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Child-, Family-, and Classroom-Level Effects on School Readiness Trajectories

The University of Michigan will use data from the Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES) to examine whether and how child-, family-, and classroom-level characteristics may affect child school readiness trajectories. Specifically, the study will model growth in school readiness over time, and examine the role of risk and protective factors at each ecological level on these growth trajectories. The study will examine two sets of hypotheses: (1) that children's academic skills will increase from Head Start to first grade, and that initial level and rate of growth in skills will relate to child-, and family-, and classroom-level factors during the first year of Head Start such that children with more risk factors at each level will show lower initial levels and slower rates of growth, but that protective factors at each level will interact with risk factors to attenuate risk effects; and (2) that an increase in children's behavior problems over time will be associated with a decline in early academic skills, whereas increases in oral language and social skills will be associated with increases in early academic skills; and that family- and classroom-level protective factors will moderate these longitudinal associations. It is expected that results of the study will provide Head Start teachers and program administrators at the National and local levels with practical feedback about how to best individualize classroom practices and family outreach efforts in order to maximize growth and foster positive school readiness outcomes for Head Start children.
Resource Type:
Administration for Children and Families/OPRE Projects
Principal Investigator(s):

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