Theses and Dissertations



Davis, Louise E.

Committee Member

Phillips, Tommy M.

Committee Member

Panse-Barone, Chelsea

Committee Member

Grace, Cathy W.

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

Immediate Worldwide Access

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Human Development and Family Science

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


School of Human Sciences


Social and emotional development is a crucial domain of development that influences child outcomes. Apart from a child’s family, early care and education (ECE) programs offer opportunities to develop critical skills that promote academic achievement, emotion regulation, cognition, and literacy. There are achievement gaps in these areas when comparing children from low and high socioeconomic backgrounds, lending to the federal legislation to form Head Start and Early Head Start programs nationwide. While these programs have attendance mandates, the national attendance average is below the requirements, which may hinder the full benefits of Head Start and Early Head Start programs. Using attendance rates and scores from the Ages and Stages Questionnaire – Third Edition (ASQ-3), we examined the differences between Head Start and Early Head Start groups, gender, and high and low attendance groups. The researcher conducted regression analyses to determine if attendance rates predict ASQ-3 scores. Analysis revealed a positive relation among these variables, with significant differences between Head Start and Early Head Start groups and low and high-attendance groups.