School Work Can Be a Struggle for Families Hit by Racism, Says Research

Article excerpt

CHILDREN from families subjected to racist abuse are more likely to struggle in school, according to new research. The study, by the Institute for Social and Economic Research at Essex University, found that racial prejudice had an impact on children as young as five.

Youngsters from the families affected were found to be more likely to struggle with cognitive tests and faced more socio-emotional problems than other children their ages.

The findings were based on a study of 2,000 five-year-olds from ethnic minority backgrounds and their mothers. Of the women, more than one in five had experienced racist abuse, with 23% suffering verbal insults in the past 12 months, 20% reporting unfair treatment and 23% reporting unfair treatment of a family member. Researchers found their children were more likely to have socioemotional issues - such as hyper-activity or problems interacting with their peers. They also received lower scores in cognitive skills tests while the results also showed a small increased risk of obesity.

Professor Yvonne Kelly of Essex University, who carried out the research, said the findings showed how racism could affect the way families brought up children. …