Abstract for: Development Toward School Readiness: A Holistic Model

This paper describes a systemic analysis of the early childhood development factors that explain the variance in readiness for school among representative five-year-olds in the United States. The model expresses a theory that incorporates a broad set of causally interactive endogenous variables that are hypothesized to be driven by three exogenous variables: parental educational attainment; racial/ethnic status; and single parent/divorced/remarried vs. stable marriage family status. The model was run in computer simulation mode. The results seem compatible with what is known about school readiness patterns. While this finding doesnít prove the validity of the model, it at least makes it seem reasonable as a multi-variate, systemic description of the state of affairs that determines readiness for school at the age of five and that provides a reasonable explanation for the variance in school readiness among five-year-olds. Finally, the model was run in experimental computer simulation mode to evaluate the likely effects of five interventions: a set of cognitive and academic interventions; interventions related to health care and nutrition; income-related interventions; interventions related to reducing the effect of low income on family stress; and a combination of all these types of interventions.