Testing Equivalence of Mediating Models of Income, Parenting, and School Readiness for White, Black, and Hispanic Children in a National Sample
This paper examines complex models of the associations between family income, material hardship, parenting, and school readiness among White, Black, and Hispanic 6-year-olds, using the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Cohort (ECLS-K). It is critical to test the universality of such complex models, particularly given their implications for intervention, prevention, and public policy. Therefore this study asks: Do measures and models of low income and early school readiness indicators fit differently or similarly for White, Black, and Hispanic children? Measurement equivalence of material hardship, parent stress, parenting behaviors, child cognitive skills, and child social competence is first tested. Model equivalence is then tested by examining whether category membership in a race/ethnic group moderates associations between predictors and young children's school readiness.