According to researchers, the Developmentally Informed (REDI) program, developed by Penn State University, showed that the preschoolers who benefited from it kept its advantage years later, even in middle school and high school. They were less likely to have behavioral difficulties, relationship problems, and emotional troubles when they reached seventh and ninth grade.

Karen Bierman, Penn State Evan Pugh Professor of Psychology stated, “The program had an effect on internal benefits, including better emotion management and emotional well-being, as well as external benefits, such as reduced conduct problems. So not only did the program result in fewer distressed adolescents, but it also resulted in less distress for their teachers and peers, as well."

Of course, living in poverty is painful for both kids and their parents. The conjunction of lack of resources and high level of stress increases the probabilities for kids to suffer delays in the development of their emotional, social, and academic skills by the time they start school, thus already finding themselves behind their peers growing up in wealthier households. These are some critical gaps that tend to widen over time, placing the kids of low income families at high risk for emotional and behavioral issues by the time of their adolescence.

Picture: Children on the Hill (