Immediate Effects of a School Readiness Intervention for Children in Foster Care

Katherine C. Pears, Philip A. Fisher, Hyoun K. Kim, Jacqueline Bruce, Cynthia V. Healey, Karen Yoerger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


Research Findings: School readiness is a strong predictor of adjustment in elementary school and beyond. Children in foster care are at particular risk for academic and social difficulties in school. Limitations in self-regulatory skills and caregiver involvement among these children might contribute to a lack of school readiness. This study presents the immediate effects on school readiness of a targeted, short-term intervention designed to improve children's early literacy, prosocial, and self-regulatory skills during the summer before kindergarten entry: Kids in Transition to School. Using a randomized controlled trial design, we assigned 192 children in foster care to either an intervention or services as usual comparison condition. Multimethod, multi-informant assessments were conducted immediately prior to and following the completion of the intervention. The results from structural equation modeling indicated that the intervention had significant positive effects on early literacy and self-regulatory skills. Practice or Policy: An efficacious, short-term, readily scalable, theoretically based intervention targeted at specific vulnerabilities for children in foster care may help to improve the school readiness and eventual school adjustment of these children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)771-791
Number of pages21
JournalEarly Education and Development
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Aug

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Support for this article was provided by the following grants: R01 DA021424 and P30 DA023920, Division of Epidemiology, Services and Prevention Research, Prevention Research Branch, NIDA, United States, Public Health Service. The content of this article is solely our own responsibility and does not necessarily represent the official views of the funding organization. We thank Deena Scheidt and Angie Relling for project management, Matthew Rabel and Diana Strand for editorial assistance, and the staff and families of the Kids in Transition to School Project for their ongoing dedication and participation.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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