Measuring Effects of Social Capital

May 3, 2010

Children’s social capital rests on the trust and shared expectations embedded in their networks of friends, parents, and teachers. WCER’s Children, Families and Schools project tests the effects of social capital on levels and inequalities of children’s social and cognitive development during the early elementary years. Children from low-income Latino families are a special focus. This study manipulates social capital through a well-tested intervention—Families and Schools Together, Inc. FAST enhances social capital among parents, teachers, and children through an intensive after-school program. Key aspects of child development under assessment include (a) social skills and problem behavior from standardized behavioral ratings by parents; (b) the latter plus academic competence as rated by teachers; and (c) grade retention, attendance rates, and third-grade reading and mathematics scores from school records. More information is available here.