Study shows link between Early Head Start and reductions in child abuse

July 17, 2013

(Medical Xpress)—Researchers at Portland State University (PSU) and Harvard University have found that low-income children who participate in Early Head Start are less likely to suffer abuse at home than their peers who are not in the program.

Early Head Start is a federal program that provides services – including medical, mental health, nutrition and education—to low-income families with children up to age 3. Parents can apply to be part of the program, and often are referred to it by doctors and other professionals, according to Beth Green, director of and family support research at PSU's School of Social Work.

Green and her research team looked at 13 years of data covering 1,247 children and their families in six states. Half the families received Early Head Start services, and the other half did not. They found that families and children who had received Early Head Start services were significantly less likely to be reported to child welfare agencies – a measure of or neglect – in the years after being part of the program (up to age 14) than the and families who did not receive services.

"This is the first study that shows a link between Early Head Start and preventing ," Green said. "From these results, we think the program reduces risk factors. It sets families on a trajectory to greater stability and better parenting."

Half the mothers in the study sample had less than a . Most were unemployed, and a quarter were living with a spouse. Twenty-two percent were living in extreme poverty, earning only 33 percent of the federal poverty limit.

Explore further: Academic gains, improved teacher relationships found among high risk kids in Head Start

Related Stories

Study explores parents' struggle with child-care options

April 15, 2013

(Medical Xpress)—Arizona parents tend to rely on a "patchwork" of child-care arrangements while many are looking for new options at any given time. In addition, many parents struggle to pay for child care – and many can't ...

Recommended for you

Sleep loss detrimental to blood vessels

April 22, 2016

Lack of sleep has previously been found to impact the activation of the immune system, inflammation, carbohydrate metabolism and the hormones that regulate appetite. Now University of Helsinki researchers have found that ...

Lowered birth rates one reason why women outlive men

April 18, 2016

Using unique demographic records on 140,600 reproducing individuals from the Utah Population Database, a research team led from Uppsala University has come to the conclusion that lowered birth rates are one reason why women ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.