Improving care. Changing lives.

Child Bilingualism & Developmental Psychopathology


Why are Latino and other language minority children at such high risk for mental health problems and academic failure? Latino children are the largest minority and the fastest growing segment of the US child population. Very little is known, however, about what places them at such high risk, and this knowledge gap is yet another example of disparities in health and education.

This longitudinal community study follows inner city young Latino dual language children in the early grades in the Boston Public Schools, and hopes to contribute to remediating this knowledge gap. The study aims to answer the following questions:
(1) Are specific patterns of dual language development predictive of childhood mental health problems?
(2) Are other specific patterns of dual language development predictive of healthy adaptation and outcomes?
(3) What are the other relevant risk and protective factors?

It is hoped that the results of this work will help understand these children’s development, as well as shed light on areas of intervention likely to improve outcomes.

Funding Source: 
The National Institute of Mental Health