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Can Early Intervention Prevent High School Dropout? Evidence from the Chicago Child-Parent Centers


  • J. A. Temple
  • A. J. Reynolds
  • W. T. Miedel


We investigate the effects of participation in the Chicago Child-Parent Center and Expansion Program from ages 3 to 9 on early school dropout at age 17. The Child-Parent Centers offer a government-funded educational intervention program in preschool through second or third grade in 20 locations in Chicago’s poorest neighborhoods. Using data from the Chicago Longitudinal Study, we address two major questions: (1) Is participation in the Child-Parent Centers program associated with a lower rate of high school dropout at age 17? (2) Which nonintervention variables predict high school dropout? After comparing children in 20 intervention sites with similar children who attended schools in similarly poor neighborhoods in which the intervention program was not offered, we find that participation in the intervention offered by the Child-Parent Centers is associated with a 7 or 8 percentage point reduction in the probability of dropout. Our findings also indicate that parental involvement in schooling and avoidance of frequent school mobility are important predictors of high school completion.

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  • J. A. Temple & A. J. Reynolds & W. T. Miedel, "undated". "Can Early Intervention Prevent High School Dropout? Evidence from the Chicago Child-Parent Centers," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1180-98, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  • Handle: RePEc:wop:wispod:1180-98

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    1. A. J. Reynolds & J. A. Temple, "undated". "Extended early childhood intervention and school achievement: Age 13 findings from the Chicago longitudinal study," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1095-96, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    2. Arthur J. Reynolds & Judy A. Temple, 1995. "Quasi-Experimental Estimates of the Effects of a Preschool Intervention," Evaluation Review, , vol. 19(4), pages 347-373, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Rodrigues, Clarissa G. & Pinto, Cristine Campos de Xavier & Santos, Daniel D., 2012. "The impact of daycare attendance on math test scores for a cohort of 4th graders in Brazil," Textos para discussão 290, FGV/EESP - Escola de Economia de São Paulo, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
    2. Eliana Garces & Duncan Thomas & Janet Currie, 2002. "Longer-Term Effects of Head Start," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 999-1012, September.

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