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March 1970

Individual Differences in Ghetto 4-Year-Olds

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Preventive Psychiatry, Research Program in Child Development, Institute for Juvenile Research (Drs. Hirsch, Borowitz, and Costello); the University of Illinois College of Medicine (Dr. Borowitz); and the Dr. Martin Luther King Family Center (Dr. Costello).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1970;22(3):268-276. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1970.01740270076010

FOR THE past four years the authors and their co-workers at the Dr. Martin Luther King Family Center have been engaged in studying some problems of the people living in an inner-city black neighborhood. A series of pilot investigations led us to focus upon precursors of academic achievement observable during the preschool years.

In 1965, we established a research preschool in a public housing project on Chicago's West Side to provide a field setting for action research. In previous publications we described the school, the neighborhood, the population, and the various research approaches which we have undertaken.1-5

One major aspect of our work has been the careful observation of individual play sessions with 4-year-olds. In this way we have attempted to delineate salient behavioral variables which would further our understanding of the children's strengths and weaknesses. Such knowledge would presumably suggest useful

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