Head Start Study

Dr. Rudasill is Principle Investigator of a project funded by the American Educational Research Association and the National Science Foundation to conduct secondary data analysis using the Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES) study conducted with Head Start children starting in 2009.

The purpose is to study the interplay of child and classroom characteristics in conjunction with cumulative risk (e.g., single parent household, low maternal education, household income below the federal poverty line).FACES 2009 follows a sample of children attending Head Start (N = 3,182) through kindergarten. Children are typically at risk due to poverty and are largely from underrepresented racial or ethnic groups (i.e., approximately 39% of the participants identified as Hispanic or Latino, 25% Black/African American).
Studies Underway:

  • Child Temperamental Regulation and Classroom Quality in Head Start: Considering the Role of Cumulative Economic Risk
  • Probability Profiles of Early Academic Skills: Examining Risk and Protective Factors for Head Start Children

Preschool Study

Child Characteristics and Classroom Processes: Promoting Learning in Preschool

This two-wave study followed children in preschool from fall of 2011 through fall 2012 to examine the interplay of children’s temperament and the classroom processes as predictors of children’s school readiness (pre-literacy and attention).  The study included approximately 100 children from 23 classrooms in 9 childcare centers.  Parents and teachers filled out questionnaires on children’s behavior, and researchers administered direct assessments of children’s early literacy and attention skills. Teachers reported on the quality of their relationships with children, and we conducted observations of classrooms using the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS; Pianta et al., 2008) and the inCLASS (Downer et al., 2010). 


  • Preliminary findings suggest that teacher ratings of children’s temperament are reliable predictors of children’s early literacy, and that environmental factors, such as classroom emotional support and family income, moderate associations between children’s temperament and their relationships with teachers.
  • This pilot study deepened our understanding of the importance of considering a child’s temperament in addition to classroom quality and relationships with teachers when thinking about early academic outcomes.