Impacts of Classroom-based Interventions on Child Behavior Problems: Preliminary Findings from a Randomized Experiment in Head Start Settings

Fuhua Zhai, New York University
Cybele Raver, New York University
Stephanie Jones, Fordham University
Christine Li-Grining, Loyola University Chicago
Bonnie Solomon, University of Illinois at Chicago

This study investigates the efficacy of a multi-component classroom-based intervention, the Chicago School Readiness Project (CSRP), in reducing preschoolers' behavior problems. Children in the CSRP were enrolled in Head Start programs located in the most disadvantaged Chicago neighborhoods, facing various levels of developmental risks. As a randomized experiment, the CSRP provided multi-component classroom-based intervention to support children's school readiness and to reduce the risk of elevated behavior problems. Using data collected in the fall and spring of Head Start year, preliminary analyses found that overall CSRP benefited children in the treatment group as compared to the control group, whereby children in the treatment group manifested significantly fewer internalizing and externalizing behavior problems, measured by the Behavior Problems Index (BPI) and the Caregiver-Teacher Report Form (C-TRF), than did their control group-enrolled counterparts. The effect sizes ranged from 0.70 to 1.06. The effects were moderated by child gender, race/ethnicity, and family risks.

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Presented in Session 54: Child Care, Schooling and Development