The impacts of a two-generation program on low-income children's development: Examining the role of parents' human capital and self-sufficiency
Owen Schochet

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship

Award Year



Georgetown University

Primary Discipline

Two-generation early intervention programs are potentially powerful approaches to enhancing the development of low-income children. Such programs, which often combine center-based early care and education services with home visiting and family case management, assume not only that each of these services is independently effective, but also that they are more beneficial for participants when provided together. Indeed, seminal research suggests that random assignment to our nation's paradigmatic two-generation program ? Early Head Start (EHS) ? can positively impact parents' human capital and self-sufficiency, parenting skills, and children's outcomes (Love et al., 2002). Yet, this research only examines the impacts of receiving the full package of two-generation EHS services together; the independent contributions of each service to such a broad pattern of multiple significant impacts remain poorly understood. This dissertation unpacks the precise impacts of the two-generation services that programs like EHS provide. I first investigate the effect of each two-generation service on parents' human capital and self-sufficiency and parenting skills, including their cognitive stimulation and emotional support of their children. Next, I estimate the unique effect of each two-generation service on child outcomes directly. The EHS Research Evaluation provides the ideal data for this investigation as it includes information on the receipt of various two-generation services for both treated and control group participants. Using multi-site random assignment to EHS as instrumental variables ? and exploiting cross-site variation in program implementation ? I estimate the impacts of each two-generation service on participant outcomes by modelling multiple service mediators in a two-stage least squares framework.
About Owen Schochet
Owen Schochet is a doctoral candidate in the Human Development and Public Policy Program in the Department of Psychology at Georgetown University. His research uses rigorous experimental and quasi-experimental methods to examine the effectiveness of publicly-funded early childhood education (ECE) programs in promoting the learning and development of low-income children, including through their effects on parents' human capital and economic self-sufficiency and parenting skills and behaviors. His research has been published in Early Childhood Research Quarterly, The Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Exceptional Children, and Children and Youth Services Review, and by the Brookings Institution, the Urban Institute, and the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation. Prior to his doctoral work, Owen completed a B.S. in Brain and Cognitive Sciences from the University of Rochester, worked as a Research Assistant and then Analyst at Mathematica Policy Research, and completed a Master's Degree in Public Policy from Georgetown University's McCourt School of Public Policy. He is a proud member of the Child Development and Social Policy (CDSP) Lab at Georgetown University.

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