Nature's experiment? Handedness and early childhood development

Johnston, David W, Nicholls, Michael E.R., Shah, Manisha, & Shields, Michael A. (2009) Nature's experiment? Handedness and early childhood development. Demography, 46 (2), 281 -301.

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In recent years a large body of research has investigated the various factors affecting child development and the consequent impact of child development on future educational and labour market outcomes. In this article we contribute to this literature by investigating the effect of handedness on a child and given recent research demonstrating that child development strongly affects adult outcomes. Using a large nationally representative sample of young children we find that the probability of a child being left-handed is not significantly related to child health at birth, family composition, parental employment or household income. We also find robust evidence that left-handed (and mixed handed) children perform significantly worse in nearly all measures of development than right-handed children with the relative disadvantage being larger for boys than girls. Importantly these differentials cannot be explained by different socioeconomic characteristics of the household, parental attitudes or investments in learning resources.

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40 citations in Scopus
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33 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 29918
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Handedness, Cognitive, Development, Children
DOI: 10.1353/dem.0.0053
ISSN: 0070-3370
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ECONOMICS (140000) > APPLIED ECONOMICS (140200) > Applied Economics not elsewhere classified (140299)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Economics & Finance
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 Population Association of America
Deposited On: 15 Mar 2010 05:23
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2011 17:26

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