KITS: School Readiness in Foster Care Efficacy Trial

This study is ongoing, but not recruiting participants.
Sponsor:
Collaborators:
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Katherine C. Pears, Oregon Social Learning Center
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier:
NCT00688129
First received: May 28, 2008
Last updated: May 1, 2012
Last verified: May 2012
  Purpose

The KITS project is a 5-year randomized trial to evaluate a program designed to enhance academic and social-emotional aspects of school readiness for foster preschoolers.


Condition Intervention
School Readiness
Behavioral: Kids in Transition to School (KITS)

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single Blind (Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Diagnostic
Official Title: KITS: School Readiness in Foster Care Efficacy Trial

Resource links provided by NLM:


Further study details as provided by Oregon Social Learning Center:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Early literacy skills [ Time Frame: pre-intervention, pre-kindergarten, end of kindergarten ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
  • Social skills [ Time Frame: pre-intervention, pre-kindergarten, end of kindergarten ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
  • Regulatory skills [ Time Frame: pre-intervention, pre-kindergarten, end of kindergarten ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
  • Caregiver involvement [ Time Frame: pre-intervention, pre-kindergarten, end of kindergarten ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Academic achievement [ Time Frame: post-kindergarten, post 1st grade, post 2nd grade ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
  • Peer relations [ Time Frame: post 1st grade, post 2nd grade ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

Estimated Enrollment: 200
Study Start Date: September 2005
Estimated Study Completion Date: July 2015
Estimated Primary Completion Date: July 2015 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: KITS Behavioral: Kids in Transition to School (KITS)
This is a 4-month psychosocial intervention for foster children entering kindergarten and their caregivers beginning the summer before kindergarten. The KITS intervention consists of: (a) child therapeutic play groups to facilitate the development of self-regulatory, social, and emergent literacy skills (2 times per week in summer, 1 times per week in the fall); (b) a bi-monthly psychoeducational support group to promote caregiver involvement in the child's emergent literacy and schooling and the use of effective parenting techniques; (c) home- and school-based behavioral consultation on an as needed basis.
No Intervention: Services as usual

Detailed Description:

The overarching goal of this research project is to conduct a randomized efficacy trial of a preventive intervention—the Kids in Transition to School (KITS) program—to enhance socioemotional and academic school readiness among preschool-aged foster children. Foster children are at great risk for poor social and academic school outcomes. Because of their experiences of early adversity, these children may have particular vulnerabilities that decrease the likelihood of a successful transition to school. Extensive prior research has shown that chronic early adversity is associated with alterations in the functioning of key neural systems (specifically, prefrontal cortex function and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity) related to self-regulation and stress reactivity. Alterations in these systems may interfere with children's abilities to relate to peers, to maintain focused attention, to follow directions, and to learn academic skills. Additionally, because these children are likely to have experienced multiple living transitions, they may be at a disadvantage in terms of caregiver involvement in school, a critical aspect of early school success. Foster children are recruited in the spring before they enter kindergarten and randomly assigned to the intervention and comparison conditions. The KITS intervention includes three components: (a) child therapeutic play groups to facilitate the development of self-regulatory, social, and emergent literacy skills; (b) a psychoeducational support group to promote caregiver involvement in the child's emergent literacy and schooling and the use of effective parenting techniques; (c) home- and school-based behavioral consultation. The intervention coincides with the transition into kindergarten. Multi-method, multi-agent assessments of the children's socioemotional readiness and literacy skills are conducted at baseline, kindergarten entry, and postkindergarten. We will examine the direct effects of the intervention on school readiness and kindergarten outcomes. We will also assess whether intervention effects are mediated through mechanisms of stress reactivity and regulation and caregiver variables. Finally, we will test for moderator effects of child and contextual characteristics including early adversity (prenatal/neonatal health, maltreatment history and placement history), child cognitive functioning, and placement transitions during the course of the study. An additional exploratory aim of the study is to examine intervention effects on first and second grade outcomes for subsamples of children. Group comparisons and longitudinal growth modeling will allow for evaluation of hypotheses.

  Eligibility

Ages Eligible for Study:   4 Years to 6 Years
Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No
Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  • a child currently in foster care
  • living in Lane or Marion County, Oregon
  • eligible to enter Kindergarten in fall of assessment year (age 5 by September 1 of assessment year)

Exclusion Criteria:

  • medical or developmental condition which would prevent the child from completing the assessment tasks
  • current or previous involvement in Oregon Social Learning Center treatment programs
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00688129

Locations
United States, Oregon
Oregon Social Learning Center
Eugene, Oregon, United States, 97401
Sponsors and Collaborators
Oregon Social Learning Center
Investigators
Principal Investigator: Katherine C Pears, PhD Oregon Social Learning Center
  More Information

Additional Information:
Publications:
Pears KC, Fisher PA, Bronz KD. An intervention to promote social emotional school readiness in foster children: Preliminary outcomes from a pilot study. School Psychology Review. 2007;36(4):665-673.
Pears KC, Fisher PA, Heywood CV, Bronz KD. Promoting school readiness in foster children. In: Saracho ON, Spodek B, eds. Contemporary Perspectives on Social Learning in Early Childhood Education Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing; 2007:173-198.

Responsible Party: Katherine C. Pears, Research Scientist, Oregon Social Learning Center
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00688129     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: R01-DA021424
Study First Received: May 28, 2008
Last Updated: May 1, 2012
Health Authority: United States: Institutional Review Board
United States: Federal Government

Keywords provided by Oregon Social Learning Center:
school readiness
foster care
maltreatment
literacy
social emotional skills
self regulation
caregiver involvement

ClinicalTrials.gov processed this record on August 28, 2014