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New study shows importance of parenting in homeless families

Janette-headshot.gifJanette Herbers, doctoral candidate in the Institute of Child Development, and her colleagues have published a study in the current issue of Early Education and Development on the importance of parent-child relationships for young children in homeless families. Results of the study demonstrate how positive parenting supports the development of cognitive and self-regulation skills, which enable children to succeed in kindergarten and first grade. Furthermore, positive parenting protects children against the negative impacts of poverty-related risk.

Children in the study who experienced higher risk and positive parenting showed academic functioning levels similar to those of children in the study with lower risk. However, children at higher levels of risk who experienced poor quality parenting showed less academic success. The study underscores the importance of incorporating parents and families into intervention efforts to improve the academic achievement of young homeless children.

Copies of the manuscript can be obtained by contacting Janette Herbers ( or accessed online.

Herbers, J. E., Cutuli, J. J., Lafavor, T. L., Vrieze, D., Leibel, C., Obradovic, J., & Masten, A.S. (2011). Direct and indirect effects of parenting on academic functioning of young homeless children. Early Education and Development, 22(1), 77-104. doi: 10.1080/10409280903507261

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