Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Head Start more beneficial for children whose parents provide less early academic stimulation

Date:
March 6, 2014
Source:
Society for Research in Child Development
Summary:
A new study finds that one year of Head Start can make a bigger difference for children from homes where parents provide less early academic stimulation. The study analyzed data from the Head Start Impact Study, an American, nationally representative sample of nearly 5,000 3- and 4-year-olds. The study suggests that working with parents to increase what they do at home may be an important way Head Start can improve children's readiness for school.

One year of Head Start can make a bigger difference for children from homes where parents provide less early academic stimulation, such as reading to children, helping them recognize and pronounce letters and words, and helping them count. Showing parents how they can help their children with reading and counting may help, too.

Those are the conclusions of a new study by researchers at the University of California, Irvine. The study appears in the journal Child Development.

Head Start is a comprehensive program that provides low-income children with preschool education; medical, dental, and mental health care; and nutrition services. Head Start programs currently serve more than a million children a year.

The program was found to be beneficial in the areas of early math, early literacy, and receptive vocabulary for all children at the end of the Head Start year. Children whose mothers said they provided low and moderate amounts of preacademic stimulation scored lower in absolute terms on all three outcomes than children whose mothers said they provided more preacademic stimulation, but they gained more from being in a Head Start program than the children who got more stimulation.

"These results suggest that it's particularly important that Head Start be offered to those children whose parents did not report providing a lot of preacademic stimulation," according to Elizabeth B. Miller, a Ph.D. student in the school of education at the University of California, Irvine, the study's lead author. "It's vital that Head Start continue to serve children at the highest and moderate levels of risk because the program is particularly helpful to their development."

"Moreover, our study also suggests that children's academic achievement may benefit from programs targeted to help parents boost preacademic stimulation in the home," Miller adds. "Working with parents to increase what they do at home may be an important way Head Start can improve children's readiness for school."

The study analyzed data from the Head Start Impact Study, a nationally representative sample of nearly 5,000 newly entering eligible 3- and 4-year-olds. About a third of the children were Black, a third were Hispanic, and a third were White or of other races and ethnicities.

Children were randomly assigned to be eligible for enrollment in a particular Head Start program. Children in the control group could not enroll in that particular program but were eligible for placement in other Head Start centers and other early care and education programs in the community.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for Research in Child Development. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Elizabeth B. Miller, George Farkas, Deborah Lowe Vandell, Greg J. Duncan. Do the Effects of Head Start Vary by Parental Preacademic Stimulation? Child Development, 2014; DOI: 10.1111/cdev.12233

Cite This Page:

Society for Research in Child Development. "Head Start more beneficial for children whose parents provide less early academic stimulation." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140306093752.htm>.
Society for Research in Child Development. (2014, March 6). Head Start more beneficial for children whose parents provide less early academic stimulation. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140306093752.htm
Society for Research in Child Development. "Head Start more beneficial for children whose parents provide less early academic stimulation." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140306093752.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Thousands of Fish Dead in Mexico Lake

Raw: Thousands of Fish Dead in Mexico Lake

AP (Sep. 2, 2014) Over 53 tons of rotting fish have been removed from Lake Cajititlan in western Jalisco state. Authorities say that the thousands of fish did not die of natural causes. (Sep. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thailand Totters Towards Waste Crisis

Thailand Totters Towards Waste Crisis

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Fears are mounting in Bangkok that poor planning and lax law enforcement are tipping Thailand towards a waste crisis. Duration: 01:21 Video provided by AFP
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