Early Childhood

Preschool May Help Ward Off Depression

By Linda Jacobson — June 05, 2007 1 min read

High-quality early-childhood education boosts more than just early academic skills for young children—it may also help protect those children from depression, according to new research.

As part of the long-running study on the Abecedarian Project, an intervention program for poor children in North Carolina, researchers have found that children in the program showed fewer symptoms of depression than those who were randomly assigned to a control group.

The study, “Early Educational Child Care Reduces Depressive Symptoms in Young Adults Reared in Low-Income Families,” appears in the May/June issue of the journal Child Development.

“The early intervention, which was largely child-centered, does not appear to have changed home environments,” said Frances A. Campbell, an author of the paper and a senior scientist at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “Rather, it buffered, or protected, the treated children from the adverse effects” of negative home environments.

See Also

For background, previous stories, and Web links, read Prekindergarten.

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A version of this article appeared in the June 06, 2007 edition of Education Week

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