Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorJody W.ZylkeMD, Contributing EditorIndividualAuthor
In Reply: We agree with Dr Thompson that one
should be cautious in drawing causal inferences about the effects of early
childhood program participation in our study. As we noted, biases due to nonrandom
program assignment are a threat to the validity of the estimated effects.
However, based on the matched-group alternative-intervention design, the pattern
of findings, and the many statistical analyses we performed to address alternative
explanations, we are confident that participation in the Child-Parent Center
(CPC) Program from ages 3 to 9 years was the source of the group differences
at age 20 years. Preschool participation demonstrated the greatest impact.
Relative to the comparison group, it was associated with a 29% higher rate
of high school completion, a 33% lower rate of juvenile delinquency, and a
41% lower rate of special education placement.
Reynolds AJ, Temple JA. Early Childhood Educational Intervention and Long-term Developmental Outcomes—Reply. JAMA. 2001;286(15):1835–1836. doi:10.1001/jama.286.15.1833