Preschool Boys of Color: Portraits of the Population Served by Head Start

Preschool Boys of Color: Portraits of the Population Served by Head Start

Published: Aug 17, 2020
Publisher: Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, vol 70

Sally Atkins-Burnett

Judith Cannon

This Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology article summarizes a study that uses a resiliency framework to provide a national portrait of the strengths and resources of low-income Black and Hispanic/Latino boys served by Head Start. Findings suggest that although low-income boys of color are a vulnerable subgroup, Black and Hispanic/Latino boys experience and exhibit a range of strengths during the Head Start year. Both groups live in cognitively stimulating and structured homes—their parents read to them frequently, they engage in other learning activities with their families, and their household routines are consistent. Both groups demonstrate progress towards same-age peers in social-emotional and many cognitive skills during the program year. Their classrooms include teachers who are experienced, educated, and from similar racial/ethnic backgrounds. The findings suggest that Head Start boys of color have access to environments that support their resilience, but there are some areas in which better supports could be provided.

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