Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology


Educational Psychology and Methodology

Content Description

1 online resource (ii, x, 113 pages) : illustrations (some color)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Kevin P Quinn

Committee Members

Melinda Tanzman, Jason M Bryer


Early Entry, Head Start, Literacy, Propensity Score, Social Competence, Head Start programs, Readiness for school, Poor children, Social skills in children

Subject Categories

Early Childhood Education | Educational Psychology


Family poverty is associated with children’s health, achievement, and behavior (Brooks-Gunn & Duncan, 1997). Less than half, 48%, of children from low income homes are considered school ready by the age of five compared with 75% of their peers from middle to high income homes (Isaacs, 2012). Researchers have linked school readiness to long-term outcomes like success in grade school, lower drop-out rates in high school, and higher earned income as adults (Duncan et al., 2007). Although children in poverty experience greater deficits in areas of school readiness, participation in a quality childhood education can serve as a protective buffer and has been shown to be associated with improved academic, social and health outcomes (Caughy, DiPietro, & Strobino, 1994; Love et al., 2003; Karoly, Kilburn, & Cannon, 2005). School readiness has been an aim of Head Start since its conception (Raver & Zigler, 1997).