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Session Overview
Oral Presentation VII: "Effects of an Early Intervention on Children’s School Achievement in the Transition from Kindergarten to Primary School"
Monday, 21/Nov/2022:
12:45pm - 1:00pm

Presenting Author:  Isabelle Kalkusch

Location: Auditorium Roux

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Effects of an Early Intervention on Children’s School Achievement in the Transition from Kindergarten to Primary School

Isabelle Kalkusch1, Simone Schaub1, Alex Neuhauser1, Patsawee Rodcharoen1, Erich Ramseier2, Andrea Lanfranchi1

1University of Teacher Education in Special Needs, Switzerland; 2Bern University of Teacher Education (i. R.), Switzerland

Children’s early childhood experiences are crucial for their positive development. The increased likelihood of experiencing high levels of familial stress is a particular risk for children from psychosocially disadvantaged families in terms of their development and educational achievement. This study investigates the effectiveness of a home-based early childhood intervention program focusing on developmental pathways for school achievement in the transition from kindergarten to primary school.

The longitudinal RCT study ZEPPELIN examines the effectiveness of the «Parents as Teachers (PAT)» program with families with at least two present risk factors. The final sample were 248 families, who were randomly allocated to an intervention (IG, n = 132 families) and a control group (CG, n = 116 families). During the first three years of their child’s life the IG received support by a trained PAT-educator: monthly home visits and group connections. Families from the CG had access to regular community services but were not supported by PAT. Earlier cross-sectional results showed mainly positive effects on children’s language skills, problem behaviour and self-regulation.

In this study, children’s cognitive, language and psychosocial developmental characteristics from age 3 to 7 are analyzed longitudinally. Children’s developmental pathways from the programs’ end through kindergarten and up to starting primary school are analyzed using structural equation modelling. Subsequently, differences between the condition groups are tested.

These analyses provide meaningful insight into the relevant developmental pathways for early school achievements of children from psychosocially disadvantaged families and the potential to reduce their developmental risk through home-based early childhood interventions.

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