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Reducing poverty and inequality through preschool-to-third-grade prevention services

The contributions of psychology to the development and evaluation of preschool-to-third-grade prevention programs are analyzed with an emphasis on poverty alleviation through implementation of effective services for a greater number of children. The need to alleviate poverty and increase economic success is high. Early childhood programs have been found to be an effective strategy for promoting educational success and economic well-being, but the availability of high quality programs that are aligned and integrated with schools across the learning continuum is limited. Psychology has made major contributions to knowledge and practice in (a) defining and evaluating educational enrichment and (b) understanding mechanisms of behavioral change. As an empirical illustration of these contributions for enhancing economic well-being, we report new midlife income data in the Child–Parent Centers, a preschool-to-third-grade program that integrates the two major contributions to improve life course outcomes. Based on a well-matched alternative-intervention design with high sample retention (86%; N=1,329), findings indicate that participation was associated with a 25% increase in average annual income at age 34 years ($22,708 vs. $18,130; p .01). Graduates were also more likely to be in the top income quartile ([greater-than-or-equal-to] $27,500; 30.7% vs. 20.2%; p <.01 most="" of="" the="" main="" effects="" were="" explained="" by="" cognitive="" school="" and="" family="" factors="" though="" further="" corroboration="" is="" needed.="" implications="" for="" strengthening="" impacts="" early="" childhood="" programs="" as="" an="" avenue="" increasing="" well-being="" reducing="" inequality="" emphasize="" redressing="" ecological="" barriers="" improving="" continuity="" alignment="" with="" other="" strategies="" implementing="" effectiveness="" elements="" widely.="" abstract="">
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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