THE PERSISTENCE OF PRESCHOOL EFFECTS FROM EARLY CHILDHOOD THROUGH ADOLESCENCE.
ABSTRACT: Using data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study Kindergarten Cohort of 1998 (n = 15,070), this study used propensity scores to examine the short- and long-term academic and psychosocial benefits of preschool education for a diverse sample of middle-class children. Compared with children who attended informal care at age 4, preschool attendees consistently performed better on achievement tests from age 5 through early adolescence, but exhibited less optimal psychosocial skills. These negative behavioral effects of preschool were concentrated among children who attended preschool for 20 or more hours per week, but otherwise, there was little evidence of heterogeneity as a function of program type or child- and family-characteristics. The long-term academic advantages of preschool were, however, largely explained by their positive effects on academic skills early in formal schooling and there was evidence for convergence in children's academic test scores, which was partially attributed to the differences in children's social skills during the early elementary school years.
Project description:This study examined the development of emerging self-regulation (SR) skills across the preschool years and relations to academic achievement in kindergarten and first grade. SR skills of 403 low-income African American and Latino children were measured at 2&1/2, 3&1/2, and 5 years (kindergarten). Reading and math skills were measured at 5 and 6 years (first grade) using the Woodcock-Johnson. Transactional relations between SR skills and achievement outcomes were estimated with latent difference score models. Increases in set shifting predicted prospective increases in reading, but not math scores. Increases in simple response inhibition predicted prospective increases in math, but not reading scores. Application of these findings to early intervention programming and needed supports for school readiness and achievement are discussed.
Project description:As policy-makers contemplate expanding preschool opportunities for low-income children, one possibility is to fund two, rather than one year of Head Start for children at ages 3 and 4. Another option is to offer one year of Head Start followed by one year of pre-k. We ask which of these options is more effective. We use data from the Oklahoma pre-k study to examine these two 'pathways' into kindergarten using regression discontinuity to estimate the effects of each age-4 program, and propensity score weighting to address selection. We find that children attending Head Start at age 3 develop stronger pre-reading skills in a high quality pre-kindergarten at age 4 compared with attending Head Start at age 4. Pre-k and Head Start were not differentially linked to improvements in children's pre-writing skills or pre-math skills. This suggests that some impacts of early learning programs may be related to the sequencing of learning experiences to more academic programming.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:The study was designed to investigate the effect of extreme prematurity on growth in academic achievement across the early school years and the validity of kindergarten neuropsychological skills as predictors of achievement. METHOD:A 2001-2003 birth cohort of 145 extremely preterm/extremely low birth weight (EPT/ELBW) children from a single medical center, along with 111 normal birth weight (NBW) classmate controls, were recruited during their first year in kindergarten and followed annually across the next 2 years in school. Mixed model analysis was conducted to compare the groups on growth in achievement across years and examine kindergarten neuropsychological skills as predictors of growth. RESULTS:The EPT/ELBW group scored significantly below NBW controls on all achievement tests across years and had higher rates of special education placement and grade repetition. Despite limited catch-up of the EPT/ELBW group to the NBW controls in spelling, group differences were generally stable. Differences in spelling and mathematics achievement remained significant when controlling for global intelligence or excluding children who had intellectual or neurosensory impairments or repeated a grade. Higher scores on kindergarten tests of multiple neuropsychological ability domains predicted higher achievement levels and steeper growth in achievement. CONCLUSIONS:The findings document persistent academic weaknesses in EPT/ELBW children across the early school years. Results point to the need for preschool interventions to enhance academic readiness and suggest that neuropsychological skills assessed in kindergarten are useful in identifying individual differences in early learning progress. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).
Project description:There has been increasing awareness of the need for research and theory to take into account the intersection of individual characteristics and environmental contexts when examining predictors of child outcomes. The present longitudinal, multi-informant study examined the cumulative and interacting contributions of child characteristics (language skills, inattention/hyperactivity, and aggression) and preschool and family contextual factors in predicting kindergarten social skills in 389 low-income preschool children. Child characteristics and classroom factors, but not family factors, predicted teacher-rated kindergarten social skills, while child characteristics alone predicted change in teacher-rated social skills from preschool to kindergarten. Child characteristics and family factors, but not classroom factors, predicted parent-rated kindergarten social skills. Family factors alone predicted change in parent-rated social skills from preschool to kindergarten. Individual child characteristics did not interact with family or classroom factors in predicting parent- or teacher-rated social skills, and support was therefore found for an incremental, rather than an interactive, predictive model of social skills. The findings underscore the importance of assessing outcomes in more than one context, and of considering the impact of both individual and environmental contextual factors on children's developing social skills when designing targeted intervention programs to prepare children for kindergarten.
Project description:Focusing on the continuity in the quality of classroom environments as children transition from preschool into elementary school, this study examined the associations between classroom quality in pre-kindergarten and kindergarten and children's social skills and behavior problems in kindergarten and first grade. Participants included 1175 ethnically-diverse children (43% African American) living in low-wealth rural communities of the US. Results indicated that children who experienced higher levels of emotional and organizational classroom quality in both pre-kindergarten and kindergarten demonstrated better social skills and fewer behavior problems in both kindergarten and first grade comparing to children who did not experience higher classroom quality. The examination of the first grade results indicated that the emotional and organizational quality of pre-kindergarten classrooms was the strongest predictor of children's first grade social skills and behavior problems. The study results are discussed from theoretical, practical, and policy perspectives.
Project description:Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are known to exhibit significantly lower academic and social functioning than other children. Yet the field currently lacks knowledge about specific impairment trajectories experienced by children with ADHD, which may constrain early screening and intervention effectiveness. Data were analyzed from a nationally representative U.S. cohort in the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 1998-1999 (ECLS-K) for 590 children (72.7 % male) whose parents reported a formal diagnosis of ADHD. Children's math, reading, and interpersonal skills were assessed at 5 time points between kindergarten and fifth grade. Growth mixture model analyses indicated 4 latent trajectory classes for reading, 8 classes for math, and 4 classes for interpersonal skills. Membership in reading and math trajectory classes was strongly related; overlaps with interpersonal skills classes were weaker. Trajectory class membership was correlated with demographic characteristics and behavioral functioning. Children with ADHD display substantial heterogeneity in their reading, math, and interpersonal growth trajectories, with some groups of children especially likely to display relatively severe levels of academic and social impairment over time. Early screening and intervention to address impairment, particularly reading difficulties, among kindergarten students with ADHD is warranted.
Project description: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.
Project description:There is strong evidence that self-regulatory processes are linked to early academic skills, both concurrently and longitudinally. The majority of extant longitudinal studies, however, have been conducted using autoregressive techniques that may not accurately model change across time. The purpose of this study was to examine the unique associations between 2 components of self-regulation, attention and executive functioning (EF), and growth in early literacy skills over the preschool year using latent-growth-curve analysis. The sample included 1,082 preschool children (mean age = 55.0 months, SD = 3.73). Children completed measures of vocabulary, syntax, phonological awareness, print knowledge, cognitive ability, and self-regulation, and children's classroom teachers completed a behavior rating measure. To examine the independent relations of the self-regulatory skills and cognitive ability with children's initial early literacy skills and growth across the preschool year, growth models in which the intercept and slope were simultaneously regressed on each of the predictor variables were examined. Because of the significant relation between intercept and slope for most outcomes, slope was regressed on intercept in the models to allow a determination of direct and indirect effects of the predictors on growth in children's language and literacy skills across the preschool year. In general, both teacher-rated inattention and directly measured EF were uniquely associated with initial skills level; however, only teacher-rated inattention uniquely predicted growth in early literacy skills. These findings suggest that teacher ratings of inattention may measure an aspect of self-regulation that is particularly associated with the acquisition of academic skills in early childhood. (PsycINFO Database Record
Project description:This study examined the third-grade outcomes of 11,902 low-income Latino children who experienced public school pre-K or child care via subsidies (center-based care) at age 4 in Miami-Dade County, Florida. Regression and propensity score analyses revealed that children who experienced public school pre-K earned higher scores on standardized assessments of math and reading in third grade and had higher grade point averages than those who attended center-based care 4 years earlier. The sustained associations between public school pre-K (vs. center-based care) and third-grade outcomes were mediated by children's kindergarten entry preacademic and social-behavioral skills, and among English-language learners, English proficiency. Implications for investing in early childhood programs to assist with the school readiness of young Latino children in poverty are discussed.
Project description:To evaluate the impact of an early childhood, family-centered, school-based intervention on children's kindergarten academic achievement.This was a cluster (school) randomized controlled trial with assessments from pre-kindergarten (pre-k) entry through the end of kindergarten. The setting was 10 public elementary schools with 26 pre-k classes in 2 school districts in urban disadvantaged neighborhoods serving a largely black, low-income population. Participants were 1050 black and Latino, low-income children (age 4; 88% of pre-k population) enrolled in 10 schools over 4 years. Universal intervention aimed to promote self-regulation and early learning by strengthening positive behavior support and effective behavior management at home and school, and increasing parent involvement in education. Intervention included after-school group sessions for families of pre-k students (13 2-hour sessions; co-led by pre-k teachers) and professional development for pre-k and kindergarten teachers. The outcome measures were standardized test scores of kindergarten reading, writing, and math achievement by independent evaluators masked to intervention condition (primary outcome); developmental trajectories of teacher-rated academic performance from pre-k through kindergarten (secondary outcome).Relative to children in control schools, children in intervention schools had higher kindergarten achievement test scores (Cohen's d = 0.18, mean difference = 2.64, SE = 0.90, P = .03) and higher teacher-rated academic performance (Cohen's d = 0.25, mean difference = 5.65, SE = 2.34, P = .01).Early childhood population-level intervention that enhances both home and school environments shows promise to advance academic achievement among minority children from disadvantaged, urban neighborhoods.