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Preschool education, educational attainment, and crime prevention: Contributions of cognitive and non-cognitive skills

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  • Reynolds, Arthur J.
  • Temple, Judy A.
  • Ou, Suh-Ruu

Abstract

We investigated the extent to which cognitive and non-cognitive skills accounted for the measured links between participation in preschool intervention and high school completion, highest grade completed, and incarceration history in early adulthood. Using data from the Chicago Longitudinal Study, an on-going 20-year investigation of the effects of the school-based Child-Parent Center early intervention program for over 1500 children, we assessed the contribution of school readiness and achievement test scores up to age 14 and remedial education as well as measures of social adjustment, motivation, educational expectations, problem behavior, and juvenile arrest. Hierarchical regression analysis indicated that when assessed separately, cognitive factors accounted for 42% of the preschool effect on high school completion, 37% on highest grade completed, and 23% on incarceration history by age 24 while non-cognitive factors accounted for, respectively, 36%, 45%, and 59%. Together, cognitive and non-cognitive factors explained 46%, 51%, and 59% of the main effect of preschool participation. The set of cognitive skills made greater value-added contributions to educational attainment while non-cognitive skills made greater value-added contributions to incarceration history. Our findings support the important role of test scores, school performance, and social and motivational factors in explaining the effect of preschool participation on economically important indicators of well-being.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Children and Youth Services Review.

Volume (Year): 32 (2010)
Issue (Month): 8 (August)
Pages: 1054-1063

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Handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:32:y:2010:i:8:p:1054-1063

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/childyouth

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Keywords: Preschool Educational attainment Longitudinal effects Prevention;

References

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  1. James J. Heckman, 1999. "Policies to Foster Human Capital," NBER Working Papers 7288, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Janet Currie, 2001. "Early Childhood Education Programs," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 213-238, Spring.
  3. Barnett, W.S. & Masse, Leonard N., 2007. "Comparative benefit-cost analysis of the Abecedarian program and its policy implications," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 113-125, February.
  4. James J. Heckman & Jora Stixrud & Sergio Urzua, 2006. "The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labor Market Outcomes and Social Behavior," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 411-482, July.
  5. Temple, Judy A. & Reynolds, Arthur J., 2007. "Benefits and costs of investments in preschool education: Evidence from the Child-Parent Centers and related programs," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 126-144, February.
  6. Reynolds, Arthur J., 2004. "Research on early childhood interventions in the confirmatory mode," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 15-38, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Mersky, Joshua P. & Topitzes, James D. & Reynolds, Arthur J., 2011. "Maltreatment prevention through early childhood intervention: A confirmatory evaluation of the Chicago Child-Parent Center preschool program," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(8), pages 1454-1463, August.
  2. Lee, Kyunghee, 2010. "Do early academic achievement and behavior problems predict long-term effects among Head Start children?," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(12), pages 1690-1703, December.

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