Parent Involvement Boosts Attention, Behavior in Head Start Children
A University of Oregon study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed that an eight week intervention program, called Parents Making Connections — Highlighting Attention (PCMC-A), significantly improved attention and behavior in Head Start children.
The study included three groups of children in the Lane County, Oregon area. The first group received no intervention program, the second received the Attention Boost for Children (ABC) program, and the the final group received the PCMC-A program. The difference between the ABC and PCMC-A program is that ABC program limits the attention-boosting techniques to the classroom only. Whereas the PCMC-A program was specifically designed to get parents and caregivers involved in the process by giving them specific techniques to help increase attention and boost positive behavior in the home environment. Some of the techniques of PCMC-A revolve around the the structure of daily life, encouraging parents to develop a routine and consistent schedule for children. An example might be giving children the same bedtime every night.
After only eight weeks, the PCMA-A group of children significantly outperformed the other two groups, not only in the realm of attention and behavior, but also gains in language and nonverbal IQ. This result should come as no surprise to Head Start educators. This is just one more study among hundreds of others that shows that parent involvement is one of the secrets to long-term success of Head Start children.
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Tags: head start study, Parents Making Connections Highlighting Attention, PCMC-A
If programs would design and implement a quality parent support plan, and then execute it early on and continue it with integrity, there would be much less need for “school improvement” processes as they exist today. The most important elements of families and students are those that are very difficult to measure with numbers.
Parent involvement boosts any child’s behavior for the most part. Getting the parents involved in some centers is the how to. You can lead a parent to a center but you can not force involvement.