Family Environment, Program Quality, and Children’s Social-Emotional Development in Head Start and Kindergarten
Soumya Alva, Westat, Inc.
Nicholas Zill, Westat, Inc.
Recent research on young children demonstrates that inter parental conflict and marital disruptions are stressful for children and have negative effects on their social functioning. We use multilevel analysis to extend these analyzes to Head Start children to determine whether these relationships prevail for this special group and to understand whether the influence of Head Start program quality moderates the expected negative effects of a disadvantaged family situation. We analyze four waves of longitudinal data from FACES 2000, a national probability sample of 2,800 preschool-aged children in 43 Head Start programs containing data on the characteristics, experiences, and outcomes for children in Head Start and after a year of Kindergarten to examine the relationships between family environment, Head Start program quality and children’s social-emotional development between the time of their entry to and graduation from Head Start and between the time of their entry to and graduation from Kindergarten.