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Preschool: First Findings From the Third Follow-up of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Birth Cohort (ECLS-B)
NCES 2008-025
October 2007

Table 3.  Average children's language knowledge and skills scores, by child and family characteristics for children 48 through 57 months of age at time of assessment: 2005–06
  Language knowledge and skills 
Characteristic  Average receptive vocabulary score   Average expressive language score  
Total  8.6 2.4
Child's sex 
Male  8.4 2.3
Female  8.8 2.6
Child's race/ethnicity1 
White, non-Hispanic  9.2 2.6
Black, non-Hispanic  8.0 2.4
Hispanic  7.4 2.1
Asian, non-Hispanic  7.9 2.1
American Indian and Alaska Native, non-Hispanic  7.9 2.1
Other, non-Hispanic  9.0 2.5
Singleton  8.6 2.5
Twin  8.6 2.4
Higher order (e.g., triplet) 
Birth weight 
Normal birth weight (more than 5.5 pounds)  8.6 2.5
Moderately low birth weight (more than 3.3 to 5.5 pounds)  8.2 2.3
Very low birth weight (3.3 pounds or less)  7.8 2.1
Family type, preschool round3 
Two parent  8.7 2.5
Single parent  8.2 2.4
Other  8.5 2.3
Socioeconomic status, preschool round4 
Lowest 20 percent  7.3 2.0
Middle 60 percent  8.6 2.5
Highest 20 percent  9.8 2.8
1 Black, non-Hispanic includes African American. Hispanic includes Latino. Other, non-Hispanic includes Native Hawaiian/other Pacific Islanders and children of more than one race.
2 Plurality is divided into singletons (one baby), twins (two babies), and higher order births (three or more babies). Since higher order births comprise about 0.2 percent of the ECLS-B sample, estimates for higher order births are not presented in this table.
3 Two parent includes biological mother and biological father; biological mother and other father; biological father and other mother; and two adoptive parents. Single parent refers to biological mother only; biological father only; and single adoptive parent. Other refers to related and/or unrelated guardians.
4 Socioeconomic status (SES) is a measure of social standing. This SES variable reflects the socioeconomic status of the household at the time of the preschool parent interview, in 2005. The components used to create the measure of SES were as follows: father/male guardian’s education; mother/female guardian’s education; father/male guardian’s occupation; mother/female guardian’s occupation; and household income. In this report, SES was collapsed first into quintiles, then into a 20 percent/60 percent/20 percent distribution by collapsing the middle three quintiles.
NOTE: Estimates weighted by W3R0. The receptive vocabulary score has a potential range of 0 to 15. The expressive language score has a potential range of 0 to 5. For children 48 through 57 months of age at the time of assessment, the receptive vocabulary score ranges from 5 to 14 with a standard deviation of 2, and the expressive language score ranges from 0 to 5 with a standard deviation of 1.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Birth Cohort (ECLS-B), Longitudinal 9-Month-Preschool Restricted-Use Data File (NCES 2008-024).

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