"Head Start family services: Family characteristics as predictors of service use by Latinx families"
As a postdoctoral scholar in UCI’s School of Education, Diaz focused on understanding and improving the individual and ecological factors (e.g. parenting) that influence the school readiness and educational experiences of children and families from diverse backgrounds--specifically, in children and families from ethnically-diverse backgrounds and children who are English Language Learners.
Jenkins studies early childhood development, child and family policy, and policy analysis and management. She is director of UCI's Early Policy Research Group. Jenkins's work focuses on program evaluation and understanding the mechanisms that promote child and family wellbeing. She currently is researching factors in persistence and fadeout of early childhood intervention on a grant funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Development.
Reich is a community psychologist studying contexts that support children’s development. Her research focuses on children’s direct and technologically mediated interactions with family, peers, and educational settings. She is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Society for Community Research and Action. Reich is director of UCI's Development in Social Context Lab (DISC) and Associate Dean of UCI’s Graduate Program.
This study seeks to understand characteristics that predict use of Head Start family services by Latinx families. Head Start requires programs to offer services that are tailored to individual family needs. While the offer of services is important, what is critical is the use of these services. Few studies have explored whether families access services when offered and how the contextual risk around the family predicts their likelihood of uptake, especially for Latinx families who are increasingly enrolling in Head Start programs. This study examines patterns of service use by cumulative risk and by individual risk factors. Results indicate that Latinx families with more risk are more likely to use services, as well as use more of them. Findings related to specific individual types of risk were mixed. We include a discussion of Head Start’s comprehensive service delivery model as it relates to service use for Latinx families.