This project consists of the implementation and evaluation of a developmentally based intervention program integrated into existing Head Start programs in order to promote the school readiness of socioeconomically disadvantaged children. Forty Head Start classrooms will be randomly assigned to the enriched intervention Head Start (Head Start REDI - Research-based Developmentally Informed) or to """"""""usual practice"""""""" Head Start. Using a longitudinal study design, a sample of 320 children will be assessed annually over a four-year period (pre-test at age 3; post-test at age 4; follow-up assessments at age S and age 6, at the end of kindergarten and first-grade, respectively). The developmental trajectories and early elementary school adjustment of 160 children attending 20 Head Start-REDI classrooms will be compared to those of 160 children attending 20 """"""""usual practice"""""""" Head Start classrooms. The enrichment intervention will utilize brief lessons, """"""""hands on"""""""" extension activities, and specific teaching strategies linked empirically with the promotion of: 1) language development and emergent literacy skills, and 2) social-emotional competencies. Take-home materials will be provided to parents to enhance support for skill development at home and to foster parent-teacher involvement. Assessments of child outcomes will include multi-method, multi-informant measures of child social-emotional competencies, oral language skills, emergent literacy skills, cognitive abilities, and behavior problems. Teaching processes will be measured to assess program fidelity and relation to child outcomes. Analyses will assess: 1) the impact of intervention on child skill development and later school adjustment and achievement, 2) the relation between teaching practices (intervention fidelity and general teaching strategies) and child skill development and school adjustment, 3) the potential moderation of intervention effects by child characteristics, 4) the potential mediation of school adjustment by preschool gains in child language/literacy skills and social-emotional competencies, and 5) the use and impact of parent take-home materials. In addition, the proposed project will include activities designed to promote the sustainability and dissemination of the intervention.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Research Project (R01)
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Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZHD1-DSR-H (03))
Program Officer
Griffin, James
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Pennsylvania State University
Schools of Arts and Sciences
University Park
United States
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Bierman, Karen L; Mathis, Erin T; Domitrovich, Celene E (2018) Serving the Needs of Young Children with Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Needs: A Commentary. School Ment Health 10:254-263
Loughlin-Presnal, John; Bierman, Karen L (2017) How do parent expectations promote child academic achievement in early elementary school? A test of three mediators. Dev Psychol 53:1694-1708
Sasser, Tyler R; Bierman, Karen L; Heinrichs, Brenda et al. (2017) Preschool Intervention Can Promote Sustained Growth in the Executive-Function Skills of Children Exhibiting Early Deficits. Psychol Sci 28:1719-1730
Bierman, Karen L; Heinrichs, Brenda S; Welsh, Janet A et al. (2017) Enriching preschool classrooms and home visits with evidence-based programming: sustained benefits for low-income children. J Child Psychol Psychiatry 58:129-137
Loughlin-Presnal, John E; Bierman, Karen L (2017) Promoting parent academic expectations predicts improved school outcomes for low-income children entering kindergarten. J Sch Psychol 62:67-80
Nix, Robert L; Bierman, Karen L; Heinrichs, Brenda S et al. (2016) The randomized controlled trial of Head Start REDI: Sustained effects on developmental trajectories of social-emotional functioning. J Consult Clin Psychol 84:310-22
Mathis, Erin T B; Bierman, Karen L (2015) Dimensions of Parenting Associated with Child Prekindergarten Emotion Regulation and Attention Control in Low-income Families. Soc Dev 24:601-620
Torres, Marcela M; Domitrovich, Celene E; Bierman, Karen L (2015) Preschool Interpersonal Relationships Predict Kindergarten Achievement: Mediated by Gains in Emotion Knowledge. J Appl Dev Psychol 39:44-52
Hall, Cristin M; Bierman, Karen L (2015) Technology-assisted Interventions for Parents of Young Children: Emerging Practices, Current Research, and Future Directions. Early Child Res Q 33:21-32
Mathis, Erin T B; Bierman, Karen L (2015) Effects of Parent and Child Pre-Intervention Characteristics on Child Skill Acquisition during a School Readiness Intervention. Early Child Res Q 33:87-97

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