Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Large-scale early education linked to higher living standards and crime prevention 25 years later

Date:
June 10, 2011
Source:
University of Minnesota
Summary:
High-quality early education has a strong, positive impact well into adulthood, according to new research. The study is the longest follow-up ever of an established large-scale early childhood program.

Preschool children. High-quality early education has a strong, positive impact well into adulthood, new research shows.
Credit: matka_Wariatka / Fotolia

High-quality early education has a strong, positive impact well into adulthood, according to research led by Arthur Reynolds, co-director of the Human Capital Research Collaborative and professor of child development, and Judy Temple, a professor in the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. The study is the longest follow-up ever of an established large-scale early childhood program.

In the study published June 9 in the journal Science, Reynolds and Temple (with co-authors Suh-Ruu Ou, Irma Arteaga, and Barry White) report on more than 1,400 individuals whose well-being has been tracked for as much as 25 years. Those who had participated in an early childhood program beginning at age 3 showed higher levels of educational attainment, socioeconomic status, job skills, and health insurance coverage as well as lower rates of substance abuse, felony arrest, and incarceration than those who received the usual early childhood services.

The research focused on participants in the Child-Parent Center Education Program (CPCEP), a publicly funded early childhood development program that begins in preschool and provides up to six years of service in the Chicago public schools. Through the Chicago Longitudinal Study (CLS), Reynolds and colleagues have studied the educational and social development of a same-age cohort of low-income, minority children (93 percent African American) who participated in this program. The CLS is one of the most extensive and comprehensive studies ever undertaken of young children's learning. Reynolds and colleagues have reported on the Chicago individuals starting in preschool, then annually through the school-age years, and periodically through early adulthood.

The new paper reports on the sample participants at age 28, when they found the most positive outcomes among the 957 individuals who began services in preschool -- especially males and children of high school drop outs. Positive effects also were found for the duration of services, those participating for 4 to 6 years from preschool to third grade. The control group of 529 included individuals of the same age who participated in alternative early childhood programs in randomly selected schools and who matched the program group on socioeconomic status. Among the major findings (preschool group compared to the control group, adjusted for sample attrition):

  • 9 percent more completed high school; 19 percent more males
  • 20 percent more achieved moderate or higher level of socioeconomic status
  • 19 percent more carried some level of health insurance coverage
  • 28 percent fewer abused drugs and alcohol; 21 percent fewer males alone
  • 22 percent fewer had a felony arrest; the difference was 45 percent for children of high school dropouts
  • 28 percent fewer had experienced incarceration or jail

Participants who participated in CPCEP for four to six years (preschool to third grade) compared to the control group receiving less than four years:

  • 18 percent more achieved moderate or higher level of socioeconomic status
  • 23 percent more had some level of private health insurance coverage
  • 55 percent more achieved on-time high school graduation
  • 36 percent fewer had been arrested for violence

"When you follow people for more than two decades, an understanding of how early experiences shape later development can be achieved," Reynolds notes. "A chain of positive influences initiated by large advantages in school readiness and parent involvement leads to better school performance and enrollment in higher quality schools, and ultimately to higher educational attainment and socioeconomic status."

Findings demonstrate that effects of sustained school-based early education can endure through the third decade of life. Previously, Reynolds and colleagues documented the cost benefits of early education, demonstrating an 18 percent annual return on investment for society. However, policy has yet to support the kind of early interventions needed to solve persistent societal issues.

"Unfortunately, we still spend very little on prevention," says Reynolds. "Only 3 percent of the $14 billion dollars allocated to school districts to serve low-income children under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act [No Child Left Behind] goes to preschool. Yet preschool programs are one of the most cost-effective of all social programs."

He explains that since about half of the achievement gap between children from higher and lower economic statuses at age 10 already exists at age 5, education interventions need to start even earlier. "State and federal policies don't reflect the knowledge of how much earlier these gaps appear, and therefore the need to start as early as possible," he says.

Based on this and earlier studies, Reynolds and Temple say the key to CPC's success lies in both the quality of the program and its teachers, the opportunity for more than one year of participation, small classes, comprehensive family services, structured activity-based curricula focusing on language and literacy, and attention to continuity of learning from preschool to the early school grades.

The study was funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Minnesota. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Arthur J. Reynolds, Judy A. Temple, Suh-Ruu Ou, Irma A. Arteaga, and Barry A. B. White. School-Based Early Childhood Education and Age-28 Well-Being: Effects by Timing, Dosage, and Subgroups. Science, 9 June 2011 DOI: 10.1126/science.1203618

Cite This Page:

University of Minnesota. "Large-scale early education linked to higher living standards and crime prevention 25 years later." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110609141556.htm>.
University of Minnesota. (2011, June 10). Large-scale early education linked to higher living standards and crime prevention 25 years later. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110609141556.htm
University of Minnesota. "Large-scale early education linked to higher living standards and crime prevention 25 years later." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110609141556.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Couples Who Sleep Less Than An Inch Apart Might Be Happiest

Couples Who Sleep Less Than An Inch Apart Might Be Happiest

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study by British researchers suggests couples' sleeping positions might reflect their happiness. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) A new study out of Canada says cognitive motor performance begins deteriorating around age 24. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins