Friday, November 26, 2010

Study gives thumbs up to Canadian family intervention

There has been a lot of research recently into ways in which the Government, health services and other public bodies can intervene early in the lives of disadvantaged children to help them do better later on in life. One such initiative is the Better Begginings, Better Futures project which has recently been studied by researchers from Queen's University in Ontario, Canada. The researchers compared 959 children, 601 of whom were between four and eight and took part in the project and 358 of a similar age who formed a control group. Follow-up data on the children was collected when they were in years 3, 6, 9 and 12 at school. The study found improvements in social and school functioning in the children who took part in the project and fewer emotional and behavioural problems at school. By year 12 the children who took part in the study were less likely to have committed a property crime and their parents were reporting greater feelings of social support, happier marriages and better family functioning. The project proved cost-effective as the Government ended up spending less money helping each child because they did better in the long term.

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