Child Care & Early Education Research Connections
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National Head Start/Public School Early Childhood Transition Demonstration Study, 1991-1999 (ICPSR 4712)
Alternate Title: National Transition Study, 1991-1999
Principal Investigator(s): United States Department of Health and Human Services. Administration for Children and Families. Head Start Bureau
In 1990, the United States Congress authorized a major program designed to enhance the early public school transitions of former Head Start children and their families. Former Head Start children, like many other children living in poverty, were at risk for poor school achievement. This new program was launched to test the value of extending comprehensive, Head Start-like supports "upward" through the first four years of elementary school. This project, administered by the Head Start Bureau of the Administration on Children, Youth, and Families, funded 31 local Transition Demonstration Programs in 30 states and the Navajo Nation from the 1991-1992 school year through the 1997-1998 school year and involved more than 450 public schools.
The National Transition Demonstration Study was conducted to provide information about the implementation of this program and its impact on children, families, schools, and communities. More than 7,500 former Head Start children and families were enrolled in the National Study. Thousands of other children and families, however, participated in the Transition Demonstration Program, since supports and educational enhancements were offered to all children and families in the classrooms.
The datasets are organized into four broad categories:
- Family Units -- There are six family unit files. A "family unit" record consists of information about a child or family as the result of source data taken from family interviews, records of child test scores on a child instrument, school archival records, or teacher questionnaires (Part B). If data were available from any combination of these source documents, a family unit record was generated. A broad range of variables are included under this heading. Variables range from simple demographics to standardized scores of social skill ratings as well as neighborhood factor scores and child outcome scores in reading and mathematics. These files are associated with each year of the child's schooling (kindergarten through third grade).
- School Unit -- There are five school unit files, organized around the year of data collection. A "school unit" record consists of information about a school as the result of source data captured from family interviews, a classroom teacher, or the school principal. The structure of this data file is different from others in that rather than being merged on a common key, the records are actually stacked one upon the other in groups. The first part of the file consists of family data, the middle portion consists of teacher data, and the final portion consists of principal data. A key variable to the construction of this dataset is the REC_SRC (record source) variable. It informs the user as to the source of the data in the record. The abbreviations are "fi," "ta," and "qp" for family interview, teacher questionnaire (Part A), and questionnaire for principals, respectively. The data viewed as the centerpiece of these datasets are the school climate survey variables and their associated factor scores.
- Classroom Unit -- There are five classroom unit files organized around the year of data collection. The data recorded focus on the classroom and are from the following sources: classroom composition, assessment profile, a developmentally appropriate practice template, and a teacher questionnaire (part a). Some of the data available address the social skills the teacher views as important to his or her particular classroom. Variables addressing diversity of both gender and ethnicity within a single classroom are included when available.
- Exit Interviews -- There are five Exit Interviews. Exit information was collected from the following groups: experimental and control families, family service specialists, school principals, and classroom teachers. These exit interviews were conducted upon exit from the third grade, and have been combined for both cohorts.
- Community Characteristics Data -- The community characteristics dataset is a hierarchical file having four distinct levels of data. The type of information available in this file may include data that describe the site, county, school district, or study school.
Users of these data are strongly encouraged to consult the accompanying documentation before attempting to use these files.
One or more files in this study are not available for download due to special restrictions ; consult the restrictions note to learn more. You can apply online for access to the data. A login is required to apply for access.
This data collection may not be used for any purpose other than statistical reporting and analysis. Use of these data to learn the identity of any person or establishment is prohibited. To protect respondent privacy, the National Transition Study data are restricted from general dissemination. Access to parts of this study requires a signed User Agreement. To obtain the file(s), researchers must agree to the terms and conditions of the Restricted Data Use Agreement, found via ICPSR's online Restricted Data Contracting System, by clicking the "apply online for access to the data" link above.
United States Department of Health and Human Services. Administration for Children and Families. Head Start Bureau. National Head Start/Public School Early Childhood Transition Demonstration Study, 1991-1999. ICPSR04712-v2. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2010-02-05. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR04712.v2
Persistent URL: http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR04712.v2
This study was funded by:
- United States Department of Health and Human Services. Administration for Children and Families. Head Start Bureau (Contract number 105-95-1935)
Scope of Study
Subject Terms: child care, child development, child health, child rearing, childhood, early childhood education, families, Head Start, health, mental health, nutrition, parent child relationship, parenting skills, school age children, social behavior, social support
Geographic Coverage: United States
Date of Collection:
Unit of Observation: individual, families
Universe: Families and children who were formerly enrolled in Head Start.
Data Types: Administrative records data, Observational data, Survey data
Data Collection Notes:
The national evaluation was supported by grants from the Head Start Bureau of the Administration on Children, Youth, and Families to each of the 31 local demonstration sites, as well as by a coordinating contract (#105-91-1935) to the Civitan International Research Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Sample: Schools were randomly assigned to either an experimental or control group. Two groups of former Head Start children and families were recruited at 31 sites to participate in the study. The first group (Cohort 1) included 3,540 former Head Start children, enrolled shortly before or after entry into kindergarten in the fall of 1992, and their families. The second group (Cohort 2) included 3,975 former Head Start children, enrolled as they entered kindergarten in the fall of 1993, and their families.
Mode of Data Collection: face-to-face interview, cognitive assessment test, coded on-site observation
Original ICPSR Release: 2008-08-11
- 2014-03-20 Added a Study Overview document.
- 2010-12-16 The Restricted Data Use Agreement has been updated.
- 2010-02-05 The Restricted Data Use Agreement was updated.
- Citations exports are provided above.
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