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Do the effects of Head Start vary across time based on children’s exposure to different patterns of childhood adversity? Differential intervention effects using latent profile analysis and time-varying effect modeling


This study examined whether exposure to different patterns of poverty-related adversity (i.e., risk profiles) impacted longitudinal child outcomes and children’s response to Head Start. Data came from the Head Start Impact Study involving 3- and 4-year-old children (N=4442; 50% girls; 38% Latinx; 32% White; 31% Black). Results from latent profile analysis and time-varying effect modeling suggested that (a) child risk profiles differed in their social-emotional and learning outcomes over time, (b) only children in certain risk profiles benefitted from Head Start, and (c) these benefits emerged at different times. Findings can be used to inform tailored approaches to ensure the greatest number of children benefit from early educational interventions. (author abstract)

Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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