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Maximizing the potential of early childhood education to prevent externalizing behavior problems: A meta-analysis

Resource Type: Literature Review
Author(s): Schindler, Holly S.; Kholoptseva, Jenya; Oh, Soojin S.; Yoshikawa, Hirokazu; Duncan, Greg J.; Magnuson, Katherine A.; Shonkoff, Jack P.
Date Issued: June, 2015
Description: Early childhood education (ECE) programs offer a promising mechanism for preventing early externalizing behavior problems and later antisocial behavior; yet, questions remain about how to best maximize ECE's potential. Using a meta-analytic database of 31 studies, we examined the overall effect of ECE on externalizing behavior problems and the differential effects of 3 levels of practice, each with increasing specificity and intensity aimed at children's social and emotional development. In short, we found that each successive level of programs did a better job than the prior level at reducing externalizing behavior problems. Level 1 programs, or those without a clear focus on social and emotional development, had no significant effects on externalizing behavior problems relative to control groups (ES=.13 SD, p < .10). On the other hand, level 2 programs, or those with a clear but broad focus on social and emotional development, were significantly associated with modest decreases in externalizing behavior problems relative to control groups (ES= -.10 SD, p < .05). Hence, level 2 programs were significantly better at reducing externalizing behavior problems than level 1 programs (ES= -.23 SD, p < .01). Level 3 programs, or those that more intensively targeted children's social and emotional development, were associated with additional significant reductions in externalizing behavior problems relative to level 2 programs (ES= -.26 SD, p < .05). The most promising effects came from level 3 child social skills training programs, which reduced externalizing behavior problems half of a standard deviation more than level 2 programs (ES= -.50 SD, p < .05). (author abstract)
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Journal Title: Journal of School Psychology
Volume Number: 53
Issue Number: 3
Page Range: 243-263
Topics: Children & Child Development > Child Development & School Readiness > Behavior/Social & Emotional Development/Socialization

Programs, Interventions & Curricula > Programs
ISSN: 0022-4405 Paper
1873-3506 Online
Peer Reviewed: yes
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