Article

Prevention of substance abuse with rural Head Start children and families: results of Project STAR

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  • Dynamic Measurement Group
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Abstract

The effectiveness of a comprehensive intervention with preschool children aimed at reducing the risk of later substance abuse was examined. The intervention targeted risk factors during the preschool years linked to later substance use in adolescence and adulthood. Head Start classrooms were randomly assigned to either the intervention or the control group. A classroom-based curriculum was delivered by Head Start teachers who received a number of training workshops and continued consultation. Parent training and home visits were also provided to intervention families. Positive parenting as well as parent-school involvement increased over the 1st year of intervention. Intervention families maintained the positive effects on parenting into the kindergarten year over a matched control group; however, effects on school bonding were not maintained. Improvements in social competence, reported by teachers and parents, were found at the end of kindergarten. No changes were found for self-regulation.

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... The two most common adverse family conditions cited in the research were parental mental health and addictions issues [31,53,[62][63][64][65][66][67][68][69][70], in particular maternal depression [52,60,63,[71][72][73][74][75][76][77][78][79][80][81] and low income or poverty [30,34,[82][83][84][85][86][87][88][89][90][91][92]. Risk was also determined by the family residing in "at-risk" communities [93][94][95][96] or due to the child and/or family's involvement in certain programs or agencies, typically used as a proxy for their "at-risk" status, for example, enrolment in early Head Start programs or similar [52,62,[97][98][99][100][101][102][103][104][105][106][107][108][109][110][111][112][113] or involvement with child welfare services [114][115][116][117][118]. ...
... Other studies investigated family-based interventions provided in residential settings [53,116,121], or focused on wrap-around type services [42], or that targeted increased family access to community resources for parenting [112]. Still other studies examined experiential interventions including music therapy [122], play-based therapy [123], and interventions targeting educators in order to indirectly impact the child's wellbeing [43,98,109]. ...
Article
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Background: Infant mental health has emerged as a unique area of practice and research distinguished from child and youth sub-specialties by its advocacy for a relational practice framework with an emphasis on parents/caregivers being integral to assessment, treatment, and prevention initiatives. A diverse array of initiatives offered across a broad spectrum of delivery methods is available to clinicians. However, to date, a large-scale mapping of the research evidence regarding these interventions has yet to be completed to help inform clinician's decisions regarding the best approaches for their clients. To address this knowledge gap, this study aimed to report on the landscape of research pertaining to mental health interventions for infants and preschoolers (0-5 years), and their families at risk for socio-emotional difficulties and negative developmental outcomes. Method: A scoping review methodology was used to conduct a large-scale mapping of the intervention research pertaining to infants and preschoolers (0-5) at risk for socio-emotional difficulties. We searched MEDLINE, PsycINFO, EMBASE, Web of Science, The Cochrane Library, CINAHL, LILACS, ProQuest Nursing & Allied Health Source, World Cat, and ClinicalTrials.gov , from inception to December 31, 2012. We extracted information regarding publication date, geographical location, study design, level of risk, population, key intervention mechanism, and outcome measures. Results: We identified 533 potential studies from 1233 title and abstracts after the first round of screening. Full text article review in the second round of screening resulted in a total of 162 included articles for the final analysis. Results indicated that over 50% of interventions evaluated were randomized controlled trials conducted in Westernized countries. Most studies could be subdivided by level of risk within a preventative public health framework including universal, selected, indicated, and direct treatment for children formally diagnosed with a mental disorder. Risk factors experienced by children and their families were heterogeneously defined and numerous outcome measures across included studies. The results of this study are limited to the last search date of 2012. Conclusions: Key intervention mechanisms spanned a range of approaches including parenting groups, dyadic, in-home, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and day care-based interventions. The findings are discussed in terms of implications for broad trends and gaps in research and policy for this population.
... 129,132,136,137 Isolation of unique sensitive time windows during the early years of life are complicated by evidence indicating that significant early intervention effects may not show up until well after the intervention has been completed. 136,138,139 Evidence supporting an indirect impact-Early contextual influences also may have long-term consequences through constraining or enhancing later reactivity either epigenetically or through neural mechanisms. 49,50,140 Similarly, developmental researchers have described five behavioral processes through which early exposure to stressors or protective factors can influence later reactivity: 141,142 • Facilitation: positive early experiences increase the child's receptivity to positive later experiences; ...
Article
A central issue when designing multidimensional biological and psychosocial interventions for children who are exposed to multiple developmental risks is identification of the age period(s) in which such interventions will have the strongest and longest lasting effects (sensitive periods). In this paper, we review nutritional, neuroscientific, and psychological evidence on this issue. Nutritional evidence is used to identify nutrient-sensitive periods of age-linked dimensions of brain development, with specific reference to iron deficiency. Neuroscience evidence is used to assess the importance of timing of exposures to environmental stressors for maintaining neural, neuroendocrine, and immune systems integrity. Psychological evidence illustrates the sensitivity of cognitive and social-emotional development to contextual risk and protective influences encountered at different ages. Evidence reviewed documents that the early years of life are a sensitive period when biological or psychosocial interventions or exposure to risk or protective contextual influences can produce unique long-term influences upon human brain, neuroendocrine, and cognitive or psychosocial development. However, the evidence does not identify the early years as the sole sensitive time period within which to have a significant influence upon development. Choice of age(s) to initiate interventions should be based on what outcomes are targeted and what interventions are used.
... It is also important to be systematic about increasing family involvement (Epstein, 1995; Kaminski et al., 2002). Therefore, prior to the implementation of specific strategies, it is vital that professionals think about where they are currently and what their vision is for increasing family involvement (Epstein, 1995).Table 1 illustrates a process for increasing family involvement in a systematic fashion. ...
... The advantages gained from being in small classes have been shown to have a lasting benefit into the later years of students' lives. Significantly, this study showed that small classes have a beneficial effect on the academic achievement of children from low-income families and those learning English as High Educ a second language and points to a correlation with antisocial behaviour, crime, as well as future skills (see Kaminski et al. 2003). The findings of this study are in line with the trends in PSE as well, of much lower student performance and retention in large classes, following from the scaling-up and thinning-down of conventional teaching and assessment practices. ...
Article
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Education is one of the major linchpins of economic, social and political development of any nation. Recent evidence suggests that higher education can produce both public and private benefits. Thus, the role of the state in making education policy, and funding education is indeed critical, and cannot be left to be determined by market forces alone. Nevertheless, the trend of inadequate government funding for universities, loss of autonomy, infrastructural decay, falling academic standards, politicization and privatization of education, etc. appear to be a worldwide phenomenon and not just restricted to the developing world. South African higher education shows much promise with respect to knowledge production and dissemination, to contributing to social equity, economic and social development and democracy, and to the development needs of the Southern African region and the African continent. However, higher education in South Africa is under considerable stress from domestic and international trends that are redefining the nature and role of public sector post-secondary education (PSE) institutions worldwide. The paper will outline the role of PSE in the knowledge economy and the impact of the neoliberal context on the evolution of higher education in South Africa and the world. Given the significant developmental implications of investment in higher education, the authors argue that relegating this important public policy issue to the market forces is likely to promote inequality in the society, along with negative consequences for socio-political stability, economic sustainability, and knowledge generation.
... Correspondingly, a number of parent-focused interventions have been developed to enhance parenting skills and thereby support the school readiness of at-risk children (Welsh et al. 2014). Yet, it has proven difficult to recruit and retain parents in these school readiness interventions, with recruitment rates typically in the range of 30–50 % of the eligible population and drop-out rates as high as 50 % of those who start the intervention (Brotman et al. 2011; Kaminski et al. 2002; Webster-Stratton et al. 2001). It is notable that most parent-focused intervention efforts focus on low-income parents because delays in child school readiness are more prevalent among children growing up in poverty (Campbell and von Stauffenberg 2008; Ryan et al. 2006). ...
Article
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Background Existing research suggests that parenting stress and demoralization, as well as provision of learning activities at home, significantly affect child school readiness. However, the degree to which these dimensions of parenting uniquely influence child school readiness remains unclear. Objective This study tested the hypothesis that parent demoralization and support for learning are distinct constructs that independently influence child school readiness. Direct and indirect (mediated) models of association were examined. Methods 117 kindergarten children with low literacy and language skills and their parents were recruited from three Northeastern school districts serving primarily low-income families. Parents reported on their own depressive symptoms, parenting difficulties, attitudes and behaviors related to learning activities, and the frequency of parent–child conversation at home. Teachers rated child school readiness, as indicated by classroom behaviors, approaches to learning, and emergent language and literacy skills. Results In a factor analysis, parent demoralization and support for learning emerged as distinct constructs. Structural equation models revealed that parent demoralization was negatively associated with child school readiness, whereas parent support for learning was positively associated with child school readiness. Neither parenting construct mediated the effect of the other. Conclusions Among low-income families with children at high risk for school difficulties, parental demoralization and support of learning opportunities at home appear to independently influence child school readiness. Thus, parent-based interventions targeting child school readiness would likely benefit from enhancing both parental self-efficacy and provision of learning activities.
... The program includes a classroom-based curriculum and also parent training and home visits. In a longitudinal study (Kaminski, Stormshak, Good, & Goodman, 2002 ), Head Start classrooms were randomly assigned to experimental and control groups. An increase in posi-tive parenting and parent-school involvement over the first year of intervention and positive parenting and social competence through kindergarten suggests the possible usefulness of this program in preventing substance abuse. ...
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Recent reviews of services for families with youths coping with a wide variety of problems have strongly urged inclusion of families in all services. This manuscript will review family-based intervention models that have considerable empirical support for treating adolescent substance abuse and have demonstrated success in preventing substance use. Major interventions reviewed include: Multisystemic Family Therapy, Strengthening Families Program, Brief Strategic Family Therapy, Multidimensional Family Therapy, and Integrated Behavioral Family Therapy.
... The CCEI was originally called the Child Care Ecology Checklist (CCEC) and was used to evaluate a video-based program to teach home-based child care providers ways to promote positive social development (Rusby, Smolkowski, Marquez, & Taylor, 2008). The CCEI was adapted from measures of preschool and classroom environments (Kaminski, Stormshak, Good, & Goodman, 2002;Wolfe, Petty, & McNellis, 1990) and has been a useful consultation tool in Head Start classrooms (Kaminski & Stormshak, 2006;Yoshikawa & Knitzer, 1997). The CCEI was developed to be a more focused measure than the currently available global measures of child care quality, specifically focused on multiple facets of child care that are associated with dimensions of children's development in the social domain. ...
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This study investigates the reliability and validity of the Child Care Ecology Inventory (CCEI), a measure of the quality of family child care in the social domain. The CCEI focuses on research-based environmental features and caregiving practices for promoting positive social development in preschool-age children. A total of 198 family child care homes in the Northwest USA participated. Good scale reliabilities were found for the measures of the environment (Enrichment and Organization) and for caregivers’ practices (Monitoring, Positive Attention, Promoting Social Skills, and Teaching Rules) and interrater reliability was adequate for research purposes. The CCEI was associated with other commonly used measures of child care quality that assessed similar environmental and caregiving constructs. Linear regression models were run to determine the features of family child care quality that were concurrently associated with observed child behavior. The child–caregiver ratio, Environment Organization, and caregivers’ Teaching Rules were negatively associated with children's problem behavior (noncompliance and aggression). Caregivers’ provision of Planned Activities/Routines and Positive Attention were associated with positive child behavior. Results indicate that different aspects of quality are related to different aspects of children's social interactions and behaviors.
... Project STAR (Steps to Achieving Resilience) is a successful community-based prevention program against illicit drug use. 14 The program includes sessions for parents, teachers, and peers on how to prevent drug use. The program includes home visits, skill training, parenting classes, mass-media campaigns, and health policy programming for small communities. ...
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Este artigo apresenta uma visão compreensiva da complexidade dos fatores de risco e de proteção para o uso de drogas na adolescência. Discorre sobre a interdependência dos diversos contextos - individual, familiar, escolar, grupo de pares, midiático e comunidade de convivência - propícios tanto ao risco quanto à proteção ao uso das drogas lícitas e ilícitas, fornecendo, por último, algumas estratégias de prevenção.This article presents a comprehensive view of the risk and protective factors complexity to drug use in adolescence. Discusses the interdependence of various contexts - individual, familiar, school, peer group, midia and community - favourable either to risk or protection of licit and illicit drug use, providing, finally, some prevention strategies.
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Universal school-based interventions that address adolescent 'resilience' may represent a means of reducing adolescent substance use, however previous systematic reviews have not examined the effectiveness of such an intervention approach. A systematic review was undertaken to 1) assess whether universal school-based 'resilience' interventions are effective in reducing the prevalence of tobacco, alcohol or illicit substance use by adolescents, and 2) describe such effectiveness per intervention characteristic subgroups. Eligible studies were peer-reviewed reports (1994-2015) of randomised controlled trials including participants aged 5-18years that reported adolescent tobacco, alcohol or illicit substance use, and implemented a universal school-based 'resilience' intervention (i.e. those addressing both individual (e.g. self-esteem) and environmental (e.g. school connectedness) protective factors of resilience). Trial effects for binary outcomes were synthesised via meta-analyses and effect sizes reported as odds ratios. Subgroup (by intervention type, prevention approach, setting, intervention duration, follow-up length) and sensitivity analyses (excluding studies at high risk of bias) were conducted. Nineteen eligible studies were identified from 16,619 records (tobacco: n=15, alcohol: n=17, illicit: n=11). An overall intervention effect was found for binary measures of illicit substance use (n=10; OR: 0.78, 95%CI: 0.6-0.93, p=0.007,Tau(2)=0.0, I(2)=0%), but not tobacco or alcohol use. A similar result was found when studies assessed as high risk of bias were excluded. Overall intervention effects were evident for illicit substance use within multiple intervention characteristic subgroups, but not tobacco and alcohol. Such results support the implementation of universal school-based interventions that address 'resilience' protective factors to reduce adolescent illicit substance use, however suggest alternate approaches are required for tobacco and alcohol use. PROSPERO registration: CRD42014004906.
Article
Self-regulation facilitates healthy development and positive adaptation across the life course, and deficits are linked to negative health outcomes. Self-regulation development is thus an important target for universal prevention interventions in early childhood. A well-established research base addresses the significance of caregiver relationships and environmental supports in self-regulation development during early childhood. However, the potential influence of peers has received less attention. Emerging evidence suggests a relationship between self-regulation skills and peer interactions; yet, these processes have been underexplored in the context of early childhood interventions, and the critical question of whether early childhood social environments could be engineered to maximize self-regulation development has been unaddressed. This paper presents empirical evidence and conceptual arguments for peer influences in self-regulation development in early childhood and reviews existing self-regulation interventions with an emphasis on a potential role for peer processes. Implications for future research and universal prevention programmes and policies are discussed.
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Importance Childhood and adolescence self-regulation (SR) is gaining importance as a target of intervention because of mounting evidence of its positive associations with health, social and educational outcomes. Objective To conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis of rigorously evaluated interventions to improve self-regulation in children and adolescents. Data Sources Keyword searches of the PsycINFO, PubMed, EMBASE, CINAHL Plus, ERIC, British Education Index, Child Development and Adolescent Studies, and CENTRAL were used to identify all studies published through July 2016. Study Selection To be eligible for this review, studies had to report cluster randomized trials or randomized clinical trials, evaluate universal interventions designed to improve self-regulation in children and adolescents aged 0 to 19 years, include outcomes associated with self-regulation skills, and be published in a peer-reviewed journal with the full text available in English. Data Extraction and Synthesis A total of 14 369 published records were screened, of which 147 were identified for full-text review and 49 studies reporting 50 interventions were included in the final review. Results were summarized by narrative review and meta-analysis. Main Outcomes and Measures Self-regulation outcomes in children and adolescents. Results This review identified 17 cluster randomized trials and 32 randomized clinical trials evaluating self-regulation interventions, which included a total of 23 098 participants ranging in age from 2 to 17 years (median age, 6.0 years). Consistent improvement in self-regulation was reported in 16 of 21 curriculum-based interventions (76%), 4 of the 8 mindfulness and yoga interventions (50%), 5 of 9 family-based programs (56%), 4 of 6 exercise-based programs (67%), and 4 of 6 social and personal skills interventions (67%), or a total of 33 of 50 interventions (66%). A meta-analysis evaluating associations of interventions with self-regulation task performance scores showed a positive effect of such interventions with pooled effect size of 0.42 (95% CI, 0.32-0.53). Only 24 studies reported data on distal outcomes (29 outcomes). Positive associations were reported in 11 of 13 studies (85%) on academic achievement, 4 of 5 studies on substance abuse (80%), and in all studies reporting on conduct disorders (n = 3), studies on social skills (n = 2), studies on depression (n = 2), studies on behavioral problems (n = 2), and study on school suspensions (n = 1). No effect was seen on 2 studies reporting on academic achievement, 1 study reporting on substance abuse, and 1 additional study reporting on psychological well-being. Conclusions and Relevance A wide range of interventions were successful in improving self-regulation in children and adolescents. There was improvement in distal academic, health, and behavioral outcomes in most intervention groups compared with controls.
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The early years of childhood represent a crucial window of opportunity for investments in skills or capabilities that can place children on the path to well-being in adulthood. Many recent studies in the last decade have focused on the importance of early human capital investments in academic and social skills for promoting long-term educational and economic success. The chapters in this volume explicitly examine the role of health - another type of human capital - in promoting children's early and later educational success and well-being. The impacts of health and education outcomes of salient programs, policies, and practices are summarized with an emphasis on policy implications. The chapters present conceptual issues, research findings, and program and policy implications of promoting good health and school readiness in the first five years of life. These chapters were written by leading researchers in the multidisciplinary study of early learning and human capital formation and represent revised and updated versions of presentations made at a national invitational conference that was held at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in late 2010. The book addresses three important themes. The first is the integration of both early health and education as important building blocks of current and later child well-being. Health practices and behaviors interact with educational and social experiences to affect outcomes for children and families. A variety of determinants of child and adult well-being such as prenatal care, family poverty, and access to high-quality early learning programs express their influence early in life yet are often investigated in isolation from each other. This is due in part to the fragmentation of fields of inquiry and the allocation of resources and funding.
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In 2010, US health care spending reached approximately $2.59 trillion, or $8,402 per person (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, 2012). Despite greater per capita spending relative to other industrialized nations, the United States has lower performance on several health outcome measures for both the child and the adult populations (OECD, 2011). In 2009-10, in an effort to reform the US health care system, the Obama Administration made health care top domestic policy priority. After a long and contentious debate in Congress the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed on March 23, 2010. As implementation proceeds, provisions within the ACA have begun to alter the financing and delivery of health care for millions of Americans, the most noteworthy being a large-scale expansion of affordable coverage options for lower-income children and adults beginning in 2014. The ACA is a comprehensive piece of legislation and is expected to affect access to health insurance by children and adults, their health care related spending and financial burden, and their consumption of medical care - in other words, their ABCs. This chapter focuses on identifying the potential effects of the Affordable Care Act for children. For each of the ABCs - access, burden, and consumption - we summarize current knowledge from the research literature and then identify and briefly describe important provisions from the ACA that are expected to influence these outcomes.
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Health and Education in Early Childhood presents conceptual issues, research findings, and program and policy implications in promoting well-being in health and education in the first five years of life. Leading researchers in the multidisciplinary fields of early learning and human capital formation explore the themes of the integration of health and education in promoting young children's well-being; the timing of influences on child development; and the focus on multiple levels of strategies to promote healthy early development. Through this, a unique framework is provided to better understand how early childhood health and education predictors and interventions contribute to well-being at individual, family community, and societal levels and to policy development. Key topics addressed in the chapters include nutritional status, parenting, cognitive development and school readiness, conduct problems and antisocial behavior, obesity, and well-being in later childhood and adulthood.
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Historically, early childhood education programs were developed to promote children's cognitive, literacy, and social-emotional development for school entry and beyond and to counteract the negative effects of poverty that are transmitted fromgeneration to generation. In response to President Lyndon B. Johnson's War on Poverty, preschool programs, such as the federally funded Head Start, emerged in the 1960s with the belief that environmental context can have an impact on children's cognitive and social-emotional development (Condry, 1983). After several decades of research, there is now strong evidence documenting that investments aimed at improving school readiness for economically disadvantaged children are an effective strategy to prevent problems before they arise (Duncan and Murnane, 2011). Since the emphasis on early childhood education interventions proposed in the 1960s, American society has come to rely on its schools to reduce the achievement gap particularly among children born into poverty (Duncan and Murnane, 2011). Currently, a large variety of curricula under the broad framework of several instructional approaches have been developed and implemented in response to the multiple perspectives of best practices for promoting early childhood learning. However, with so many curricula and instructional approaches in existence, early education researchers, teachers, and policymakers have questioned which preschool instructional approach is most effective and whether or not gains due to preschool programs are sustained over time.
Article
Background: Data are limited regarding the prevalence of substance use among adolescents in rural and ethnically diverse communities. This study examined rates and sociodemographic correlates of lifetime substance use among adolescents in Mississippi, a rural state that is the poorest in the country (21.3% poverty rate) and has the largest proportion of African Americans per capita (36.3%). Methods: Participants in this cross-sectional study were 6349 adolescents (6th through 12th grade) who reported on lifetime tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, inhalant, hallucinogen, and methamphetamine use. Results: Lifetime smoking (10.2% to 44.5%), alcohol (23.2% to 72.0%), and marijuana use (7.9% to 39.2%) increased steadily when comparing students in 6th to 12th grade. Substances with more serious abuse potential (cocaine [6.7% to 11.1%], inhalants [12.2% to 17.9%], hallucinogens [4.4% to 12.1%], and methamphetamine [3.0% to 6.7%]) displayed more modest increases across grade. Adolescents who classified their race/ethnicity as "Other" (i.e., not white, black/African American, Asian, or Hispanic/Latino/Latina) demonstrated more than 2-fold increased likelihood of methamphetamine use (odds ratio [OR] = 2.42), and increased risk for use of any illicit substance (OR = 1.49). In general, males demonstrated an increased risk for use across substances (OR = 1.15-1.94), and higher income was associated with a decreased likelihood of illicit substance use (OR = 0.51-0.67). Living in a more populated area was associated with an increased likelihood of alcohol (OR = 1.43), marijuana (OR = 2.11), and cocaine use (OR = 2.06), and use of any illicit substance (OR = 1.54). Conclusions: Mississippi adolescents reported higher rates of lifetime cocaine, inhalant, hallucinogen, and methamphetamine use across all grade levels compared with national surveys. Male gender, low income, and residence in more populated areas were associated with increased use of several substances. Findings demonstrate the need for prevention and intervention programs targeting impoverished rural and ethnically diverse communities.
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Health and Education in Early Childhood presents conceptual issues, research findings, and program and policy implications in promoting well-being in health and education in the first five years of life. Leading researchers in the multidisciplinary fields of early learning and human capital formation explore the themes of the integration of health and education in promoting young children's well-being; the timing of influences on child development; and the focus on multiple levels of strategies to promote healthy early development. Through this, a unique framework is provided to better understand how early childhood health and education predictors and interventions contribute to well-being at individual, family community, and societal levels and to policy development. Key topics addressed in the chapters include nutritional status, parenting, cognitive development and school readiness, conduct problems and antisocial behavior, obesity, and well-being in later childhood and adulthood.
Article
Purpose – Involvement of parents/carers may increase effectiveness of primary school-based alcohol-misuse prevention projects through strengthening family-based protective factors, but rates of parental engagement are typically low. This paper reports findings from an exploratory trial of a school-based prevention intervention – Kids, Adults Together (KAT), based on the Social Development Model, which aimed to promote pro-social family communication in order to prevent alcohol misuse, and incorporated strategies to engage parents/carers. The purpose of this paper is to assess the feasibility and value of conducting an effectiveness trial of KAT. Design/methodology/approach – The study was a parallel-group cluster randomised exploratory trial with an embedded process evaluation. The study took place in south Wales, UK, and involved nine primary schools, 367 pupils in Years 5/6 (aged 9-11 years) and their parents/carers and teachers. Questionnaires were completed by pupils at baseline and four month follow-up, and by parents at six month follow-up. Findings – Overall KAT was delivered with good fidelity, but two of five intervention schools withdrew from the study without completing implementation. In total, 50 per cent of eligible parents participated in the intervention, and KAT had good acceptability among pupils, parents and teachers. However, a number of “progression to effectiveness trial” criteria were not met. Intermediate outcomes on family communication (hypothesised to prevent alcohol misuse) showed insufficient evidence of an intervention effect. Difficulties were encountered in identifying age appropriate outcome measures for primary school-age children, particularly in relation to family communication processes. The study was unable to find comprehensive methodological guidance on exploratory trials. Research limitations/implications – It would not be appropriate to conduct an effectiveness trial as key progression criteria relating to intervention and trial feasibility were not met. There is a need for new measures of family communication which are suitable for primary school-age children, and more guidance on the design and conduct of exploratory/feasibility trials. Originality/value – KAT achieved high rates of parental involvement, and its theoretical framework and processes could be adapted by other interventions which experience difficulties with recruitment of parents/carers.
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Using a poverty line of about $23,000 for a family of four, the Census Bureau counted more than 16 million US children living in poor families in 2011. Poor children begin school well behind their more affluent age mates and, if anything, lose ground during the school years. On average, poor US kindergarten children have lower levels of reading and math skills and are rated by their teachers as less well behaved than their more affluent peers. As we document below, children from poor families also go on to complete less schooling, work and earn less, and are less healthy. Understanding the origins and persistence of these differences in fortune is a vital step toward ensuring the prosperity of future generations. Our focus is on what low income in childhood, particularly early childhood, means for health and a successful labor market career later in life. Identifying causal impacts is tricky, since poverty is associated with a cluster of disadvantages that may be detrimental to children, such as low levels of parental education and living with a single parent. To determine how children would be affected by a policy that increased family incomes but did nothing else, we focus on distinguishing the effects of family income from those of other sources of disadvantage. In policy terms, this approach will enable us to address the following question: to what extent are successes in adulthood affected by a policy such as the US Earned Income Tax Credit that boosts the family incomes of low-income parents with children, but does not directly change any other characteristic of their family environments?
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Health and Education in Early Childhood presents conceptual issues, research findings, and program and policy implications in promoting well-being in health and education in the first five years of life. Leading researchers in the multidisciplinary fields of early learning and human capital formation explore the themes of the integration of health and education in promoting young children's well-being; the timing of influences on child development; and the focus on multiple levels of strategies to promote healthy early development. Through this, a unique framework is provided to better understand how early childhood health and education predictors and interventions contribute to well-being at individual, family community, and societal levels and to policy development. Key topics addressed in the chapters include nutritional status, parenting, cognitive development and school readiness, conduct problems and antisocial behavior, obesity, and well-being in later childhood and adulthood.
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Conscious of the need to develop an indigenous drug prevention program that is evidence-based and systematic, the Project Astro was designed in Hong Kong focusing on comprehensive strategies that target early risk factors and that strengthen protective factors in adolescence. It consisted of three psychosocial primary prevention programs conducted in structured group session. A three-year longitudinal study using a non-equivalent group design was carried out to evaluate the project. Taken as a whole, the findings showed that the participants in the experimental group generally performed better than the control group in terms of social skills, knowledge of drugs, refusal skills, attitudes towards drugs, and the behavioral intention to avoid drug abuse. The present study provides support for the effectiveness of the Project Astro in Hong Kong.
Article
Since Hirschi’s (1969) seminal work with delinquent youths, researchers have included school bonding and related constructs in analyses of delinquency, school dropout, student motivation, risk and resiliency, and academic achievement. In addition to school bonding, researchers have studied school engagement, school attachment, school connectedness, and other constructs as they relate to various student outcomes. At times, these constructs are measured and defined quite similarly, if not identically. However, in other instances, identical terms have been used to describe a construct that is measured in vastly different ways. These redundancies and discrepancies make it difficult to draw conclusions and build upon the summative knowledge gleaned from the extant school bonding research. In this article, research studies that use school bonding or a related construct (e.g., school engagement) are reviewed, with a specific focus on definition and measurement. A factor analysis was conducted using selected survey items from various school bonding and related measures, yielding five factors. The unique and shared aspects of these factors are discussed as well as implications for school practice and future research.
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In this study, the authors reviewed journal articles published between 1995 and 2010 that described student mental health interventions involving parents delivered in school settings. Their review identified 100 articles describing 39 interventions. On the basis of participant selection criteria provided by the authors of the reviewed articles, the authors of this study grouped interventions into universal (Tier 1), selected (Tier 2), targeted or indicated (Tier 3), or multitier programs. Interventions were identified across Tiers 1, 2, and 3, although interventions involving all three tiers were rare (n = 2). Common intervention goals were prevention of substance abuse and reduction of externalizing behavior problems. The majority of programs involved parents through group parent training. Example programs were selected at each tier to provide a description of how parents were recruited, how services were delivered to families, and outcomes for participants. Implications for school psychologists who wish to promote greater parent involvement in interventions at their schools and directions for future research are noted.
Article
This research described the perspective of illicit drug users regarding illicit drug use prevention initiatives. The study used a convergent parallel mixed methods design, combining quantitative and qualitative methods. In the quantitative component of the study, 111 subjects from a psychosocial care centre (CAPS-AD). The qualitative data were collected through semi-structured interviews with 11 subjects who were selected from among the participants and who declared themselves to be personally affected as being or having been illicit drugs users. From the perspective of drug users, the results pointed out different prevention initiatives and the institutions that should be responsible for them. For preventive actions to be successful, they must be intersectoral and involve government, community and families.
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Recent approaches to drug prevention have turned to focus on comprehensive strategies that target early risk factors and that strengthen protective factors in adolescence. To develop a drug prevention program that is evidence-based and conceptually sound for the Chinese community. The "Astro" project was designed for high-risk youths in Hong Kong and consisted of three psychosocial primary prevention programs conducted in structured group sessions. A three-year longitudinal study and control group comparisons are integrated in this project for the program evaluation. The findings showed that the experimental group, after participating in the programs, was generally better than the control group in terms of social skills, knowledge of drugs, refusal skills, attitudes towards drugs, and the behavioral intention to avoid drug abuse. It suggests that this program could function well as a drug prevention program.
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Research and clinical practice clearly demonstrate that many reading disabilities are language-based. Because the language deficits associated with reading disabilities are often present during the preschool years, these deficits can serve as early indicators of risk for reading disabilities. This exchange briefly reviews the language basis of reading disabilities and provides a checklist of language deficits frequently associated with reading disabilities. It is intended that this checklist be used by professionals for the early identification of reading disabilities.
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Childhood conduct problems are predictive of a number of serious long-term difficulties (e.g., school failure, delinquent behavior, and mental health problems), making the design of effective prevention programs a priority. The Fast Track Program is a demonstration project currently underway in four demographically diverse areas of the United States, testing the feasibility and effectiveness of a comprehensive, multicomponent prevention program targeting children at risk for conduct disorders. This paper describes some lessons learned about the implementation of this program in a rural area. Although there are many areas of commonality in terms of program needs, program design, and implementation issues in rural and urban sites, rural areas differ from urban areas along the dimensions of geographical dispersion and regionalism, and community stability and insularity. Rural programs must cover a broad geographical area and must be sensitive to the multiple, small and regional communities that constitute their service area. Small schools, homogeneous populations, traditional values, limited recreational, educational and mental health services, and politically conservative climates are all more likely to emerge as characteristics of rural rather than urban sites (Sherman, 1992). These characteristics may both pose particular challenges to the implementation of prevention programs in rural areas, as well as offer particular benefits. Three aspects of program implementation are described in detail: (a) community entry and program initiation in rural areas, (b) the adaptation of program components and service delivery to meet the needs of rural families and schools, and (c) issues in administrative organization of a broadly dispersed tricounty rural prevention program.
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This study examined 628 educators' opinions about the role and performance of school speech-language pathologists. Regular and special education teachers, elementary school principals, and school psychologists from four states responded to a 78-item survey about speech-language pathologists' academic preparation, collaborative efforts, and service provision. Overall, results indicated that educators have positive opinions about speech-language pathologist services; however, responses suggested some uncertainty about speech-language pathologists' roles with certain student groups and the adequacy of their training in behavior management, reading, multicultural issues, and teaching English as a second language. Educators gave neutral responses about the amount of time speech-language pathologist spend with students and the efficacy of various service provision models. Also, despite positive overall responses about speech-language pathologists' contributions toward collaborative efforts, classroom teachers' responses were less favorable than those of other professionals. Results of the current study were compared to earlier research on educators' opinions about speech-language pathologist services in school settings.
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Social skills allow individuals to develop positive relationships with others; cope successfully with the behavioral demands of specific settings; and communicate desires, needs, and preferences effectively. They also provide a foundation for competent performance in a range of academic, personal, vocational, and community contexts, Effective communication is an essential component of appropriate social behavior. This article provides definitions and conceptualizations of social skills and social competence within academic contexts. It also describes social skills assessment and intervention procedures for school-age children and youth with and without disabilities. (C) 1994 Aspen Publishers, Inc.
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If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, that will not hearken unto the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and though they chasten him, will not hearken unto them; then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him unto the elders of the city, and unto the gates of this place; and they shall say unto the elders of this city; “This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he doth not hearken to our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.” And all the elders of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die; so shall thou put away the evil from the midst of thee; and all of Israel shall hear and fear.
Article
Stability and behavioral correlates of peer acceptance were examined from kindergarten through second grade. Study participants were 295 boys and 311 girls from 9 elementary schools. Sociometric protocols and rating scales assessed peers' and teachers' perceptions of likability and social behavior. Social acceptance and peer competence were relatively stable over 2-year periods. Stability of peer-assessed social competence varied as a function of children's gender. Stably rejected children evidenced poorer peer and teacher ratings of social behavior than did other children, whereas transiently rejected children were viewed as moderate in social skill. Changes in behavioral characteristics over the kindergarten to first-grade and first- to second-grade periods distinguished stably rejected, stably accepted, and transiently rejected children.
Article
The author argues that, over the past two decades, failure to learn to read has been reconceptualized as a problem of disability rather than socioeconomic disadvantage. The high rate at which low-achieving readers are referred to special education classes and the concomitant decline in numbers of eligible students served in compensatory reading programs evidence a shift in how reading problems are perceived at the school level. This changing definition of failure to learn to read is also reflected in a decrease in the number of professional papers on the disadvantaged, and an increase in papers on the topic of disability. As a result of the interaction between the interests of the professional media, the federal government's concern for ensuring equity, and judicial and legislative requirements, disadvantaged students are merely eligible for compensatory education, whereas the learning-disabled are entitled to special education. Funding formulas often provide school boards with fiscal incentives to choose one type of service over another. It is argued that these broader policy decisions have combined to shape a particular configuration of services for low-achieving readers at the school level. Thus, the prevailing definitions of reading failure are embedded in policies that have emerged from a larger social and political context, a context that reading researchers need to be more aware of if low-achieving children are to benefit more fully from advances in professional knowledge. /// [French] L'auteur affirme que depuis les vingt dernières années, on a reconceptualisé l'échec dans l'apprentissage de la lecture en un handicap plutôt qu'un problème de désavantage économique. La forte proportion selon laquelle les lecteurs démontrant une faible réussite sont dirigés vers les classes d'éducation spécialisée et le déclin simultané du nombre d'étudiants éligibles aux programmes compensatoires de lecture témoignent d'un changement dans la perception des problèmes de lecture au niveau de l'école. Ce changement de la définition de l'incapacité de lire se reflète également dans le nombre décroissant d'articles que les professionnels rédigent sur les lecteurs économiquement désavantagés et un accroissement d'articles portant sur la notion d'un handicap. L'auteur décrit l'interaction entre les intérêts des media professionnels, l'intérêt du gouvernement fédéral à garantir l'équité et les exigences législatives et juridiques concernant l'éligibilité à l'éducation compensatoire et le droit à l'éducation spécialisée. Le financement fournit souvent aux commissions scolaires les raisons pécuniaires de préférer un type de service à un autre. On soutient que ces décisions de principe plus générales ont déterminé la forme d'une configuration particulière des services offerts au niveau de l'école pour les lecteurs à faible réussite. Ainsi, les définitions actuelles de l'échec en lecture sont coincées par des principles issus d'un contexte social et politique plus vaste, contexte duquel les chercheurs en la matière devraient davantage tenir compte si on veut que les enfants démontrant une faible réussite puissent bénéficier davantage des progrès du savoir des professionnels. /// [Spanish] El autor discute que, en las últimas dos décadas, el fracazo en el aprendizaje de la lectura ha sido reconceptualizado como un problema de invalidez (disability) más que de desventaja social. El alto índice con el que lectores de bajo logro son referidos a clases de educación especial y la declinación resultante en el número de estudiantes elegibles que son referidos a programas de lectura compensatoria, evidencia un cambio en cómo es que los problemas de lectura son percibidos a nivel escolar. Este cambio en la definición en la falla de la adquisición de la lectura también se refleja en un número decreciente en los artículos profesionales publicados sobre el tema achacando los efectos a una desventaja social, y al incremento de aquellos publicados haciendo énfasis en el tema de la invalidez como causa. El autor describe la interacción entre los intereses de los medios de comunicación profesionales, la preocupación del gobierno federal por asegurar igualdad, y los requerimientos legislativos y judiciales para calificar como recipiente de educación compensatoria y tener derecho a educación especial. Las formulas para la asignación de presupuesto muy seguido proveen a las juntas de consejo escolar con incentivos fiscales para escojer un tipo de servicio sobre de otro. Se discute que estas decisiones políticas se han combinado para crear una configuración especial de servicios para los lectores de bajo logro a nivel escolar. De esta manera, las definiciones dominantes del fracazo en la lectura se han embebido en un cuerpo de reglamentos que ha emergido de un contexto político y social más amplio, un contexto del que los investigadores de la lectura necesitan estar mas concientes si los niños con bajo logro se han de beneficiar completamente de los avances del conocimiento profesional. /// [German] Der autor argumentiert, daß in den letzten zwei Jahrzehnten ein Versagen beim Erlernen des Lesens neu erfaßt wurde, und zwar als ein Problem der Behinderung anstatt des Nachteils. Der hohe Prozentsatz an schlechten Lesern, die einer Spezialklasse zugeteilt werden, und die gleichzeitige Verringerung von geeigneten Schülern, die an Ersatz-Leseprogrammen teilnehmen, beweisen, daß eine Aenderung stattgefunden hat Leseproblemen gegenüber in den Schulen. Eine derartig verwandelte Einstellung dem Versagen von Lesenlernen gegenüber zeigt sich auch in der Verminderung von Berufsschriften über Benachteiligte und in einer Vermehrung von Schriften über Behinderung. Der Autor beschreibt die Wechselwirkung zwischen dem Interesse von Berufsmedien, der Teilnahme der Bundesregierung an Unparteilichkeit und juristischen und legislativen Anforderungen von Wählbarkeit für Ersatzbildung und der Berechtigung zur Spezialbildung. Geldstiftungsformeln vermitteln oft der Schuldirektion einen Steueranreiz, damit sie eine Art von Service der anderen vorziehen. Es ist argumentiert worden, daß solche erweiterten politischen Entscheidungen eine bestimmte Form von Service für schlechte Leser in den Schulen hervorrufen. Daher sind die vorherrschenden Definitionen des Leseversagens in Maßnahmen eingebettet, welche aus einem weiteren sozialen und politischen Zusammenhang entstanden sind, einem Zusammenhang, den Lese-Forscher besser erkennen sollten, damit Kinder, die schlecht lesen, besser vom Fortschritt in diesem Berufswissen profitieren können.
Article
From a database generated by the multi-site National Head Start/Public School Early Childhood Transition Demonstration Project, a subsample of the 154 children with the highest academic achievement was drawn from the 5,142 non-handicapped participants from English-speaking homes with relatively complete data collected in Spring of first grade. Their families reported higher educational and income levels and had fewer children, more of the families were Caucasian, children's caretakers less often reported prolonged depression, parenting practices were more responsive and flexible and less restrictive, and the children were seen by parents and teachers as more socially skilled than were the comparison group. Within this low-income group (half reporting monthly incomes of $1,000 or less), conditions propitious for child development are demonstrated to be associated with high academic competence.
Article
In this article we describe the nature of the first-grade transition and summarize several studies that have investigated how children's schooling proceeds over this period. Drawing on Beginning School Study data that include children's marks and test scores plus information about their parents and schools, we carried out a longitudinal study of a large random sample (N = 790) of children who began first grade in Baltimore in 1982. We studied effects on the transition for children attending full-day rather than half-day kindergarten, of living in different kinds of family arrangements, and of several other circumstances. We found that children with more kindergarten, those whose families included coresident grandmothers, and those who did not change schools between kindergarten and first grade did better over the transition, other things being equal. We close with a list of implications for practice based on what is known about the first-grade transition and offer suggestions for future research.
Article
The relation between membership in a Transition Demonstration, level of parent education, self-efficacy, and children's academic abilities was explored through structural equation modeling. One hundred and thirty-three former Head Start parents and their children served as the sample. As postulated both membership in the Transition Demonstration and level of parent education were significantly related to parental self-efficacy. In turn, parental self-efficacy beliefs significantly predicted children's academic abilities as measured by the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-Revised, the Letter-Word Recognition, and Applied Problems subtests of the Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Achievement-Revised.
Article
This paper assesses the reliability and factor structure of the Adaptive Social Behavior Inventory (ASBI) with a multi-ethnic sample of 3- to 5-year-old Head Start children using teachers as raters. The ASBI is a 30-item instrument recently developed to assess multiple dimensions of social competence in 3-year-olds using mothers as raters. Features of the ASBI have led to its use with older Head Start children using teachers as raters, even though the reliability of the instrument and validity of the subscale structure have not been established in this context. Data from the present study provide interrater reliability assessment of the ASBI and confirm a factor structure for 3- to 5-year-old children that is identical to the one obtained in the original study of 3-year-olds. The three subscales, Express, Comply, and Disrupt, also had high levels of internal consistency. Potential uses of the ASBI with children attending preschool programs such as Head Start are discussed.
Article
Based upon developmental models of disruptive behavior problems, this study examined the hypothesis that the nature of a child's externalizing problems at home may be important in predicting the probability of and nature of school adjustment problems at school entry. Parent ratings were collected for a sample of 631 behaviorally disruptive children using the Child Behavior Checklist. Confirmatory factor analyses revealed differentiated ratings of oppositional, aggressive, and hyperactive/inattentive behaviors at home. Teacher and peer nominations assessed school adjustment at the end of first grade. As expected from a developmental perspective, aggressive behaviors indicated more severe dysfunction and were more likely to generalize to the school setting than were oppositional behaviors. Hyperactive/inattentive behaviors at home led to more classroom disruption than did aggressive or oppositional behaviors. Co-occurring patterns of oppositional/aggressive and hyperactive/inattentive behaviors were more common than were single-problem patterns, and were associated with broad dysfunction in the social and classroom contexts. The results were interpreted within a developmental framework, in which oppositional, aggressive, and hyperactive/inattentive behaviors may reflect distinct (as well as shared) developmental processes that have implications for the home-to-school generalization of behavior problems and subsequent school adjustment.
Article
We empirically evaluated the associations of hypothesized protective and risk factors with assessments of social, literacy, and cognitive competence in a sample of Head Start graduates attending kindergarten in rural Georgia. The sample included 117 former Head Start children and their primary caregivers, who were assessed during the fall of the children's kindergarten year. The participating families—59% African American, 39% white, and 1 % Latin American—lived in four rural counties in northeast Georgia. Data were obtained from caregivers, teachers, and children, using a multimethod, multi-informant research design. Caregivers provided information about developmental goals, family processes, and their own psychological functioning; and the children and their kindergarten teachers provided socioemotional, literacy, and cognitive-competence information. The results support the hypothesized relations between the child-competence measures and protective factors, especially caregiver self-esteem, endorsement of independence-promoting developmental goals, co-caregiver support and communication, and engaged, responsive, and cognitively challenging caregiver-child interactions. The results also support the hypothesis that caregiver distress and conflicted family relationships are associated with negative developmental outcomes for former Head Start children attending kindergarten.
Article
Steps must be taken to strengthen mental health services by building on Head Start's philosophy and by translating innovations in mental health services for older children and adolescents into improved services for young children and their families. Recommendations for strengthening Head Start's mental health program include creating a unified vision that reaffirms a holistic, family-focused, and comprehensive services approach; ensuring that mental health services are responsive to the diversity in families served; increasing coordination of mental health services and linkages with new initiatives; increasing resources and providing assistance in gaining access to new sources of funding; supporting innovation; and integrating the new paradigm for children's mental health services into more traditional approaches to intervention within Head Start.
Article
Social and economic conditions since the creation of Head Start in 1965 have worsened. The stresses of economic restructuring in America and the pervasiveness of violence have severely eroded the capacity of many families to provide safe and caring homes in strong communities. The necessary adaptation of Head Start to these new conditions involves the essential linkage of early childhood and family support approaches with community economic development. This strategy must include a reappraisal of mental health paradigms that will enable children, youth, and families to be healthy and productive members of their neighborhoods and country. Although public support for Head Start remains strong, considerable rethinking about a Head Start for the 21st century is now occurring; results will affect the quality of life for the entire society.