Reducing Behavior Problems in Head Start, Focus of Steinhardt Study


A major component of President Barack Obama’s education reform plan is increased funding for Head Start, the federally financed health and education program for low-income children and families. Now, a new research study suggests that an intervention that provides teacher training, coaching, and mental health consultation in Head Start preschools increases children’s readiness for school by reducing the number of their behavioral problems.

The study, the Chicago School Readiness Project (CSRP), was led by C. Cybele Raver, associate professor of applied psychology at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development and director of NYU’s Institute of Human Development and Social Change. Raver collaborated with researchers from Loyola University and Harvard.

The Project was driven by evidence that young children in poor neighborhoods are at greater risk for developing emotional and behavioral problems, due to the social and psychological stressors of poverty. These factors are linked to children’s lower readiness for school. While previous studies have shown that classroom interventions can help reduce older children’s behavioral problems once they are in elementary school, it was unclear whether an intervention targeting low-income children in urban preschools would have a similar effect. The CSRP was intended to address this question.

According to Raver, “the project offered a remarkable o 500

Cannot serve request to /content/nyu/en/about/news-publications/news/2009/april/reducing_behavior_problems_in.html on this server


ApacheSling/2.2 (Day-Servlet-Engine/4.1.52, Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM 1.7.0_79, Linux 2.6.32-642.3.1.el6.centos.plus.x86_64 amd64)