Effects of lead exposure on Head Start children's social skill development
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The current study examined the effect of lead exposure on the development of children’s social skills from kindergarten through third grade. Participants had been enrolled in Head Start and were selected from a larger national project on Head Start children’s transition to public school. Two groups of children were compared; children with lead poisoning and children without lead poisoning. Parents reported lead exposure on a measure of children’s health. Parents and teachers provided ratings on children’s social skills assessed from kindergarten to third grade. Results suggest that children whose parents reported lead exposure for their child rated their children as having poorer social skills than children who were not exposed to lead. The same outcome was found for teacher ratings of children’s social skills with regard to lead exposure. Implications for future research are provided.