*Names in bold indicate Presenter
In this study we investigate both the short- and long-term effects of the CSRP on children's behavior problems reported by parents. We first examine whether the CSRP interventions can reduce children's behavior problems in kindergarten as well as in third and fifth grades. We use hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) to account for the multilevel structure of the CSRP data, in which children were nested within classrooms and classrooms were nested within Head Start sites. We further conduct growth curve modeling to assess the initial status as well as individual change over time and between individual differences in patterns of growth from Head Start to fifth grade using the repeated measures of behavior problems. We also examine whether the CSRP effects are moderated by child gender, race/ethnicity, family poverty-related risks (i.e., mother having less than high school education, mother working 10 hours or less per week, and family income-to-needs ratio at less than 50% of federal poverty threshold), and initial behavioral skills at baseline.
Children's behavior problems are measured by the Behavior Problems Index (BPI) from parents' reports. We focus on the two domains of BPI (i.e., Internalizing and Externalizing Behavior Problems) and further use the six subscales of BPI, including antisocial behaviors, anxious/depressed mood, headstrong behaviors, hyperactive behaviors, immature dependency, and peer conflict/social withdrawal. The covariates in the analyses include child, mother, and family characteristics as well as teacher and classroom covariates at baseline. Since the CSRP random assignment was conducted at the Head Start site level using a pairwise procedure, we also control for site-pair fixed effects. Based on developmental theories and prior empirical research, we expect that the CSRP interventions can reduce parent-reported behavior problems of children after Head Start and can also affect the growth rate in children’s behavior problems.
The study may provide new evidence on the long-term effects of classroom-based early interventions on low-income children's behavior problems. The findings can provide important implications for policymakers and help them make decisions on allocating scarce public funds to preventive interventions that target economically disadvantaged children who face multiple family and developmental risks.