Summarizing Abecedarian Over Time

This subcontract covers the costs of preparing extensive longitudinal data sets collected over a 40 year span on two randomized trials of early childhood educational intervention for children at risk for developmental delays and academic failure. All study participants were at high risk associated with growing up in low-income families. In the first and larger study, the Abecedarian Project, half the children were assigned as infants to receive full time educational child care from infancy to kindergarten entry at age 5; the other half were untreated controls. The second, Project CARE, had an additional treatment model in which some children had the same kind of early childhood curricula delivered to their homes by visitors who trained their parents in how to implement the learning activities in the family setting. CARE participants were also treated from infancy to age 5. Random assignments to a 3-year school-age phase created four treatment groups in the Abecedarian study; all treated participants in CARE had the 3-year follow-on. The participants in both studies are now in their 30s and extensive data on their cognitive development and academic progress have been amassed over the years, as well as adult data on education and economic status. Most recently, follow-up of study participants in which they underwent medical examinations and blood tests to learn if the educational benefits of their early childhood experience have been associated with better health and health habits as adults. As we publish the proprietary findings from UNC’s grant, economists at the University of Chicago will apply their discipline to further analyses of the data to explore the economic benefits accruing to adult accomplishments and physical well-being in this study sample. UNC will create the data sets and will collaborate with Chicago Investigators to disseminate the findings.

FPG Project Staff:
Margaret R. Burchinal, Principal Investigator
Sarah E. Wackerhagen, Research Associate
Awards:
Funding Agency: University of Chicago
Funding Period: 02/01/2016 - 01/31/2017
Award Amount: $49,529
Funding Agency: University of Chicago
Funding Period: 09/01/2014 - 04/30/2015
Award Amount: $91,876
Funding Agency: University of Chicago
Funding Period: 06/01/2014 - 08/30/2014
Award Amount: $33,124