Longitudinal Analysis of the Role of Early Head Start Services in the Emotion Regulation-Achievement Link
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] Emotion regulation is one aspect of self-regulation that may be particularly important to early childhood educational interventions for addressing the income-based achievement gap (Raver, 2002). Unfortunately, the effects of emotion regulation on academic achievement are relatively unknown. Since Early Head Start (EHS) implements services designed to promote healthy emotion regulation development, EHS is one opportunity to study the emotion regulation-achievement link through an early childhood educational intervention purported to target the income-based achievement gap (Administration for Children and Families, 2003b; Raikes, Brooks-Gunn, & Love, 2013). Data for these analyses are from the Early Head Start Research Evaluation (EHSRE) study. The EHSRE study is a large-sample program evaluation of EHS effects on a wide array of cognitive, academic, social, and physical variables (Vogel, Brooks-Gunn, Martin, & Klute, 2013). At baseline the original sample was comprised of 3,001 participants with 1,513 children randomized to the EHS group and 1,488 to the control group (Faldowski, Chazan-Cohen, Love, & Vogel, 2013). Approximately 48.6% of the target children identified as female, 37.1 % of the participants identified as White, 34.7% identified as African American, and 23.7% identified as Hispanic. Findings from latent variable model analyses suggest that emotion regulation is influential to the income-based achievement gap, even though EHS services do not influence emotion regulation or academic achievement. Specifically, emotion regulation ability at 36 months of life predicted academic achievement eight years later with some of the effects mediated through attention skills. Overall, findings suggest early childhood educational interventions should target the emotion regulationachievement link in order to ameliorate the income-based achievement gap.
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