The Kids in Transition to School (KITS) – Developmental Disabilities Follow-Up was a longitudinal study of the effects of a randomized efficacy trial of a preventive intervention to enhance psychosocial and academic school readiness in children with developmental disabilities and behavior or social difficulties who were entering kindergarten. In the first 5 years of the study 209 children and their families participated. In the follow-up, children and their families were followed through the end of fifth grade to examine the long-term effects of the KITS Program on academic, social, and behavioral adjustment.Year Project Began: 2015
Funder: Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education
Katherine C. Pears, Ph.D.
Oregon Social Learning Center
Active Research Projects
Primary Research and Clinical Interests
Dr. Pears studies a number of early childhood predictors of behavioral and social problems with the goal of developing preventive interventions. Specifically, she is interested in the effects of early adverse circumstances (including maltreatment and poverty) on children’s social and academic development. She has studied the school readiness skills and early school adjustment of high-risk children with a particular focus on self-regulatory skills. Additionally, Dr. Pears has examined longer term indicators of school adjustment in children at risk for poor school outcomes, including how school adjustment is transmitted from one generation to the next. She has translated this research into an intervention to improve the school readiness skills of children at high risk for poor academic and social adjustment: the Kids in Transition to School (KITS) Program (www.kidsintransitiontoschool.org). She is the principal investigator on three randomized efficacy trials of the KITS Program including maltreated children in foster care, children with developmental disabilities and co-occurring behavioral or social problems, and children from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds.