Grantee: University of Nebraska
Study Type: Survey
Principal Investigator: Abbie Raikes, Marcus Waldman, Katelyn Hepworth – Kidsights Data
Project Description: This is a survey of a representative sample of 2,500 Nebraska families with young children ages birth to five years. The report focuses on children’s development and family characteristics to examine strengths and disparities by various subgroups of families (e.g., urban versus rural). Illustrative topics include families’ economic and food security, neighborhood characteristics, parenting demands, home learning environments, and parental mental health. The survey took place online between July 2022 to January 2023.
Key Findings: Using a sample of over 2,500 Nebraska families with young children age birth to five years old that represents the population, the researchers document the many successes, and some challenges, of raising young children in Nebraska. Many Nebraska parents, regardless of where they live, their family finances, or their own backgrounds, were found to provide stimulating and supportive home environments for their children, which the researchers found to be the most powerful element of ensuring healthy development for young children. In the study, early disparities in child development are evident in Nebraska based on family and community characteristics, particularly economic insecurity. About half of Nebraska families experience economic strain. Economic strain is associated with lower scores on child development. While there were no overall differences in child development scores between rural and urban families, families in rural areas reported more supportive communities and greater levels of economic insecurity than families in urban areas. Parent mental health is important. Nearly 60 percent of parents reported at least one adverse childhood experience, such as abuse, neglect, or an absent parent. Parents’ early adverse experiences were associated with lower scores on child development. Eighty-two percent of parents reported having support for parenting. About 30 percent of parents reported some level of depression or anxiety, which in turn was negatively associated with child development scores.
Study Citation: Raikes, Abbie, Waldman, Marcus, and Katelyn Hepworth. Nebraska Spotlight: Key Findings That Highlight Connections Among Early Childhood Development, Families and Communities. Kidsights Data, April 2023. Retrieved from https://www.unmc.edu/publichealth/kidsights/_images/kidsights-data_ne-spotlight_6-23_report.pdf.
Full report here.
The Key Findings above were reproduced from the published report and do not necessarily reflect interpretation of Overdeck Family Foundation staff.