II. 克漏字填空 (20%) (每格限填一字）
It’s a sad fact that children born in poverty start out at a disadvantage and continue to fall further behind kids who are more
privileged as they grow up. In developing countries, chiefly in Africa and Asia, some 200 million children under age 5 won’t reach
the same milestones—for physical growth, school performance, and earnings later on—as children who are less (d)___1___(ved).
But a new analysis of a long-term study in Jamaica shows that surprisingly simple ways of stimulating children’s mental
development can have dramatic benefits later in life.
The children were participants in the Jamaican Study, a project (g)___2___(red) toward improving cognitive development
begun in the mid-1980s by child health specialists Sally Grantham-McGregor of University College London and Susan Walker of
the University of the West Indies, Mona, in Jamaica. They focused on children between the ages of 9 and 24 months whose growth
was stunted, placing them in the bottom 5% of height for their age and sex. Children of normal height in the same neighborhoods
were also studied for (c)___3___(n).
For 2 years, community health workers visited the families weekly. One group was given nutritional assistance only. One
group received a mental and social stimulation program only, and one group got stimulation and nutritional assistance. A final
group had no intervention and served as a (c)___4___(l). The mental stimulation program involved giving parents simple picture
books and handmade toys, and encouraging them to read and sing to their children and point out names of objects, shapes, and
colors. They were also taught better ways to converse and (r)___5___(d) to their toddlers. These everyday interactions aren’t
always part of the culture in low-income countries, explains Paul Gertler, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley.
“Parents might have five or six kids and few toys. They might be working really hard and have a lot of competing demands. They
might not have been taught how to talk to their children, or how important and effective it is,” he says. Past research attested to
the importance of everyday conversation for children’s mental development: A recent study suggests that children of (a)___6___(t)
parents do better in life in large part because their parents talk to them more.
Follow-up studies over the next 20 years (r)___7___(led) that the Jamaican children who received the mental stimulation
had better grades and higher IQs, showed fewer signs of depression, and got in fewer fights. The new study, reported in Science,
focused on the children’s economic achievement as young adults. Gertler, Grantham-McGregor, Walker, and colleagues tracked
down 105 out of the original 129 growth-stunted children. Those who had received the stimulation intervention had earned 25%
more. Even more exciting, Gertler notes, is that they had (c)___8___(ed) the gap—in physical and economic stature—between
themselves and children in their neighborhoods with normal height and weight. Adding nutritional assistance to the mental
stimulation didn’t improve outcomes any further, and nutritional assistance on its own had no effect. Jere Behrman, an economist at the University of Pennsylvania who was not involved in the research, says the study is the
first to (d)___9___(te) a long-term economic benefit to early intervention stimulation programs in developing countries. He
agrees that the simplicity of the interventions in the Jamaican Study is a point in its (f)___10___(r). “Flying in world-class
psychologists to work with the kids for hours would give impressive results, but that wouldn’t be easy to duplicate.” The Jamaican
Study’s methods now are being used in Bangladesh, India, and Colombia. The study provides proof that “homemade toys and
weekly visits from someone from within the community can also have a dramatic impact,” Behrman says.