Child psychology

In their article “Early educational intervention, early cumulative risk, and the early home environment as predictors of young adult outcomes within a high-risk sample”, Pungello et al. (2010) involve in researching the effects of early educational intervention, early cumulative risk, and the early home environment on the educational, employment, parenting, and criminal outcomes for young adults from high-risk backgrounds.

Extending the existing research on the impact of social risk factors on children development, Pungello et al. (2010) focus their attention especially on the long-term effects of early educational intervention and risks.

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Analyzing the correlation between early education intervention and risks and further young adult outcomes, Pungello et al. (2010) put forward two hypotheses.

The first one concerns forwarding the knowledge of early intervention and cumulative risks effects and suggests that on the one hand, early cumulative risk would bear negative associations with young adult educational outcomes of all the aforementioned kinds; and on the other hand, early intervention would moderate the negative effects for the sample which underwent appropriate treatment as opposed to the sample which did not receive such treatment (Pungello et al., 2010).

The second hypotheses concerns the role of early home environment for the possible adult outcomes and suggests that early home environment bears significance for early risks, and that those risks could be moderated by providing early educational intervention in case with home environment of poor quality (Pungello et al., 2010).

Since Pungello et al. (2010) base their present study on a research process that has been carried on since 1984 within the Abecedarian Project and CARE, they draw the sample for their study from the mentioned projects. The present sample included 139 young adults (73 males and 66 females) ranging in age from 20 to 25 years (Pungello et al., 2010).

The researchers focus primarily on the effects of early educational intervention and early home environment; therefore, the sample was selected to include individuals who received early educational treatment within the childcare setting (Pungello et al., 2010).

As a result of two sets of analyses based on general linear modeling, logistic regression techniques, and moderated mediation framework, Pungello et al. (2010) study has revealed that early treatment was positively associated with educational outcomes in young adults: treated participants obtained 0.87 years more of education, were 3.82 times more likely to attend college, and were 2.69 times more likely to obtained skilled employment than the untreated sample.

On the contrary, early risk was negatively associated with education, employment, and teen parenthood: each risk factor resulted in 0.28 fewer years in education, 1.45 lower chance of high-school graduation, 1.61 lower chance of employment, and 1.78 higher chance of teen parenthood (Pungello et al., 2010) . In addition, early educational treatment, the home environment, and the interaction between the two had significant effects on educational attainment (Pungello et al., 2010).

Having explored the long-term effects of educational intervention on young adults from high-risk background, Pungello et al. (2010) have discovered that whilst early educational treatment considerably promoted the chances for educational attainment and employment success with younger adults, the crucial factor for accomplishing high-school education was played by home environment.

The key finding of the study, the mediation of risk through poor-quality home environment by educational treatment, indicates the overall significance of this type of treatment as increasing the young adults’ chances for education and employment. The results of the study confirm the necessity for allocating the scarce social resources in the sphere of early childcare programs for high-risk children.


Pungello, E. P., Kainz, K., Burchinal, M., Wasik, B. H., Sparling, J. J., Ramey, C. T., Campbell, F. A. (2010). Early educational intervention, early cumulative risk, and the early home environment as predictors of young adult outcomes within a high-risk sample. Child Development, 81(1), 410–426.


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