• April 2000
  • Vol. 1, No. 2

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Researchers' Presentation Illustrates Benefits of Prevention

To help professionals make the case for prevention to funding sources and policy makers, researchers Craig T. Ramey and Sharon L. Ramey of the University of Alabama have posted a comprehensive slide presentation on the Web at http://www.circ.uab.edu/slides.

The Abecedearian Preschool Project, explain the Rameys, was a "randomized controlled trial to test the efficacy of a comprehensive early childhood education, healthcare, and family support program . . . . The primary goal of the preschool phase was to enhance school readiness . . . "

At the core of the presentation is the Rameys' thesis: "Many children with learning disabilities and mild mental retardation are being identified too late for optimal treatment. Prevention is a viable strategy."

The project focused on high-risk families characterized by poverty, low maternal IQ and education, single parents, teenage mothers, and other factors. Both the treatment and control groups received assistance with nutrition, medical care, and social services. The treatment group also received an intensive preschool program (full-day, 5 days a week, 50 weeks a year, for 5 years).

Among their major findings, the Rameys report that the Abecedarian Project had positive effects on children's IQ performance, learning and cognitive performance, and social responsiveness as well as upon maternal education and employment.

The 59 color slides include numerous charts and graphs illustrating the Rameys' findings. Among their recommendations, the Rameys urge policy makers to incorporate recent research-based knowledge into the current system of child protection and advocacy, as well as foster care and adoption.

Contact the Rameys at:
Civitan International Research Center
University of Alabama at Birmingham
1719 6th Ave., South, Suite 137
Birmingham, AL 35294-0021
Tel.: 205-934-8900
Fax: 205-975-6330
Email: cramey@uab.edu
scramey@uab.edu
Website: http://www.circ.uab.edu

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