Effects of family involvement: Early childhood cognitive outcomes using longitudinal growth curve models
Early childhood education and family involvement have been shown to provide a positive impact on students' academic achievement regardless of socioeconomic circumstances and background. They have been regarded as two of the most important protective factors in maximizing outcomes for children at risk, especially those from low-income backgrounds. The overall objective of this study was to examine how family involvement changes over time, whether it predicted cognitive outcomes for preschool populations, and potential variables that mediate the relationship between family involvement and outcomes. Data from the Head Start Impact Study conducted through the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) were used to answer the research questions. Exploratory and Confirmatory analysis revealed three dimensions of home involvement based on survey items: involvement related to literacy, numeracy, and family resources. Growth curve models suggested increased levels of involvement as children progressed from preschool to first grade. Higher levels of involvement for Literacy for observed for children in Head Start during the first data collection follow-up. The types of involvement were significantly related to cognitive scores as measured by the PPVT-III and WJ-III Achievement. Parenting styles acted as a mediator between involvement and cognitive outcomes. Implications for policy and practice related to transition services are discussed. (author abstract)
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