An evaluation of Florida WIC in relation to educational outcomes

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Developmental Psychology

First Committee Member

Keith G. Scott - Committee Chair


Although WIC programs have been implemented since 1972, there has been little evidence about the long-term consequences of WIC participation on the health and development of children. The principal goal of this study was to evaluate WIC in relation to educational outcomes for children at risk for developmental delays. Specifically, the following research questions were addressed: (1) To what extent does the timing and duration of WIC participation impact school identified exceptionalities in middle childhood? (2) To what extent does the timing and duration of WIC participation impact standardized achievement test scores in middle childhood? (3) To what extent does WIC participation influence school identified exceptionalities and standardized achievement scores relative to a comparable group of children who do not receive WIC?This study used extant data bases from the state of Florida to prospectively investigate the developmental outcomes of interest. Two cohorts (fourth and eighth graders) of school-aged children were selected. The following Florida data sets were utilized: birth certificate records, public school records, and WIC records. Birth certificate records provided sociodemographic information while school records provided data about the outcomes of interest, developmental disability and achievement. Finally, the WIC records were accessed for general information about WIC participation including the number of WIC visits (as an estimate for the duration of program participation) and age at initial and last WIC participation (as an indicator of timing).Both epidemiological and regression statistics were utilized to examine the data. Neither statistical technique provided evidence that the duration or timing of WIC participation influenced cognitive development as measured by identified school exceptionality or low total standardized achievement test scores.


Health Sciences, Mental Health; Education, Early Childhood; Health Sciences, Nutrition; Health Sciences, Public Health; Psychology, Developmental; Sociology, Public and Social Welfare

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