It is important for Head Start to have information about children’s and families’ strengths and needs over the course of the program year. We examine Region XI Head Start children’s growth in cognitive skills (in language, literacy, and mathematics), social-emotional skills, and executive function during the program year to learn about their progress toward being ready for school.
School Age Children
Research suggests that many children are exposed to adverse experiences in childhood. Such adverse childhood exposures may result in stress and trauma, which are associated with increased morbidity and mortality into adulthood. In general populations and trauma-exposed adults, mindfulness interventions have demonstrated reduced depression and anxiety, reduced trauma-related symptoms, enhanced coping and mood, and improved quality of life. Studies in children and youth also demonstrate that mindfulness interventions improve mental, behavioral, and physical outcomes.
In 2014, Family Success Alliance (FSA) was formed as a place-based initiative to build a pipeline of programs to reduce the impact of poverty on outcomes for children living in Orange County, North Carolina. In this study, FSA parents’ perception of child health, parent and child adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), and resilience were obtained by parent interview. Receipt of recommended health services were abstracted from primary care medical records of FSA children. Correlation coefficients investigated relationships among health, ACEs, and resilience.
Poor children begin school with fewer academic skills than their nonpoor peers, and these disparities translate into lower achievement, educational attainment, and economic stability in adulthood. Child poverty research traditionally focuses on urban or rural poor, but a shifting spatial orientation of poverty necessitates a richer examination of how urbanicity intersects with economic disadvantage.
The present study investigates the mother-related characteristics of family functioning that are associated with their children’s mental health problems. The sample embraced 194 young children with symptoms of mental and behavioral disorders and their mothers. The children were diagnosed during play therapy; the mothers were examined by using standardized interviews and questionnaires which measure coping and parenting styles.
This study examined associations between self-reported family wealth and parent–child relationships, by contrasting three theoretical perspectives on the shape of the association. The study utilized data from the Norwegian part of the “Health behaviour in school-aged children study (HBSC) 2013/2014”, with a sample of 3383 children aged 11–15 years old. The shape of associations between family wealth and parent–child communication were tested using regression spline models with knots at 1 SD below mean family wealth and at 1 SD above mean family wealth.
The study examined how the interplay between children's cortisol response and family income is related to executive function (EF) skills. The sample included one hundred and two 5- to 6-year-olds (64% minority). EF skills were measured using laboratory tasks and observer ratings. Physiological reactivity was assessed via cortisol response during a laboratory visit. A consistent, positive association between family income and EF skills emerged only for children who showed high cortisol response, a marker of biological sensitivity to context.
Children living in low-income households face elevated risks of behavioral problems, but the impact of absolute and relative income to this risk remains unexplored. Using the U.K. Millennium Cohort Study data, longitudinal associations between Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire scores and absolute household income, distance from the regional median and mean income, and regional income rank were examined in 3- to 12-year-olds (n = 16,532).
Early mathematics knowledge is a strong predictor of later academic achievement, but children from low-income families enter school with weak mathematics knowledge. An early math trajectories model is proposed and evaluated within a longitudinal study of 517 low-income American children from ages 4 to 11. This model includes a broad range of math topics, as well as potential pathways from preschool to middle grades mathematics achievement. In preschool, nonsymbolic quantity, counting, and patterning knowledge predicted fifth-grade mathematics achievement.
Transitional youth are young people ages 16 to 24 who leave foster care without being adopted or reunited with their biological families and/or who are involved in the juvenile justice system, where they may be in detention or subject to terms of probation. With childhoods often marked by trauma and a lack of stability, transitional youth face notoriously poor outcomes across many areas of life. Pay for success (PFS) may provide an opportunity to address some of the challenges faced by transitional youth and the difficulties in serving them.