Published: Jun 09, 2011 8:14 PM EDT
Updated: Jun 09, 2011 8:14 PM EDT

CHICAGO (AP) - Preschool has surprisingly long-lasting benefits stretching well into adulthood. That's according to one of the biggest, longest studies of its kind to follow disadvantaged children.

Better jobs, less drug abuse and fewer arrests are among advantages found in the study. The researchers tracked more than 1,000 low-income mostly black Chicago kids for up to 25 years.

Those who attended public preschool at Chicago's intensive Child-Parent Center Education Program were compared with those who mostly didn't attend preschool. The program focuses on language development, scholastic skills and building self-confidence. The results were published Thursday in the online version of the journal Science and they bolster findings from similar, smaller studies.

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