This study will investigate the links between participation in a sustained, federally-funded early childhood intervention and well-being up to age 35 for a large inner-city cohort of children in the Chicago Longitudinal Study (CLS). The central purpose is to determine if participation in the Child-Parent Center (CPC) Early Education Program for different lengths of time is associated with better health and well-being 26 to 30 years later. Consistent with the high intensity and comprehensiveness of services, a comprehensive set of measures will be investigated to early midlife for participants and their families. These include economic self-sufficiency, career success, and occupational status;physical health and health behaviors;mental health, psychological well-being, and quality of life;educational attainment;social behavior and criminality;and family well-being including parenting and schooling effects on the children of participants. Among the primary questions are the following: (a) Is participation in the CPC program beginning in preschool associated with greater well-being in multiple domains in the fourth decade of life? (b) Does participation in the CPC extended intervention from ages 3 to 9 contribute to adult well-being above and beyond less extensive intervention?, (c) What are the mechanisms through which intervention affects well-being and for different subgroups?, and (d) What are the comparative economic benefits of intervention? The long-term goals include to increase knowledge about the long-run and complex effects of early intervention across a wide range of outcomes and to translate research finding and principles for the promotion of sustained programs and services. The study sample includes 911 program (92% of original sample) and 492 matched comparison group (90% of original sample) participants who enrolled for up to 6 years of intervention beginning at age 3. 93% of the sample are African American. Participants have been followed since birth and extensive data on child, family, and school experiences have been collected from many sources. In the next five years, we will collect, obtain, and analyze a comprehensive set of new data from employment and income, educational, justice system, public aid and health, social-service records, and from the age-31/32 interview of participants;analyze existing data from multiple sources and time periods;and will continue to track life-course development. This study is not only the most extensive of a public early intervention but an efficient use of resources for advancing knowledge on life course and intergenerational impacts. Findings will provide among the best available knowledge of the effects and cost-effectiveness of an established school-based early childhood intervention.

Public Health Relevance

The long-term effects and cost-effectiveness of sustained early childhood programs are a major focus of child development and policy research. By collecting and analyzing data on a comprehensive set of indicators of well-being up to age 35, the benefits of the intensive school-based Child-Parent Center program will be fully understood. Findings will be used to strengthen investments in early education and to better understand the processes of impact for different life course outcomes.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Research Project (R01)
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Study Section
Psychosocial Development, Risk and Prevention Study Section (PDRP)
Program Officer
Griffin, James
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University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Schools of Education
United States
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Chan, Wing Yi; Ou, Suh-Ruu; Reynolds, Arthur J (2014) Adolescent civic engagement and adult outcomes: an examination among urban racial minorities. J Youth Adolesc 43:1829-43
Reynolds, Arthur J; Richardson, Brandt A; Hayakawa, Momoko et al. (2014) Association of a full-day vs part-day preschool intervention with school readiness, attendance, and parent involvement. JAMA 312:2126-34
Ou, Suh-Ruu; Reynolds, Arthur J (2014) Early determinants of postsecondary education participation and degree attainment: Findings from an inner-city minority cohort. Educ Urban Soc 46:474-504
Herbers, Janette E; Reynolds, Arthur J; Chen, Chin-Chih (2013) School mobility and developmental outcomes in young adulthood. Dev Psychopathol 25:501-15
Topitzes, James; Mersky, Joshua P; Dezen, Kristin A et al. (2013) Adult Resilience among Maltreated Children: A Prospective Investigation of Main Effect and Mediating Models. Child Youth Serv Rev 35:937-949
Reynolds, Arthur J; Ou, Suh-Ruu (2011) Paths of effects from preschool to adult well-being: a confirmatory analysis of the child-parent center program. Child Dev 82:555-82
Reynolds, Arthur J; Temple, Judy A; White, Barry A B et al. (2011) Age 26 cost-benefit analysis of the child-parent center early education program. Child Dev 82:379-404
Topitzes, James; Mersky, Joshua P; Reynolds, Arthur J (2010) Child maltreatment and adult cigarette smoking: a long-term developmental model. J Pediatr Psychol 35:484-98
Ou, Suh-Ruu; Reynolds, Arthur J (2010) Mechanisms of Effects of an Early Intervention Program on Educational Attainment: A Gender Subgroup Analysis. Child Youth Serv Rev 32:1064-1076
Ou, Suh-Ruu; Reynolds, Arthur J (2010) Childhood Predictors of Young Adult Male Crime. Child Youth Serv Rev 32:1097-1107

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