Head Start Participation and School Readiness: Evidence From the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort
ABSTRACT Using data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort (n ≈ 6,950), a nationally representative sample of children born in 2001, we examined school readiness (academic skills and socioemotional well-being) at kindergarten entry for children who attended Head Start compared with those who experienced other types of child care (prekindergarten, other center-based care, other nonparental care, or parental care). Using propensity score matching methods and ordinary least squares regressions with rich controls, we found that Head Start participants had higher early reading and math scores than children in other nonparental care or parental care but also higher levels of conduct problems than those in parental care. Head Start participants had lower early reading scores compared with children in prekindergarten and had no differences in any outcomes compared with children in other center-based care. Head Start benefits were more pronounced for children who had low initial cognitive ability or parents with low levels of education or who attended Head Start for more than 20 hr per week. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Head Start includes family-oriented services to enhance parent–child relationships, but little is known about the effect of Head Start on parenting practices. Using data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study—Birth Cohort (n ≈ 7000), we examined whether participation in Head Start was associated with maternal spanking, with particular attention to whether the association differed by child gender. We found that Head Start participation was associated with lower likelihood that mothers spanked their child in the past week at both preschool and kindergarten entry as well as lower likelihood that mothers would use spanking in a hypothetical situation, among boys but not girls. These beneficial effects of Head Start participation on mothers' use of spanking among boys were not reduced by additionally including maternal depression and child behavior problems.Children and Youth Services Review 11/2014; 46:55–63. DOI:10.1016/j.childyouth.2014.08.006 · 1.27 Impact Factor
Article: Road to Readiness[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: This study utilized data from the Michigan component of the National Early Head Start Research and Evaluation study to examine toddlers' joint attention at 14 months (parent report measure of toddlers' initiating behaviors, e.g., extends arm to show you something he or she is holding, reaches out and gives you a toy he or she has been holding, and points at something interesting) as a mediator of the relations between early mother–child interactions (e.g., mother and child behaviors in response to one another's cues) and later school readiness skills in a low-income sample (N = 127 mother–child dyads). Understanding relations between early parent–child interactions, joint attention, and later school readiness skills is critical to identifying developmental paths of economically at-risk children. Results showed that toddlers' joint attention behaviors at 14 months partially mediated the path between mother–child interaction at 14 months and later school readiness, measured by children's emotion regulation, social-cognition, language development, and literacy and mathematics academic outcomes, at approximately 5 years of age. Results suggest the important roles of early mother–child interactions in low-income families and joint attention in promoting school readiness skills.Infants and young children 01/2014; 27(3):193-206. DOI:10.1097/IYC.0000000000000014 · 0.91 Impact Factor
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Using data (n = 3,790 with 2,119 in the 3-year-old cohort and 1,671 in the 4-year-old cohort) from 353 Head Start centers in the Head Start Impact Study, the only large-scale randomized experiment in Head Start history, this article examined the impact of Head Start on children's cognitive and parent-reported social-behavioral outcomes through first grade contingent on the child care arrangements used by children who were randomly assigned to the control group (i.e., parental care, relative/nonrelative care, another Head Start program, or other center-based care). A principal score matching approach was adopted to identify children assigned to Head Start who were similar to children in the control group with a specific care arrangement. Overall, the results showed that the effects of Head Start varied substantially contingent on the alternative child care arrangements. Compared with children in parental care and relative/nonrelative care, Head Start participants generally had better cognitive and parent-reported behavioral development, with some benefits of Head Start persisting through first grade; in contrast, few differences were found between Head Start and other center-based care. The results have implications regarding the children for whom Head Start is most beneficial as well as how well Head Start compares with other center-based programs. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).Developmental Psychology 10/2014; DOI:10.1037/a0038205 · 3.21 Impact Factor