Head Start


Head Start Essay, Research Paper

The highest rates of oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and conduct disorder

(CD) are found in low-income welfare families. The Head Start program is for the

?continued enhancement of services for poor children ages zero to five, and

their families.? The parents of the children in the Head Start program are

rarely examined. Head Start instead focuses on the academic performance of the

involved children. The article, ?Preventing Conduct Problems in Head Start

Children: Strengthening Parenting Competencies? in The Journal of Consulting

and Clinical Psychology decides to take a different approach. Instead of

singling out the child and holding only the child responsible for their social

and academic behavior, they put the responsibility on the family, the school as

well as the child. Nine centers were chosen from within one large urban Head

Start district (representing six school districts) on the basis of their

similarity in terms of ethnic minority percentages, teachers qualifications,

family service workers qualifications and education, number of classrooms,

number of children, children’s enrollment age, and length of Head Start class (4

hr per day). Another factor was their willingness to participate in the study

and to be randomly assigned to either the intervention group (PARTNERS), which

is supposed to be an early prevention group to prevent the development of ODD

and CD in young children. Or being randomly assigned to the CONTROL group (Head

Starts regular curriculum). The Nine Head Start centers were randomly assigned

to either groups. This is a plus because the whole center, not just a few

classes in the center, is involved in the chosen program. Also, the centers

didn?t debate on which program that they?d like to participate in. There

were more families in the experimental group than in the control group. The

Partners or Control program is the independent variable (depending on which

group the child is a part of). The child?s conduct is the dependent variable.

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