Head Start The highest rates of oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and conduct disorder (CD) are found in low-income welfare families. The Head Start program is for the”continued enhancement of services for poor children ages zero to five, and their families.” The parents of the children in the Head Start program are rarely examined. Head Start instead focuses on the academic performance of the involved children. The article, “Preventing Conduct Problems in Head Start Children: Strengthening Parenting Competencies” in The Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology decides to take a different approach. Instead of singling out the child and holding only the child responsible for their social and academic behavior, they put the responsibility on the family, the school as well as the child.
Nine centers were chosen from within one large urban Head Start district (representing six school districts) on the basis of their similarity in terms of ethnic minority percentages, teachers qualifications, family service workers qualifications and education, number of classrooms, number of children, children’s enrollment age, and length of Head Start class (4 hr per day). Another factor was their willingness to participate in the study and to be randomly assigned to either the intervention group (PARTNERS), which is supposed to be an early prevention group to prevent the development of ODD and CD in young children. Or being randomly assigned to the CONTROL group (Head Starts regular curriculum). The Nine Head Start centers were randomly assigned to either groups. This is a plus because the whole center, not just a few classes in the center, is involved in the chosen program. Also, the centers didnt debate on which program that theyd like to participate in.
There were more families in the experimental group than in the control group. The Partners or Control program is the independent variable (depending on which group the child is a part of). The childs conduct is the dependent variable.