Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Cross-Cultural School Psychology

pp 400-402


Early Intervention

  • Dorothy S StricklandAffiliated withSamuel DeWitt Proctor Professor of Education, Emerita Distinguished Research Fellow, National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

There is a growing body of scientific evidence on the significance of the developmental impact of early experiences, caregiving relationships, and environmental threats. This work is strong and compelling. Virtually every aspect of early human development, from the brain’s evolving circuitry to the child’s capacity for empathy is affected by the environments and experiences that are encountered in a cumulative fashion, beginning early in the prenatal period and extending throughout the early childhood years. Researchers and early childhood development specialists no longer question whether early experience matters, but rather how these experiences shape individual development and contribute to children’s continued movement along positive pathways. Moreover, they seek appropriate ways to intervene where children and families are at risk.

During the school years, emphasis on early intervention is supported by research evidence indicating that the pattern of school failure starts early and ...

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