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Human Capital Interventions Across Childhood and Adolescence

Dr. Burchinal will collaborate with faculty members at the University of California, Irvine on their research study funded by NIH titled Human Capital Interventions Across Childhood and Adolescence. The overall purpose of this research is to examine why human capital-oriented intervention programs and policies, directed at children in the preschool, middle childhood, and adolescent stages of development, have the effects, non-effects, and, in some cases, perverse effects that they do. The study focuses on the congruence (“fit”) between the developmental needs of children and youth and the design and nature of educational interventions designed to augment human capital and promote positive outcomes, particularly for individuals raised in economically disadvantaged families.

The study, which involves analyses of 18 public use and restricted use existing data sets, is organized as four subprojects and has two overarching key objectives: (1) Secure an interdisciplinary understanding of how children in different developmental stages, and in different personal and environmental circumstances, are affected by human capital policy interventions; and (2) Promote successful child and youth interventions by getting inside the intervention black boxes to identify key program elements for preschoolers and school-aged children and youth in anticipation of future program design and evaluation. Dr. Burchinal will provide consultation regarding analyses of early childhood interventions for Study 1 and adolescent interventions for Study 3.

Study I: Impacts of Early Childhood Interventions focuses on early childhood programs such as Head Start and Early Head Start. It employs both stage/policy- and child/policy-fit perspectives and largely experimental data to derive and test hypotheses about which combinations of child, family, and child care program characteristics lead to larger child care treatment effects on cognitive and behavioral outcomes for young children.

Study III: Distributional Impacts of School Policies develops and applies new methods for examining the distributional impacts of a variety of preschool and school-based policies.


Funding Agency:  

University of California, Irvine

Funding Period:  

09/24/2011 to 05/31/2016

Award Amount: