Program that helps low-income parents may improve pre-kindergartners' behavior

By Staff Writer

A study published in this month's edition of the journal Child Development reports that an educational program for the families of disadvantaged pre-kindergartners helped improve the children's behavior in school.

ParentCorps, which is designed to ease the transition to school for kids and their families, provided 13 group sessions hosted by school staff and mental health professionals. Through this intervention, the residents of low-income communities can learn how to establish rules, encourage good behavior and offer effective consequences to punish misbehavior.

"Rich or poor, urban or rural, every parent wants their child to succeed," said the researchers who developed the program. "[Those] who are struggling to make ends meet, who experience depression, who are raising children on their own - all need extra support in their important role as parent."

The intervention was shown to be successful among the families of 171 children who were enrolled in pre-kindergarten in eight public elementary schools throughout New York City.

Children and adolescents who misbehave and struggle academically could find the help that they need at therapeutic boarding schools. These programs can reinforce positive behaviors and enable them to achieve better success.