Overview of REDI Research

Phase 1: The Head Start REDI project began in 2002 with a randomized trial of curriculum and professional development components designed to enhance the impact of Head Start on child school readiness. Two domains of school readiness were targeted: 1) language development/emergent literacy skills, and 2) social-emotional competencies. The program produced improvements in teaching quality in REDI classrooms, including enhanced teacher language use, instructional support, and emotion coaching. Children who received REDI showed enhanced outcomes on measures of vocabulary, emergent literacy skills, social competence, and learning engagement, and reduced aggression at the end of the Head Start year. Sustained benefits were documented in kindergarten.

Phase 2: In 2008, a second REDI trial was initiated. A new sample of children attending Head Start REDI classrooms were randomly assigned to receive a complementary REDI home visiting program or “usual practice” Head Start home visiting. The REDI home visiting program promoted improvements in child social competence, self-directed learning, and academic competence in kindergarten.

Phase 3: In 2014, REDI received additional funding to extend these findings by conducting follow-up assessments with children who participated in the two trials to evaluate the long-term effects of the REDI classroom and home visiting program on child school adjustment.  Follow-up assessments will track participants in the original REDI classroom program as they navigate through high school (grades 9 and 11) to test the hypothesis that the improved social-emotional functioning and self-regulation skills promoted by REDI will mediate long-term effects on academic attainment and reductions in risky behaviors in adolescence.  Follow-up assessments will also track the participants in the REDI home visiting program as they navigate the middle school transition (grades 5 and 7), testing the hypothesis that early improvements in parent support and academic school readiness will mediate program effects on later child outcomes.

Phase 4: In 2015, REDI received additional funding to create and evaluate a sustainable, technology-assisted platform of professional development support to facilitate the broad diffusion of the REDI program in preschools and child care centers. A collaboration was established with the Better Kid Care Program (BKC), managed by Cooperative Extension at Penn State.  Over a four-year period, we will work with 72 child-care centers in 7 economically stressed counties in Pennsylvania to evaluate REDI with professional development delivered using the technology-assisted distance learning platform of BKC will be used to extend professional development support. Classroom teachers will be able to access brief tutorials with videos demonstrating how to deliver lessons and illustrating high-quality teaching practices. In addition, the BKC platform will be used to support virtual learning communities of child-care center directors, who will be trained to monitor the fidelity of program implementation and coach teachers in the application of the curriculum components and teaching strategies. The evaluation will use a rigorous, randomized-controlled design, with multi-method measurement of child and teacher outcomes; it will assess short-term sustainability in the child care centers and follow children as they transition to kindergarten.

REDI Publications


Bierman, K.L., Mathis, E.T., & Domitrovich, C.E. (2018). Serving the needs of young children with social, emotional, and behavioral needs: A commentary. School Mental Health, 10, 254-263.

Bierman, K.L., Welsh, J.A., Heinrichs, B.S., & Nix, R.L. (2018). Effect of preschool home visiting on school readiness and need for services in elementary school: A randomized clinical trial. JAMA Pediatrics, 172(8), e181029.

Hunter, L., Bierman, K.L., & Hall, C.(2018). Assessing non-cognitive aspects of school readiness: The predictive validity of brief teacher rating scales of social-emotional competence and approaches to learning. Early Education and Development, 29, 1081-1094.

Lee, P., & Bierman, K.L.(2018). Year-to-year variations in student-teacher relationship quality: Associations with aggressive-disruptive behavior problems. Journal of School Psychology, 70, 1-15.

Nix, R.L., Bierman, K.L., Motamedi, M. Heinrichs, B.S., & Gill, S.(2018). Parent engagement in an enriched Head Start home visiting program: Predictors and associations with child outcomes. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 45, 106-114.


Bierman, K.L., Heinrichs, B.S., Welsh, J.A., Nix, R.L., & Gest, S.D. (2017). Enriching preschool classrooms and home visits with evidence-based programming: Sustained benefits for low-income children. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 58, 129-137.

Loughlin-Presnal, J.E., & Bierman, K.L. (2017). How do parent expectations promote child academic achievement in early elementary school? A test of three mediators. Developmental Psychology, 53, 1694-1708.

Loughlin-Presnal, J.E., & Bierman, K.L. (2017). Promoting parent academic expectations predicts improved school outcomes for low-income children entering kindergarten. Journal of School Psychology, 62, 67-80.

Sasser, T.R., Bierman, K.L., Heinrichs, B., & Nix, R.L.(2017). Preschool intervention can promote sustained growth in the executive function skills of children exhibiting early deficits. Psychological Science, 28, 1719-1730.


Bierman, K.L. & Torres, M. (2016). Promoting the development of executive functions through early education and prevention programs.  In J. A. Griffin, L.S. Freund, & P. McCardle (Eds.) Executive function in preschool age children: Integrating measurement, neurodevelopment and translational research (pp.2990326). Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.

Lee, P., & Bierman, K.L. (2016). Profiles of kindergarten classroom and elementary school contexts: Associations with first-grade outcomes of children transitioning from Head Start. The Elementary School Journal, 117, 119-142.

Nix, R.L., Bierman, K.L., Heinrichs, B.S., Gest, S.D., Welsh, J.A., & Domitrovich, C.E. (2016). The randomized-controlled trial of Head Start REDI: Sustained effects on developmental trajectories of social-emotional functioning. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 58, 310-322.


Bierman, K.L., & Motamedi, M. (2015). Social-emotional programs for preschool children. In J. Durlak, C. Domitrovich, R. P. Weissberg, T. Gullotta, and P. Goren (Eds.) The Handbook of Social and Emotional Learning: Research and Practice. (pp. 135-150) New York: Guilford.

Bierman, K.L., Nix, R.L., Domitrovich, C.E., Welsh, J.A., & Gest, S.D. (2015). Fostering school readiness with preschool interventions that promote social-emotional learning and language skills: The Head Start REDI project. In A.J. Reynolds, J.A. Temple, & A.J. Rolnick (Eds.) Health and Education in Early Childhood: Predictors, Interventions, and Policies. (pp. 208-233). Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

Bierman, K.L., Welsh, J., Heinrichs, B.S., Nix, R.L., & Mathis, E.T. (in press). Helping Head Start parents promote their children’s kindergarten adjustment: The REDI parent program. Child Development, 86, 1877-1891.

Hall, C.M., & Bierman, K.L. (2015). Technology-assisted interventions for parents of young children: Emerging practices, current research, and future directions. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 30, 21-32.

Lee, P., & Bierman, K.L. (2015). Classroom and teacher support in kindergarten: Associations with the behavioral and academic adjustment of low-income students.  Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 61, 383-411.

Mathis, E.T., & Bierman, K.L. (2015). Dimensions of parenting associated with child prekindergarten emotion regulation and attention control in low-income families.  Social Development, 24, 601-620.

Mathis, E.T.B., & Bierman, K.L. (2015). Effects of parent and child pre-intervention characteristics on child skill acquisition during a school readiness intervention. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 33, 87-97.

Sasser, T.R., Beekman, C., & Bierman, K.L. (2015). Preschool executive functions, single-parent status, and school quality predict diverging trajectories of classroom inattention in elementary school. Development and Psychopathology, 27, 681-693.

Sasser, T.R., Bierman, K.L., & Heinrichs, B. (2015). Executive functioning and school adjustment: The mediational role of preschool learning-related behaviors. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 30, 70-79.

Torres, M., Domitrovich, C.E., & Bierman, K.L. (2015). Preschool interpersonal relationships predict kindergarten achievement: Linked by gains in emotion knowledge.  Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 39, 44-52.


Bierman, K.L., Domitrovich, C.E., Nix, R.L., Welsh, J.A., & Gest, S.D. (2014). Integrating evidence-based preschool programs to support social-emotional and cognitive development.  In M. Boivin & K. Bierman (Eds.) Promoting school readiness and early learning: The implications of developmental research for practice (pp. 231-252). New York: Guilford Press.

Bierman, K.L., Nix, R.L., Heinrichs, B.S., Domitrovich, C.E., Gest, S.D., Welsh, J.A., & Gill, S. (2014). Effects of Head Start REDI on children’s outcomes one year later in different kindergarten contexts. Child Development, 85, 140-159.

Welsh, J.A., Bierman, K.L., & Mathis, E.T. (2014). Parenting programs that promote school readiness. In M. Boivin and K. Bierman (Eds.) Promoting school readiness and early learning: The implications of developmental research for practice (pp. 253-279). New York: Guilford Press.


Bierman, K.L., Sanford DeRousie, R.M., Heinrichs, B., Domitrovich, C.E., Greenberg, M.T., & Gill, S. (2013). Sustaining high quality teaching and evidence-based curricula: Follow-up assessment of teachers in the REDI project. Early Education and Development, 24, 1194-1213.

Nix, R. L., Bierman, K. L., Domitrovich, C. E., & Gill, S. (2013). Promoting preschool social-emotional skills with the Head Start REDI Program enhances academic and behavioral outcomes in kindergarten. Early Education and Development, 24, 1000-1019.

Okado, Y., Bierman, Karen L., & Welsh, Janet A. (2013). Promoting school readiness in the context of socio-economic adversity: Associations with parental demoralization and support for learning. Child & Youth Care Forum, 43, 353-371.


Domitrovich, C.E., Bierman, K.L., Nix, R.L., Gill, S., & Gest, S.D. (2012). Improving preschool education with curriculum enhancements and professional development: The REDI intervention model. In C. Howes, B.K. Hamre, & R.C. Pianta (Eds.) Effective professional development in early childhood education.  Baltimore, MD: Brookes.

Sanford DeRousie, R.M., & Bierman, K.L. (2012). Examining the sustainability of an evidence-based preschool curriculum: The REDI program Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 27, 55-65.


Nelson, K.E., Welsh, J.A., Vance Trup, E.M., & Greenberg, M.T. (2011). Language delays of impoverished preschool children in relation to early academic and emotion recognition skills.  First Language, 31, 164-194.


Domitrovich, C.E., Gest, S.D., Jones, J., Gill, S., & Sanford DeRousie, R. (2010). Implementation quality: Lessons learned in the context of the Head Start REDI trial.  Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 25, 284-298.

Welsh, J.A., Nix, R.L., Blair, C., Bierman, K.L., & Nelson, K.E. (2010). The development of cognitive skills and gains in academic school readiness for children from low income families.  Journal of Educational Psychology, 102, 43-53.


Bierman, K.L., Domitrovich, C. & Darling, H. (2009). Early Prevention Initiatives. In J. Roopnarine & J. Johnson (Eds.) Approaches to Early Childhood Education, 5th Ed. (pp. 147 – 164). Columbus, OH: Pearson Merrill Prentice Hall.

Bierman, K.L., Torres, M.M., Domitrovich, C.E., Welsh, J.A., & Gest, S.D. (2009.) Behavioral and cognitive readiness for school: Cross-domain associations for children attending Head Start. Social Development, 18, 305-323.

Domitrovich, C.E., Gest, S.D., Gill, S., Bierman, K.L., Welsh, J. & Jones, D. (2009). Fostering high quality teaching in Head Start classrooms: Experimental evaluation of an integrated curriculum.  American Education Research Journal, 46, 567-597.

Domitrovich, C.E., Gest, S.D., Gill, S., Jones, D. & Sanford DeRousie, R. (2009). Individual factors associated with professional development training outcomes of the Head Start REDI Program.  Early Education and Development, 20, 402-430.


Bierman, K.L., Domitrovich, C.E., Nix, R.L., Gest, S.D., Welsh, J.A., Greenberg, M.T., Blair, C., Nelson, K. & Gill, S. (2008). Promoting academic and social-emotional school readiness: The Head Start REDI program. Child Development, 79, 1802-1817.

Bierman, K.L., Nix, R.L., Greenberg, M.T., Blair, C. & Domitrovich, C.E. (2008). Executive functions and school readiness intervention: Impact, moderation, and mediation in the Head Start REDI Program. Development and Psychopathology, 20, 821-843.

Bierman, K.L., Nix, R.L., & Makin-Byrd, K.N. (2008). Using family-focused interventions to promote child behavioral readiness for school.  In A. Crouter & A. Booth (Eds.) Disparities in school readiness:  How families contribute to transitions into school (pp. 283-297).  Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum.


Gest, S.D., Holland-Coviello, R., Welsh, J.A., Eicher-Catt, D.L., & Gill, S. (2006). Language development sub-contexts in Head Start classrooms: Distinctive patterns of teacher talk during free play, mealtime and book reading.  Early Education and Development, 17, 293-315.

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