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Citation:Reynolds, A. J, Temple, J. A., Robertson, D. L., & Mann, E. A. (2001). Long-term effects of an early childhood intervention on educational achievement and juvenile arrest: A 15-year follow-up of low-income children in public schools. JAMA, 285(18), 2339-2346.

This study investigates the long-term effectiveness of a federal center-based preschool and school-based intervention program for urban low-income youth, the Chicago Parent-Child Centers (CPC). Each CPC Center is a comprehensive education, family, and health care site linked to elementary schools, where 1st-3rd graders continue to receive services. Researchers found that children with CPC preschool backgrounds had lower rates of juvenile crime, and participating in the extended childhood intervention program was associated with lower rates of special education and grade retention through adolescence. Researchers looked at rates of high school completion and school dropout by age 20, juvenile arrests, and grade retention and special education placement. The effects of preschool participation on success were greater for boys than girls, especially in reducing dropout rates. Data are from the Chicago Longitudinal Study, which has collected yearly data on a nonrandomized, matched-group cohort of 1,539 low income, mostly African American children born in 1980 who were enrolled in either the Chicago Parent-Child Centers or alternative programs (full day kindergarten, for the most part). The research suggests that public investments in early childhood programs can contribute positively to childrenÕs later success. Authors do not suggest generalizing results outside of urban settings with high numbers of African American children.

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