Using Early Indicators of Academic Risk to Predict Academic Skills and Socioemotional Functioning at Age 10

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Abstract

Early indicators of academic risk were used to predict the academic skills, socioemotional functioning, and receipt of special education services at age 10 among children from low-income families who participated in the Early Head Start Research and Evaluation Project. Pairwise comparison of academic skills and socioemotional functioning among early academic risk indicator groups was used, and logistic regression modeling was used to predict receipt of special education services. Children who received early intervention or early childhood special education services or were suspected of having developmental delays before age 3 or at age 5 scored lower on academic skills and poorer on socioemotional functioning at age 10 than those without academic risk indicators. Children who had only biological risks before age 3 or at age 5 did not differ in academic skills or socioemotional functioning at age 10 compared to children without any academic risk indicators. Generally, children’s academic risk indicators identified later (at age 5) were stronger predictors of poor academic skills and socioemotional functioning at age 10 than were earlier academic risk indicators (before age 3). Only children who received early intervention services before age 3 or early childhood special education services at age 5 were more likely to receive special education services at age 10 than other groups. Early universal screening, monitoring, and continuous provision of appropriate services for children from low-income families and with academic risks are discussed.

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