Attrition from early intervention: Associations with several child characteristics

Carla Swanson, University of Rhode Island


Objectives. This study tested for associations between attrition from Early Intervention programs and a child's age at referral, race, home language, referral source, functioning, and insurance status and explored the relative predictive power of these individual child characteristics. ^ Methods. Data from the Rhode Island Department of Human Service's Early Intervention Data Management System were examined using t-tests and logistic regression techniques. ^ Results. Overall, EI non-completers tended to be younger and non-white. They were more likely to have had public insurance and they had significantly higher developmental functioning scores at entry. Non-completers were more likely to come from Spanish speaking families; and children who were referred to EI by a medical provider or who transferred from one provider to another were more likely to drop out than children who were referred to EI because of DCYF involvement. ^ Conclusions . This study provides new information about child characteristics that are modest predictors of attrition. Retention efforts should focus on the sustained engagement of younger, publicly insured, non-white, Spanish-speaking, and medically referred children, acknowledging that some non-completion can be explained by the preemptive nature of EI referral policies. Finally, attrition is an important phenomenon from a program evaluation perspective because drop-outs can skew outcome assessments.^

Subject Area

Education, Policy|Education, General

Recommended Citation

Carla Swanson, "Attrition from early intervention: Associations with several child characteristics" (2013). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI1549234.