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From Descriptive to Predictive: Linking Early Childhood Developmental and Behavioral Screening Results with Educational Outcomes in Kindergarten

  • Lauren E. Schlichting
    Correspondence
    Corresponding Author: Lauren E. Schlichting 1 Davol Square, Providence, RI 02912
    Affiliations
    From the Hassenfeld Child Health Innovation Institute, (LE Schlichting and PM Vivier), Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island; Rhode Island Department of Health (B Berger), Providence, Rhode Island; Providence Public School District, (D Parrillo), Providence, Rhode Island; and Department of Health Law, Policy, and Management, School of Public Health, (RC Sheldrick), Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts
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  • Patrick M. Vivier
    Affiliations
    From the Hassenfeld Child Health Innovation Institute, (LE Schlichting and PM Vivier), Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island; Rhode Island Department of Health (B Berger), Providence, Rhode Island; Providence Public School District, (D Parrillo), Providence, Rhode Island; and Department of Health Law, Policy, and Management, School of Public Health, (RC Sheldrick), Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts
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  • Blythe Berger
    Affiliations
    From the Hassenfeld Child Health Innovation Institute, (LE Schlichting and PM Vivier), Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island; Rhode Island Department of Health (B Berger), Providence, Rhode Island; Providence Public School District, (D Parrillo), Providence, Rhode Island; and Department of Health Law, Policy, and Management, School of Public Health, (RC Sheldrick), Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts
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  • Danielle Parrillo
    Affiliations
    From the Hassenfeld Child Health Innovation Institute, (LE Schlichting and PM Vivier), Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island; Rhode Island Department of Health (B Berger), Providence, Rhode Island; Providence Public School District, (D Parrillo), Providence, Rhode Island; and Department of Health Law, Policy, and Management, School of Public Health, (RC Sheldrick), Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts
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  • R. Christopher Sheldrick
    Affiliations
    From the Hassenfeld Child Health Innovation Institute, (LE Schlichting and PM Vivier), Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island; Rhode Island Department of Health (B Berger), Providence, Rhode Island; Providence Public School District, (D Parrillo), Providence, Rhode Island; and Department of Health Law, Policy, and Management, School of Public Health, (RC Sheldrick), Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts
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Published:August 05, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acap.2022.07.022

      Abstract

      Objective: To assess the predictive value of a pediatric screening tool by linking two independent databases: an educational database that includes data from standardized academic assessments administered during kindergarten and a pediatric database that includes screening results.
      Methods: A database that includes results of the Survey of Well-being of Young Children (SWYC) completed during pediatric visits were linked to an educational database that includes STAR Early Literacy examinations in kindergarten. Linear multilevel regression modeling was used to examine if screening results on the developmental and behavioral sections of the most recently completed SWYC form predicted trends in the percentile rank on the STAR exam over the school year, adjusting for potential confounders.
      Results: Linking the two databases resulted in a sample of 586 children who were administered at least one SWYC evaluation between 24-48 months and completed at least one STAR Early Literacy examination in kindergarten. The sample represents a diverse population with 55% Hispanic children, 25% Non-Hispanic black children, and 91% of children receiving a subsidized lunch. After adjusting for confounders, children with a positive developmental or behavioral screen had significantly lower percentile ranks on the STAR exam.
      Conclusions: Early developmental and behavioral screening results predicted performance on the STAR exam in kindergarten. Children with developmental and behavioral concerns may be less ready to enter kindergarten than peers without such concerns. These preliminary findings provide proof-of-principle of the potential utility of developmental screening tools in identifying children with reduced school readiness who may benefit from intervention prior to kindergarten.

      Keywords

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