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Examining Risk and Protective Factors in Head Start Populations Located in High- and Low-Violence Communities

Fedor, Megan C. MS; Bender, Stacy L. MA; Carlson, John S. PhD

doi: 10.1097/IYC.0b013e3181e1a211
Article

This study examined parental reports of children attending Head Start programs in high- (N = 200) and low- (N = 188) violence communities to determine whether differences existed in the level of risk and protective factors as measured by the Devereux Early Childhood Assessment (P. A. LeBuffe & J. A. Naglieri, 1999). Previous research has indicated that children exposed to community violence are at risk for the development of social and emotional problems (S. Overstreet, 2000). Results from this study contrast with expected results as children in low-violence communities exhibited greater parent-reported behavior concerns than children in high-violence communities and no significant differences were found on levels of protective factors. This is the first study to demonstrate that protective factors are similar in an at-risk preschool population despite significant differences in the level of community violence.

Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education, Michigan State University, East Lansing.

Corresponding Author: Megan C. Fedor, MS, Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education, Michigan State University, 401 Erickson Hall, E Lansing, MI 48824 (fedormeg@msu.edu).

©2010Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.