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Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-Up (ABC) Intervention

Meets DHHS criteria for an evidenced based model

In Brief

Last Updated

April 2017

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Evidence of Program Model Effectiveness

This program model meets the criteria established by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) for an “evidence-based early childhood home visiting service delivery model” for the general population, but does not meet the criteria for tribal populations.

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Program Model Description

The Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-Up (ABC) Intervention is a training program for caregivers of infants and young children 6 to 24 months old, including high-risk birth parents and caregivers of young children in foster care, kinship care (such as a grandparent raising a grandchild), and adoptive care. Parent coaches conduct 10 weekly home visits, approximately 60 minutes each. The program is designed to help caregivers provide nurturance even when children do not appear to need it, mutually responsive interactions in which caregivers follow children’s lead, and nonfrightening care. Parent coaches provide immediate feedback (referred to as “in the moment” comments) on the caregivers’ interaction with the child to help the caregivers attend to the target behaviors. The model also incorporates homework and video feedback. For more information, please read the Program Model Overview.

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Extent of Evidence

Results of Search and ReviewNumber of Studies for ABC
Released from 1979 to 2015 29
Eligible for review 17
     Rated high 1
     Rated moderate 3
     Rated low 12
     Additional sourcesa 1

aAdditional sources overlap with another study and are not rated.

For more information, see the study database. For more information on the criteria used to determine the study ratings, please read Producing Study Ratings.

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Summary of Findings



ABC
Outcomes Primary Outcome Measures Secondary Outcome Measures
Child Development and School Readiness

Favorable: 1
No effect: 1
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 0

Favorable: 0
No effect: 0
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 0

Child Health

Favorable: 1
No effect: 0
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 0

Favorable: 0
No effect: 0
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 0

Family Economic Self-Sufficiency Not measured Not measured
Linkages and Referrals Not measured Not measured
Maternal Health Not measured Not measured
Positive Parenting Practices

Favorable: 4
No effect: 0
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 0

Favorable: 0
No effect: 0
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 0

Reductions in Child Maltreatment Not measured Not measured
Reductions in Juvenile Delinquency, Family Violence, and Crime Not measured Not measured

Please read Describing Effects for more information on these categories. Only results from studies that meet the standards for the high or moderate ratings are included above.

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Criteria Established by the Department of Health and Human Services

Information Based on Comprehensive Review of All High- and Moderate-Impact Studies for this Model
High- or moderate-quality impact study? Yes
Across high- or moderate-quality studies, favorable impacts in…
 
   at least two outcome domains within one sample
 
   OR
 
   the same domain for at least two non-overlapping samples?
Yes
Favorable impacts on full sample? Yes
Any favorable impacts on outcome measures sustained at least 12 months after program enrollment?a Yes
One or more favorable, statistically significant impact reported in a peer-reviewed journal?a Yes

aThis information is reported for all program models, but the requirements for sustained findings and inclusion in a peer-reviewed journal only apply to models for which all findings are from randomized controlled trials.

Please read the DHHS Criteria for Evidence-Based Program Models for more information.

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