Effects of a state prekindergarten program on children’s achievement and behavior at sixth grade

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Developmental Psychology

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Durkin, K., Lipsey, M., Farran, D., & Wiesen, S. (2022). Effects of a state prekindergarten program on children’s achievement and behavior at sixth grade. Developmental Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1037/dev0001301


[Correction Notice: An Erratum for this article was reported in Vol 58(7) of Developmental Psychology (see record 2022-76037-001). In the supplemental materials for the article, there was an error in Tables S1 and S3. An incorrect reverse-coded version of the treatment condition variable was used in the logistic regression models, causing the signs of the coefficients to be reversed, although the magnitude and p values were correct. The reported coefficients and odds ratios have been updated to have the correct direction of effects.] As state-funded pre-kindergarten (pre-K) programs expand, it is critical to investigate their short- and long-term effects. This article presents the results through sixth grade of a longitudinal randomized control study of the effects of a scaled-up, state-supported pre-K program. The analytic sample includes 2,990 children from low-income families who applied to oversubscribed pre-K program sites across the state and were randomly assigned to offers of admission or a wait list control. Data through sixth grade from state education records showed that the children randomly assigned to attend pre-K had lower state achievement test scores in third through sixth grades than control children, with the strongest negative effects in sixth grade. A negative effect was also found for disciplinary infractions, attendance, and receipt of special education services, with null effects on retention. The implications of these findings for pre-K policies and practices are discussed. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved)