Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Academic gains, improved teacher relationships found among high risk kids in Head Start

Date:
January 30, 2013
Source:
Oregon State University
Summary:
A new study finds that Head Start can make a positive impact in the lives of some of its highest risk children, both academically and behaviorally.

A new study by Oregon State University researchers finds that Head Start can make a positive impact in the lives of some of its highest risk children, both academically and behaviorally.

Related Articles


Published in the current issue of the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, the study sheds light on how Head Start has helped children living in non-parental care, or living with someone who is not a parent or step-parent by biology or adoption.

"These children tend to have unstable home lives, sometimes transitioning between different relatives, living with their grandma one month, and later with an aunt or other family member," said lead author Shannon Lipscomb, an assistant professor of human development and family sciences at OSU-Cascades.

"These are kids who face heightened risk factors even beyond those of other children living in poverty. They are more similar to what we find in kids in child welfare. They have a lot of challenges in their lives, and the stresses of that can cause behavioral and development issues."

The researchers obtained data from the Head Start Impact Study, a nationally representative sample of Head Start programs and families commissioned by the federal government. Head Start provides comprehensive early child development services to low-income children and their families. That original study, published in 2010, looked at the general population of children attending Head Start programs, but did not examine impacts for children living in non-parental care.

"Children in non-parental care showed more problems with academics, behavior, and a wide variety of risk factors at the beginning of the study," Lipscomb said. "In addition, Head Start is designed as a wrap-around program, which links child, teacher, and parent. So we wanted to know if this model even works for kids who don't have a traditional family, and may have different caregivers at any given time."

The researchers found that Head Start appears to be as beneficial for this group of children as it is for the general population of children living in poverty who attend the program. Analyzing the data on 253 children in non-parental care, they found the program had short-term positive impacts on school readiness, particularly in regards to early academic skills, positive teacher-child relationships, and a reduction in behavior problems.

"Our findings show Head Start is at least as effective for this very high risk group as prior studies have shown that it is for other children," Lipscomb said. "The impact we saw was modest, not huge, but statistically significant. We think the positive impact on child-teacher relationships is especially important."

Lipscomb said this was a new finding; prior analysis of Head Start's impacts on children who live with their parents haven't found this effect.

Lipscomb is an expert on early childhood development, with an emphasis on preschool and early child care experiences, and how those early social experiences help kids prepare for success in life. Her work focuses on children from at-risk backgrounds.

"Children in non-parental care tend to struggle with socio-emotional development, likely due to the risk factors they experience such as transitioning between homes, special needs, and behavioral problems," she said. "Perhaps as a result of Head Start's whole-child focus and standards for teacher qualifications, their teachers may be more effective than caregivers in other types of programs in establishing positive relationships with children who have high needs."

OSU doctoral students Megan Pratt and Sara Schmitt, as well as Katherine Pears and Hyoun Kim of the Oregon Social Learning Center, contributed to this study.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Shannon T. Lipscomb, Megan E. Pratt, Sara A. Schmitt, Katherine C. Pears, Hyoun K. Kim. School readiness in children living in non-parental care: Impacts of Head Start. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 2013; 34 (1): 28 DOI: 10.1016/j.appdev.2012.09.001

Cite This Page:

Oregon State University. "Academic gains, improved teacher relationships found among high risk kids in Head Start." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 January 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130130121654.htm>.
Oregon State University. (2013, January 30). Academic gains, improved teacher relationships found among high risk kids in Head Start. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130130121654.htm
Oregon State University. "Academic gains, improved teacher relationships found among high risk kids in Head Start." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130130121654.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Microsoft Riding High On Strong Surface, Cloud Performance

Microsoft Riding High On Strong Surface, Cloud Performance

Newsy (Oct. 24, 2014) Microsoft's Q3 earnings showed its tablets and cloud services are really hitting their stride. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
EU Gets Climate Deal, UK PM Gets Knock

EU Gets Climate Deal, UK PM Gets Knock

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) EU leaders achieve a show of unity by striking a compromise deal on carbon emissions. But David Cameron's bid to push back EU budget contributions gets a slap in the face as the European Commission demands an extra 2bn euros. David Pollard reports. Video provided by Reuters
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

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