians, early cognitive status did not appear related to 36- month IQ but negative control did appear to mediate the relation between SES and IQ.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-294
Number of pages18
JournalEarly education and development
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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